#1  
Old Jan 9, 2011, 7:18 PM
jonm1961 jonm1961 is offline
 
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Allowing foreign airlines to fly domestic routes would force our poorly run domestic airline companies to improve efficiency and customer service in order to compete for their customers. The only competition between domestic carriers now is price, and even that is getting worst with the a la carte fees for baggage, food and beverages, and even reserved seating.
  #2  
Old Jan 10, 2011, 3:52 AM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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Works both ways. I somehow doubt you would ever see Southwest flying routes in Europe. The EU wouldn't allow it. Same applies here.
  #3  
Old Jan 10, 2011, 4:15 PM
jonm1961 jonm1961 is offline
 
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I have been on several foreign airlines and have found their goals and emphasis are serving their customers first. They appreciate their customers, and the revenue they receive from the customer. I recently flew a trip on Avianca Airlines to and from Colombia in coach. Plane was brand new, large roomy seats with private entertainment systems, free beverages including alcoholic, hot steamy towels served prior to an excellent hot meal which included desert. Free checked baggage, newpaper, blankets, pillows, and headphones. And two flight attendants in first class and four in coach, and this was an aircraft with maybe 100 coach seats. Smiling faces and warm greetings. Flight attendants were around constantly asking if we needed anything. And guess what, they were the lowest price ticket compared to the US Domestic competition. I asked the flight attendant, 'If this is the service you get in coach, what do the First Class passengers get?" The attendant smiled and said "They get the royal treatment." And this is an airline from a third world country. U.S. airlline companies should be ashamed of the service they provide in comparison. You would think that we would be the best in the world, not the worst. Avianca and others could come to the U.S. and put all of our domestic airlines out of business, while thriving.
  #4  
Old Jan 10, 2011, 4:15 PM
jonm1961 jonm1961 is offline
 
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I have been on several foreign airlines and have found their goals and emphasis are serving their customers first. They appreciate their customers, and the revenue they receive from the customer. I recently flew a trip on Avianca Airlines to and from Colombia in coach. Plane was brand new, large roomy seats with private entertainment systems, free beverages including alcoholic, hot steamy towels served prior to an excellent hot meal which included desert. Free checked baggage, newpaper, blankets, pillows, and headphones. And two flight attendants in first class and four in coach, and this was an aircraft with maybe 100 coach seats. Smiling faces and warm greetings. Flight attendants were around constantly asking if we needed anything. And guess what, they were the lowest price ticket compared to the US Domestic competition. I asked the flight attendant, 'If this is the service you get in coach, what do the First Class passengers get?" The attendant smiled and said "They get the royal treatment." And this is an airline from a third world country. U.S. airlline companies should be ashamed of the service they provide in comparison. You would think that we would be the best in the world, not the worst. Avianca and others could come to the U.S. and put all of our domestic airlines out of business, while thriving.
  #5  
Old Jan 19, 2011, 8:46 PM
Rising Falcon Rising Falcon is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonm1961 View Post
I have been on several foreign airlines and have found their goals and emphasis are serving their customers first. They appreciate their customers, and the revenue they receive from the customer. I recently flew a trip on Avianca Airlines to and from Colombia in coach. Plane was brand new, large roomy seats with private entertainment systems, free beverages including alcoholic, hot steamy towels served prior to an excellent hot meal which included desert. Free checked baggage, newpaper, blankets, pillows, and headphones. And two flight attendants in first class and four in coach, and this was an aircraft with maybe 100 coach seats. Smiling faces and warm greetings. Flight attendants were around constantly asking if we needed anything. And guess what, they were the lowest price ticket compared to the US Domestic competition. I asked the flight attendant, 'If this is the service you get in coach, what do the First Class passengers get?" The attendant smiled and said "They get the royal treatment." And this is an airline from a third world country. U.S. airlline companies should be ashamed of the service they provide in comparison. You would think that we would be the best in the world, not the worst. Avianca and others could come to the U.S. and put all of our domestic airlines out of business, while thriving.
I'd have to agree with you on Avianca in Colombia. All of the people there were really quite cooperative when American Airlines stranded my family and myself in Colombia. They were willing to give us a flight to Miami to work in conjunction with the tickets we had bought with AA to Boston, but of course AA had to be the big dog and forced us to buy full tickets from Avianca with the trip to Boston with AA. Oh how our lovely world works.
  #6  
Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:05 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Quote:
Works both ways. I somehow doubt you would ever see Southwest flying routes in Europe. The EU wouldn't allow it. Same applies here.
Gromit,
WRONG! The EU has pressed the US repeatedly to open up both markets. In negotiations which recently lead to further deregulation of the transatlantic market, the EU pressed the US to simply open up both markets. They are comparable in size (Europe is slightly larger in population, slightly smaller in revenue per KM), and the suggestion was simply to allow any US airline compete directly in Europe, in any market at any time, including cabotage. This was rejected by the US after significant pressure from Congress. The ownership rules were recently modified, but remain very tight, and infact Virgin America's launch was delayed repeatedly by issues relating to ultimate ownership rules.

The US airlines lobby hard and pay good money for that kind of protection. The US market would benefit massively from some foreign competition.
  #7  
Old Jan 20, 2011, 7:41 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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And your reliable unimpeachable source for the EU's desires are?
  #8  
Old Jan 20, 2011, 7:55 PM
jonm1961 jonm1961 is offline
 
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http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air/in..._states_en.htm
  #9  
Old Jan 20, 2011, 10:42 PM
jonm1961 jonm1961 is offline
 
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Gromit, you seem to avoid the point of foreign competition for domestic routes. The question is why are the domestic airline companies offering such poor customer service compared to most foreign airlines? If a U.S. airline passenger had a choice of flying on an airline that treats them like a customer versus one that thinks they are doing them a favor selling them a ticket, which do you think the passenger would choose? American, Delta, and United would not want to compete with foreign airline companies either here or overseas, they would need to improve their service, or close their doors. Competition is what makes businesses run better, and the domestic airlines do not compete, they have a monopoly in this country.
  #10  
Old May 17, 2011, 2:34 PM
AADFW AADFW is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jonm1961 View Post
The question is why are the domestic airline companies offering such poor customer service compared to most foreign airlines?
Two answers. First, many of the foreign airlines enjoy government subsidies that allow them to spend more money on service. Second, U.S. airlines tried in the past to compete on the basis of service on deregulated domestic routes. (Remember all those TV commercials in the 70's & 80's touting great service?) American consumers have consistently responded by voting with their wallets, indicating that price is the single most important factor when making an air transportation purchase by far. The fact that an airline as horrid as Spirit has managed to last so long is strong evidence of this. It's amazing how some people will connect twice and endure other hardships to save $30 on a base airfare. Consumers are actually just as much to blame as airline management for poor service performance in this sense -- we've demonstrated what we want most and they've served it right up with ridiculous cost cutting measures, flippant and unhelpful service, and ancillary fee-based revenue models.

What's perhaps most disconcerting is that many domestic carriers have actually allowed some these changes and attitudes to seep into their domestic and international premium products, where service is actually what should matter most of all. That's something I am at a loss to understand.

Still, I've got to think that foreign competition would shake things up sufficiently that one might see some improvements in service levels - at least for a period of time and certainly where the premium market is concerned.
  #11  
Old May 17, 2011, 3:40 PM
jonm1961 jonm1961 is offline
 
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AADFW, I do agree with you regarding the fact that airline passengers vote with their wallets. Passengers want competitively priced tickets, but they do expect friendly and helpful flight attendants and gate agents. Not the rude, disrecpectful ones that work for American. Airlines like Spirit are thriving on low fares, but when I have checked some of the routes I often travel, I am saving $100-$150 per ticket. With Spirit, you get what you expect, no service, no extras, and if a flight attendant is rude, so what, it was what you get for the low ticket price. I took a flight on Airtran recently. The fare was $75 less than any other airline. They are a discount airline, right? I knew that I should expect nothing but passage to my destination. I brought my own beverage and snack expecting that there would be none served. And I expected rude, disrespectful flight attendants who hate their jobs. To my delight, they served beverages and a snack just like American Airlines did several years ago. Fllight attendants were pleasant, helpful, and did not yell at even one passenger. I will travel with them again. It costs the airlines absolutely nothing to have their employees treat customers with respect. Foreign airlines know that they do not have to spend money providing good service, they just have to insist that their employees treat customers properly, or "You're Fired!!.
  #12  
Old May 17, 2011, 4:04 PM
AADFW AADFW is offline
 
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In the past 5 to 10 years domestic carriers have eliminated complimentary inflight food services, magazines, blankets, pillows, checked baggage, mileage-only upgrades from any published fare, no-fee telephone reservation services, APO upgrades and fee waivers for customer service problems, extra legroom seats (AA), certain customer training initiatives, etc. At the same time, fees for nearly everything under the sun have skyrocketed.

Airline managers made these changes because Aunt Sally in Omaha decided that she'd rather fly with XYZ carrier because their fare was $10 lower. Low fares became a zero sum game, so the model has changed.

As you've already pointed out, people will often endure horrible treatment to save just a little money. That's what's driving the service levels.

Last edited by AADFW; May 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM.
  #13  
Old May 17, 2011, 4:31 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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It is not a single Market...in Europe, Ryanair sits alongside EasyJet in the low cost Market, and bith thrive. EasyJet is low cost but targets business Travellers and offers more flexibility (and civility) than Ryanair... Ryanair is low fares, hostile to customers and more like spirit. The big issue the US faces is the "fortress hubs" which severely limit competition. This badly needs regulation. No airline should have more than say 30% of the passengers in any airport. You would see a dramatic change if this was enforced... Basic competition, where price and service are in the mix. It is uneconomic to compete head to head with AA in Dallas for example, as they control Market. Until we break these local monopolies nothing will change.
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Old May 17, 2011, 4:56 PM
AADFW AADFW is offline
 
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That's actually a really good point Jimworcs, and something I'd not thought of before. Airports have finite capacity and, as such, I agree it might be wise to regulate them on that basis.

Last edited by AADFW; May 17, 2011 at 4:59 PM.
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Old May 17, 2011, 5:43 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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regulation would be fine and dandy, it would improve service and possibly the experience

but with regulation it would also increase the price of tickets, it is a win-lose situation

foreign competition wouldn't work due to the fact of all the alliances, the extra planes that would need to be created for those routes and boeing and airbus are not able to build those planes quick enough, and the carriers would be too large to manage, not only would they have to worry about their own international routes they'd have to go into a new market which would take alot of resources, time and it would be alot of risk

Each airline pretty much has a hub in various areas of the country and it is legal and is just on a large scale, if the service was better people wouldnt complain as much but it is shyt, and it makes more sense to have a central "distribution" area which would help with costs, compared to having multiple areas. It is kind of like a company's headquarters, in various cases the majority of workers work out of headquarters and is the largest producer and so on, it is kinda like the same way with hubs, just headquarters for planes...............other airlines can fly there, just that the majority of the flights are operated by delta in atlanta, continental from newark, etc


the thing is people want better service for low prices, the airlines cant hire high priced workers that will make the job environment enjoyable for everyone due to the fact it costs too much, and the workers are not happy with their pay and it trickles down, and the whole system and rules are hard to follow and people put themselves in positions where they feel they have more authority then they really should

while regulation could be good, it will make many people unhappy due to the fact ticket prices will increase
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Old May 17, 2011, 7:10 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Competition drives down prices.. That is a fundamental principle of our economic system, and for decades monopolies have been regulated. The fortress hubs effectively carve up large markets and control them. It is not just the major hubs... Such as Dallas, but secondary markets, such as the hub in Charlotte, NC for example. The lack of aircraft is utterly bogus... The low costs have seen explosive growth in the last decade. Over the next decade Boeing and Airbus will be joined in the 120 to 150 seat Market, (the workhorses of the US domestic Market) by Embraer, China Industries and the Sukhoi. There is also a possibility Mitsubishi might launch a 130 seater also. Capacity to build will not be a barrier.

The advantage of allowing foreign carriers (and note, I only said on a reciprocal basis) is that the major markets would attract large, well financed carriers. BA for example would certainly be interested in a NY/LAX route... Lufthansa may hav an interest in challenging AA in Dallas and so on. Access to the US Market would require that US airlines had reciprocal access to the European Market.

The Market for air transport is clearly a global one and the need for a healthy competitive market domestically is urgent. Curiously, that will require a mix of de-regulation and regulation. De-regulate competitive restrictions, allowing foreign ownership and entry into the Market...whilst enforcing strict Market conditions, such as limiting takeoff and landing slots to 25% or limiting penetration of any airport or Market to 30%.

I see no reason why this will not work. Fast food sits comfortably alongside full service restaurants, and Spirit should be able to sit comfortably alongside Singapore Airlines. People will choose on price, quality and convenience for air travel just as they would for any other product.

The US airlines have fought every attempt at relaxing the rules on foreign ownership. What are they afraid of? Europe jphas offered the US. free access to the European Market, but the US airlines are opposed. They are protecting their monopoly.
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Old May 17, 2011, 9:17 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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yes competition will reduce prices as they compete against each other until levels where there will be no profit created, but when there is regulation involved the prices will have to go up to cover costs elsewhere, if they say you cant charge $25 to check a bag in then they will just add that to the ticket price as that helps cover the costs, and for those who dont carry check in bags that is an extra $25 they have to pay, regulation in some instances will increase the price of the good or service

what i meant by lack of aircraft was it takes time for the actual planes to be made and at the moment there isn't the supply of planes that would meet that demand unless they use older planes which will have more maintenance issues and then competition would be thrown out of the window as people wouldnt want to fly that airline for that route, boeing and airbus are backed up and other airplane manufacturers may not meet the standards or demand of the airline

the logistics of the BA flight from EWR/JFK to LAX doesn't make much sense, that is why they have a LHR to LAX flight, otherwise they might as well set up a second airline like virgin america and hence they would need more planes to fly which there may not be in supply of or they would have to cut back elsewhere

the idea is good but it isn't possible
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Old May 18, 2011, 12:34 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Mars... I am not sure you really are getting this. BA specifically cited the NY to LAX route in their model to DOT as an example. Virgin America was initially refused a license because they were not considered to meet the foreign ownership rules.

The rules relating to baggage really have nothing to do with this, and
I don't necessarily advocate banning airlines from charging for each element, I argue it should be regulated, NOT price controlled. For example, I would require all airlines to advertise the total cost of a return ticket, with one bag, including all charges. This way consumers can compare like for like. There is no reason why this should lead to higher prices. On the contrary, fair competition would reduce them.

The Market may expand, but not necessarily get significantly larger. Therefore, the number of planes wouldn't necessarily increase. For example, if Lufthansa bought Alaska Airlines.

You seem devoted to the idea that the Market will not work for airlines. I have no idea why you think this...but your arguments don't support your position.
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