Monday, July 5, 2010

Low Cost Airlines Can Be A Pleasant Airline Experience


Born in the post airline deregulation era, most low cost carriers have taken a different approach to meeting passengers air travel demands.

As long as you are aware of what to expect you can still have a pleasant airline experience.


AirlineDeregulationAct Prior to airline deregulation (1978), government control over air fares allowed legacy carriers like Delta and American to sell higher priced tickets. In return, the airlines were almost guaranteed to cover there operating costs while providing their customers a comfortable level of service.




BraniffInternational001 Hot meals, pillows, blankets and in-flight movies were the norm of the day.

Entry of new airlines soon begin to reshape the industry as low airfares became the driving force behind acquiring customers. With government help and the infrastructure already in place because of many of the legacy carriers, a run away train had left the station.




JETBLUE TURNS FIVE; <br />TAKES DELIVERY OF 71ST AIRBUS A320<br />New York, NY (February 11, 2005) – JetBlue Airways [NASDAQ: JBLU] today turned five.  The airline commenced service at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 11, 2000, with a ceremonial flight to Buffalo, NY, and back before taking its first commercial flight to Fort Lauderdale, FL, later that day.  Five years later, JetBlue is the largest airline at JFK and ranked as a “major” airline by the US Department of Transportation, having achieved annual revenues of more than a billion dollars.<br /><br />To mark the occasion, David Neeleman, JetBlue’s Chairman and CEO, and Dave Barger, President and COO, hosted an event for JetBlue crewmembers and customers to greet the arrival of the airline’s 71st Airbus A320 aircraft, debuting the fleet’s seventh tail fin design, Mosaic.  Earlier in the day, the airline gave away 500 free tickets throughout New York City’s five boroughs to support the charity City Harvest.  Ticket seekers had to dress as their favorite JetBlue destination and bring canned goods for the charity.<br /> Spirit Airlines, Air Tran, Jet Blue, Southwest and a few others are all aboard that train. Some have handled the customer service aspect of the business well while others have not.





frustrated%20man2 Although it is surprising to me that passengers seem confused and frustrated by lack of customer service while at the same time demanding lower airfares.





Map-quest tells me from Ft. Lauderdale Airport (FLL) to Atlanta Hartsfield (ATL) is 645 miles. For $120 in fuel cost I can make the round trip in 20 hours with non stop driving.

On Spirit I can make the same round trip in 4 hours for $198. An initial $78 difference not counting additional driving cost like tolls or other incidentals.

With only a 2 hour flight I can easily endure any creature discomfort compared to 10 hours non stop in a car.


NK47 This is one benefit of Spirit Airlines, low fares in markets where they can operate without certain customer service amenities being a priority.




For a customer with business in Atlanta for the day or Miami Dolphins fans going to the Georgia Dome to cheer on “The Fins”, this can be an ideal situation. Sure the seats are cramped and there are no hot meals, pillows, blankets or in-flight movies.


alg_luggage In addition, beginning sometime in August, Spirit Airlines will start charging up to $45 for carry on luggage. When first announced this caused an uproar. I do not think it is necessarily a bad policy as you will still be allowed to have one carry on that must fit under your seat.



Your awareness of these situations and limitations before you purchase your tickets will allow you to have a pleasant airline experience on Spirit or any other low cost carrier.


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