3 Links I Love + Cranky on the Web Combined This Week

Cranky on the Web, Links I Love

You may have noticed that I didn’t post yesterday. I got busy and wasn’t able to finish it off. So now I’ll just combine the links and Cranky on the Web for one Saturday post. I’ll be back with regular posting on Tuesday.

This Week’s Featured Link

Creating America’s Most Competitive Ultra-Low Fare AirlineSpirit Airlines
This should really have a sub-heading of “JetBlue, Go F*** Yourself.” Spirit held a call this week outlining why the JetBlue offer is nothing but garbage — or as they call it, “illusory.” Here’s the presentation that went along with it.

Two for the Road

Southwest Airlines proposed a ploy to deceive FAA on Boeing 737 MAX, legal filing allegesThe Seattle Times
I find it hard to believe any article that sources Mary Schiavo for a quote, but this is Dominic Gates so I’ll just ignore Mary’s brief bluster. This makes Southwest look pretty bad.

Two competitors will compete for control of ITA Airways – reportsAir Data News
We should all strive to be like ITA. Where else can complete incompetence attract multiple suitors?

Cranky on the Web

The Worst-Case Scenario Guide to Summer TravelWSJ
Dawn Gilberston has made the move from USA Today to being a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. For her first column, I gave some advice on things people can do when things go wrong this summer.

With Summer Travel Heating Up, Airlines Brace For TurbulenceTime
Judging by how this weekend has already gone, it is going to be a tough summer indeed.

These Two U.S. Airlines Have Plans to Make Flying in Coach BetterConde Nast Traveler
CNT took a look at upgrade plans for both United and Southwest.

Lavish but lacking: A review of Mexico’s Ritz-Carlton ZadunTPG
Cranky Concierge handles some hotel bookings for people at TPG, especially when they are going to a luxury property where we can often get extra benefits for travelers. Here’s one that was written up and included a shout-out.

9 comments on “3 Links I Love + Cranky on the Web Combined This Week

    1. Grichard – Yep, we participate in all of those (Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Hyatt Prive, etc), and even for those we don’t we are members of Signature Travel Network which provides significant offers at a variety of hotels that may not have programs like that.

  1. Wow, the spirit slide is a good piece of bill Frankie propaganda garbage. All platitudes and nothing substantial to back it unlike the JetBlue slide. The long term returns via stock will supersede the $30 a share and not even mention the market prepping for a very possible recession? Wow, What a art form to openly dupe shareholders from clearly higher returns. I hope they vote no on the 10th, if not they are just a bunch of minnows corralled into the bucket.

  2. I wouldn’t touch something that touches TPG with a ten-foot pole. You ought not taint yourself by association.

  3. I’m not telling you how to run your blog, but combining these two days’ posts into one might not be a bad way for you to save some time and still provide your normal superb content.

    1. Ghost – Working on some other changes to the Friday plan. We’ll see how long this takes to get together, but I’m definitely looking to move things around.

  4. I looked at that Spirit piece and I just can’t help thinking they doth protest too much.

    Spending a fair amount of money to push and favor one bid over another…one has to ask why.

    DOJ should be investigating, but go after the ties between NK and F9/Indigo. You just don’t see a board demanding to be be sold to one suitor over another without some underlying reason.

  5. That Spirit presentation is…something. I’m not quite sure what. There’s some fair points in there about the regulatory side of the transaction – especially the timeline – but a lot of it is misleading, especially the “merging two airlines leads to more competition” argument. Either way, there’s one fewer airline in the US, and once again they’re trying to conflate “low-cost” with “low-fare” as if they don’t price to the market throughout the presentation.

    (On the last three trips I priced, TPA to SDF and LAX three months out and FLL two months out, Spirit had the HIGHEST fare. Anecdotal, true, but an interesting data point that leads me to say their “eliminating a low-fare competitor” should be taken with not just a grain of salt, but an entire salt lick.)

    Their “average fare” slide is questionable too, the scale on the yield side doesn’t use a zero-point so it makes the spread between B6 and NK/F9 look larger than it is. I’m also questioning the B6 revenue figures – just for example, do they back out Mint? (I’ll bet you lunch they don’t.) And are the figures stage-adjusted? JetBlue flies transcons out of high-cost JFK and BOS. Nor do they admit that B6 just might get a higher yield/fare because they offer a superior service. Finally, JetBlue has NOT said they will raise fares on current NK routes – that’d be regulatory suicide. Spirit is implying they will under the assumption that they will reduce service on existing NK routes. Some, perhaps, but a big part of the reason for the acquisition (besides getting a quick injection of A320s and pilots) is to REDUCE JetBlue’s dependence on the Northeast. Any cuts will be selective.

    As for JetBlue’s service issues, there’s some truth there too, but even the best-managed airlines are having issues due to more than just weather (although weather was a part of this one):

    https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-airport-blog/hundreds-of-flights-canceled-over-memorial-day-weekend/HXYJW4SYRVBQPNVLOBX3AZLLHQ/

    (Yes, I’m poking the bear just a bit…)

    Finally, their definition of “Northeast” is misleading too – the NEA is really only an issue in capacity-constrained markets (NYC, Boston for gate space, Washington National, and Westchester.) Spirit and/or Frontier can start service to any other airport in the states they list anytime they want. Frontier’s doing just that at Islip. The combined AA/B6 market share includes the AA hub at PHL, which has (as far as I know, at least) no barriers to entry. And would a merged NK/F9 really want to wade into JFK?

    I have serious concerns around this acquisition, but on most of the points not related to the merger-vs-NEA-litigation timeline, there’s a lot of misleading statements in this presentation.

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