3 Links I Love: American AAdvantage Goes Revenue-Based, Allegiant Says Aloha to Hawai’i, Interview with Spirit’s CEO

Allegiant, American, Frequent Flier Programs, Links I Love, Spirit

Today’s featured link:
American AAdvantage 2016 Changes (Including Award Chart Devaluation)One Mile at a Time
American announced it was going to a revenue-based program starting next year. You might expect me to have written about it in more detail, but when an airline is the third-mover, it’s not that exciting. In short, you’ll earn miles just like you do with United and Delta now. Redemption levels are going up (most of all in international First Class), but unlike Delta, American still publishes an award chart. Elite qualification is one of the only things that’s differentiated from Delta and United. There is no minimum spending requirement.

I was personally hoping for something more creative, but it didn’t happen. What’s your take? Good? Bad? Not as bad as you thought?

Links I Love

Two for the road:
Allegiant Air to discontinue service between US mainland, HawaiiLas Vegas Review-Journal
After years of failing to make Hawai’i service take off, the end is near for Allegiant. The airline will retire its 757s and pull out of Hawai’i next year.

Airline Weekly Lounge Episode 16 – CEO Interview: Spirit’s BaldanzaAirline Weekly Lounge Podcast
Airline Weekly has launched a free weekly podcast and this week they devote the entire half hour to an interview with Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza. It’s a great interview and well worth listening.

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14 comments on “3 Links I Love: American AAdvantage Goes Revenue-Based, Allegiant Says Aloha to Hawai’i, Interview with Spirit’s CEO

  1. Brett-

    Very interesting Allegiant article. I am more than a little surprised that they added a new A/C type just for Hawaii- seems like a lot of headache for an ultra low fare airline. Also, this points towards the difficulty in making low fare / low frills long haul work, as you have mentioned repeatedly. Finally, why is there basically no market for used 757s? Surprised that there isn’t a cargo line that would be happy to buy and convert those planes for the right price.

    1. Yeah, surprised there is supposedly no aftermarket for a 757. Have airlines finally found a way for the 737-900 and A321 to actually replace the 757?

      As a passenger there is no comparison of the 737/A320 families to the 757 when the flight is over 3,000 mi or more. Love how the 757 can just power into the sky while the others labor just to get off the ground when laden with fuel.

        1. DL actually just bought a few of the very last 757’s ever built but is shedding its oldest ones. We all know if these 757’s had an OUNCE of life in left in them the company would be buying every one of them . :)

  2. I breathed a sigh of relief after reading stories about American’s frequent flier changes. Of course I received notification about the program directly from American, but it was written in incomprehensible corp speak, thus I needed a translator – like the Cranky Flier. In the end, it was not as bad as it could have been. I only care about miles to keep my (lowly) Gold status, because flying the big 3 without status is wretched. I gave up using miles for anything but upgrades years ago.

  3. I would have thought they could have come up with something a bit more creative rather than following the herd. They short sheet-ed everyone and had the chance here to maybe get some of the other airlines top flyers to change over but there is no reason to now.

  4. With Allegiant, it’s first: “Allegiant announces it is starting 29 new routes to serve America better!” and then the next day, buried in some industry news service: “Allegiant announces it will be discontinuing service on 29 routes (see list).”

    I find it very difficult to consider that Allegiant is a legitimate airline, given how it starts and stops service at the drop of a hat. But, to be fair, is any airline really legitimate if it has some other airline fly more than half of its flights under a code-share? But, there I go again!

  5. I guess the writing was on the wall when Allegiant stopped serving Hawaii from small cities and concentrated on Hawaii to L.A. and Vegas, where it competes with a bunch of other carriers. But why does less than daily service from small cities work so well with L.A., Vegas, Phoenix and Florida, but not Hawaii? Is it just that the 757 is too big?

    1. Ron – I think there were a few issues. First, it’s just a longer flight and travel patterns are different. The three day a week pattern works well for the long weekend in Vegas. But Honolulu has different patterns.
      Second, there were ancillary revenue issues I believe. In Vegas, they make a lot of money on the ground with hotel deals. That was tougher in Hawai’i, and I believe the hotel landscape is pretty different there as well. Hotels are more expensive.

  6. 1) I guess AA liked what DL and UA were doing to copy them. Heck, they even are giving 11 miles per dollar to the 100,000 mile elite like UA. I thought it should have been 10 miles/dollar based on the fact that DL requires 125,000 miles to make their top tier (Diamond).

    2) I’m going to assume that these are older 757s. It seems like there is a market for newer 757s as evidenced by DL buying some. I always wish there was a 757NG. It’s a much nicer plane to ride on than a stretched 737. If feels more powerful. Kind of like a sports car vs. a mini-van.

    3) I’ll never walk on a plane with a 28″ pitch, but it looks like the folks at NK know what they are doing. Ben seems to be a pretty honest CEO

  7. Count me as disappointed (though not surprised) at AA’s frequent flyer changes. For a team as supposedly smart as Doug Parker and Scott Kirby, I expected something more innovative. Instead, we get essentially a carbon copy of DL and UA. Given that AA’s soft product and reliability is inferior to DL, why should I stick with AA now that their FF program is just as bad, if not worse given their stricter routing rules? Penny wise, pound foolish in my opinion.

  8. I find it amazing that Allegiant can continue to survive. Chief Pilot and Managing Director of Safety, both pilots, fly an aircraft to Fargo, ignoring the NOTAM indicating the airport was closed for an airshow, and then not able to fly to their alternate. Does the FAA not address these issues? Any fines against Allegiant? Anyone lose their ticket?

    The article indicates that Allegiant has under 3,000 total employees, but 19 Vice Presidents or higher. It is really amazing they can even function.

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