Cranky on the Web: Visiting Friends and Relatives, American Fills Up Planes

American, Cranky on the Web

American Airlines will book flights to full capacityAssociated Press
American has lifted its booking limits for travel starting July 1. The airline has data showing people don’t really change their behavior, even if they tweet angrily. That being said, the timing of the announcement could have been better.

U.S. Airlines Seek Revenue From ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ TravelSkift
Here’s a closer look at the so-called VFR segment of travelers. I told the author, Brian Sumers, it’s the easiest way to fill an airplane right now.

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5 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Visiting Friends and Relatives, American Fills Up Planes

  1. Typical AA putting their customers needs and wants behind profits.

    CF, is it true that someone can catch COVID-19 when they touch surfaces that an affected person had previously touched? So, I am sitting next to someone and my arm touches theirs or my arm touches the armrest where their arm was previously at. Am I at risk?

    Thank God I moved my flying to Delta even before this pandemic started (I was an EXPLAT).

    1. Angry Bob – Well, I’m not a doctor, but from everything I’ve read that may be possible but it is not a primary method of transmission. As I understand it, if there is a risk, you can effectively eliminate it by not touching your face without washing hands or sanitizing whatever part you’re touching your face with. But I’m sure someone here can go dive into research and see if there are any studies yet.

  2. “Typical AA putting their customers needs and wants behind profits. ”

    Four of their hubs are in coronavirus hotspots LAX, PHX, DFW & MIA. So of course AA is going to do what brings in the most money, safety be dammed. This is end stage capitalism at work & it will cost them dearly.

  3. AA smells blood at UA and DL and sees an opportunity and is taking it. UA is supposedly also shelving social distancing and will fill up planes. I suspect a number of things will create major problems for both carriers. First, the EU ban will have a disproportionately high impact on UA, the most exposed of the US3 to international traffic. Second, AA and UA will have no choice but to sharply reduce DFW and IAH operations as COVID19 is out of control in Texas and for AA in MIA, further cuts are coming as much of Latin America remains closed and Florida is now about to pass New York’s peak in April to become the USA’s epicenter.

  4. > The airline has data showing people don’t really change their behavior, even if they tweet angrily.

    This, exactly this. People love to complain and to say one thing, but when it comes down to opening up their wallets, their actions often don’t align with their words.

    Yes, many people are “outraged” and tweeting angrily about airlines filling their flights. However, a good chunk of those people probably aren’t willing to fly right now. Of those who are willing to fly, will they pay up to $375 to fly another airline, when they see fares of $250 with American? All else equal, to make the same revenue per flight on a flight on a 3+3 narrowbody that sells out, with the middle seats blocked instead of available for sale, the airline must charge 50% more per seat [ 1/(2/3) – 1 = 50% ]. (Yes, I know that American was previously limiting flights to ~85% of capacity previously, but I’m comparing AA to other airlines that had middle seats blocked).

    This return to full flights had to happen eventually, and when it did people were going to raise a fuss no matter what, so American might as well rip the bandaid off and see if they can generate more cashflow from it as they predict. If this policy is still a loser 3 weeks from now after the initial backlash dies down, AA can always walk the policy back.

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