April 2008 – 4 Airlines Killed and Counting

Wow, what a month and it isn’t even over yet. Four airlines cease operations and one files for Chapter 11. So far we’ve seen Aloha, ATA, Skybus and most recently, EOS, all stop flying in the last month. We’ve also seen Frontier Airlines, one of the highest quality US airlines, file for Chapter 11. So what does all this mean to you?

  1. Aside from large cash reserves, little can defend against an era of $100+ oil.
  2. Innovative airline models seem even more susceptible. All first class (EOS/MaxJet), bare-bones coach (Skybus/ATA), and even geographically protected (Aloha) airlines are taken down without sympathy.
  3. Fewer brands mean less capacity, thus generally increasing prices and creating less frequent flier availability.

While overall this isn’t great news, things could be a whole lot worse:

  1. With the Delta and Northwest merger on the horizon, we’ll know it short order (before the presidential election) if it is approved. It’s not a done deal, particularly given a ticking clock on the remaining days of a known, merger-friendly, administration.
  2. With a softening economy, bookings, particularly on international routes, may not come in as robust as previously expected. This could mean slightly lower prices for summer travel.
  3. Your miles are generally safe unless you are vested on one of the smaller airlines.

Finally, many thanks to the great folks out there who are telling the world about InsideTrip. Our passion is all about showing the same prices as the other guys but giving unrivaled quality insight to help people make the most intelligent travel choices. Special kudos to Aseem Kishore at On-Line-Tech-Tips.com and Lisa Marie Mercer at Flyaway-Weblog.com for their postings and for reaching out to say hello.

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2 Responses

  1. […] insight to help people make the most intelligent travel choices.? Special kudos to Aseem Kishore at http://blog.insidetrip.com/2008/04/28/april-2008-4-airlines-killed-and-counting/Cheap tricks for summer travel USA TodayWith the dollar tanking abroad and gas, lodging and flight […]

  2. Not only do they hate their customers, but they hate their own employees.

    When they say 45 minutes, they mean 45 minutes. They close the flight and put you on standby for the next flight. The lady at the check-in counter was having a bad day already at 6:30AM. She was rude and in a bad mood.

    Even though I made it to the gate with 15 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave, I was denied boarding along with an employee and his family. The employee had some of his family aboard, but the best the gate crew offered was to get a message to them advising that their family had been left behind 15 minutes prior to departure.

    The sweaty gate agent’s response was that “he wasn’t going to have a ramp delay”. This tells me that Frontier Airlines has given him improper incentive. Their ‘on-time’ departure, which is often missed (at least 5% of the time), is more important than customer satisfaction. The employee who was left behind was complaining loudly to his family and stated that “Even though I work for Frontier, I never fly them. This is why”. He went on, but I won’t belabor the details here. The gate agents wouldn’t let the employee and his family pass.

    As for Frontier Airlines’ gate crew: I can tolerate ignorant people and I can tolerate rude people, combine the two with a dash of apathy and you have a intolerable result.

    Frontier Airlines’ customer service is in the red as are their books. It’s too bad that the toxicity is increasing throughout their organization. I used to like Frontier, but I am done with them. I wish I had paid the extra $100 for the United Airlines flight. Even though they’re not perfect, at least they suck less.

    The true measure of anything is performance when things go wrong. Frontier fell down this day.

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