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August 29, 2007

Flying "A La Carte" « For Jeremy Gilby »

Bargain-rate flying.

Q: Your business model also requires passengers to pay for any extras—drinks, blankets—piecemeal. Will consumers go for that? A: They were paying for it before! Those were never free. Why should you be made to pay for all those sodas and blankets that other people use that you don't?

Q: You're even charging for checked luggage, $5 a bag.
A: If you don't check a bag, why should you pay for those who do? We make our prices very clear, so we've had very few complaints. If you pay $80 for a Skybus flight instead of $180 for the competitor's flight, and you pay $5 for a bag and $2 for a soda, that's $87 versus $180. America can do that much math.

I, indeed, can do the math.

And I like the idea, basically. I could pack lighter to save money. I agree that it is often transfers and the hub system are HUGE parts of what makes flying so expensive and such a hassle, and this airline will try to avoid them. Basically taking the best of Southwest Airlines' model, and going farther.

One thing that gives me pause is that I'd want to see a sufficiently-long safety track record, first. I'd hate to assume that an airline that cuts corners on service to lower costs might also cut corners on maintenance... But I'd also hate to pay for a $40 savings with my life.

We'll see how it goes. Southwest Airlines has an excellent safety record.

Posted by Nathan at 08:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The one question I'm asking: Where do they fly?

ATA is another low-rate airline. My sister called it "Survivor Air"

Posted by: Jeremy at August 30, 2007 03:06 AM

My concern is the same as Jeremy's. When I first heard about this company several months ago, I was really excited. Perusal of their website reflected I could get from the "Seattle area" to Ohio for $50, and I figured I could get a rental car and drive from Ohio to Ky. For the "getting there" portion, I could either spend one day driving or hop a prop to SeaTac. Well, turns out they fly out of Bellingham, which would add hours to my drive, as it is nowhere near Seattle. :(

Oh well, it's an awesome option for those who live near the airports they fly out of.

Posted by: Jo at August 30, 2007 05:01 AM

Southwest keeps an outstanding safety record because they fly only one type of airplane (737's). Pilots only have to be trained for one type, mechanics only have to work on one type, and all spare parts are for only one type. Cuts down on costs, too.

AirTran seems to be another reliable, safe budget airline. Since the debacle of their ValueJet days they've dramatically cleaned up their act with new management, new airplanes, new attitudes, and a new name.

Posted by: diamond dave at September 3, 2007 06:32 AM