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Emirates Air president blasts US airlines (funny stuff)

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Kickin, May 14, 2015.

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  1. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I like this guy. Here's a lengthy interview with the president of Emirates Air, Tim Clark, where he has some choice words for US airlines and how shitty they are. http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/emirates-president-refocuses-on-war-of-words-with-us-airlines#full

    I've been comparing our airlines to Greyhound buses for years, I feel like this dude stole the line from me:

    Excerpt:
    “And they were blind to standards in their own market as well. Have you been on a US domestic flight? It’s like travelling with a low-cost bus company. The terminals are full of frightened people sitting on the floors because they’ve no facilities, being shouted at by airline agents and cabin crew who are stressed themselves because of the working conditions.

    “No wonder that the three airlines accusing us figure regularly in the list of the most-hated companies in America.”
     
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    he's right though.

    coach has become what steerage was back on the old steamships.

    domestic first class is what coach was 15 years ago.

    and the only thing up from there is private, which is 10-20x as expensive.

    I would think there's real room in the market for some higher class domestic airlines

    flying smaller planes all decked out and treating people decently.
     
  3. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    He's dead nuts right.

    And I agree, shifter, if an airline started that catered less to the steerage aspect and more to the comfort aspect not only would I seek them out I'd invest in them.

    It's flat out ridiculous that the airlines are putting more seats in coach! As if the cabins aren't cramped enough. The U.S. airlines blow. They've reduced just about every they can cut back on. And they keep ramping up the fees and nickel and dime people to death.

    FF programs have been ground down into nubs too. Elite benefits are sold now. Get a credit card and it allows some perks that a loyal customer used to get.

    So yeah if an airline popped up with 2x2 seating throughout the cabin along with real amenities I'd break my leg running to buy tickets to fly them.
     
  4. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    There were a couple airlines that tried the all higher-end model and went belly-up really fast. I remember EOS and Maxjet. I don't remember the details though.
     
  5. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    This was tried a couple of years ago, Maxjet? Maybe it's time to try it again. I recently heard about an all business class airline with service between Paris and Newark.

    A great article, though.
     
  6. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    Yeah the problem is getting off the ground.

    Not enough routes means you lose out on potential customers.

    Plus the big airlines are like a mafia where they control the gates at their airports and they are disinclined to allow newcomers entry.
     
  7. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    I get annoyed because the only airline offering direct, nonstop service from Newark to Vegas is United and I have to pay extra to get enough leg room on their flights to prevent myself from getting a blood clot. I hate that I have to pay for the first checked bag (so I'm trying to get away with just using a carry-on this summer) and I hate that I now have to pay for a crappy meal that used to be complimentary. My brother lives in Japan and he's become so accustomed to Japanese airline service that he was completely shocked when he flew domestic on his last visit home.
     
  8. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I respectfully disagree... I believe the population segment that rolls in your league is far less than one might think and certainly less than would be needed to keep a high-end airline afloat. The american consumer = champagne tastes on a beer budget for the most part. Do you folks not see the threads on here about people booking and rebooking several times to save $10 on a flight?
     
  9. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Well said. People don't want to shell out a penny more than they have to. The sorry state of domestic air travel is our own fault for voting for the cheapest carrier with our wallets.

    I fly business/first class on overseas flights for work. United and Emirates costs about the same but the service is night and day. The United crew is sour and doesn't make you feel welcome. They just do their jobs. The Emirates crew was super nice and helpful and had a warmth to them. I ran into an Emirates crew at a hotel in Japan and they were just as nice in the hotel lobby waiting to check in to the hotel as they were on the plane. Just happy people in general.

    The Chinese domestic airlines are a lot like the American airlines. So, it's not just us.
     
  10. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    I don't recall them but I'll read up on them.

    True. It would have to start out in business heavy routes like SFO-JFK/LGA/EWR/IAH/ORD/LAX and then gradually branch out to London and the Far East. It would also need some heavy backers to withstand the early losses.

    But you're very right about the legacy airlines having a chokehold on the gates and whatnot here. They fear competition and if they had their ways they'd keep swallowing each other up in mergers until there were zero competitors left.


    Middle eastern, Far East and European airlines blow the domestic product out of the water. It's bad enough to deal with EWR but to have the product be crap too takes the enjoyment out of travel.


    You're totally right that there would still be the people who will cut throats over a couple bucks. But I do believe that if there were such an airline now that it would gain support because enough people with the desire to not be herded into a metal tube like farm animals would pay for it.

    For example my flight to LAS in July from IAH in first is pricing out at $800 right now. That's $150 higher than I've normally paid . And this is on United in an A320 or B739/738/757. Stale domestic first class. If the fare were $1000-1100 on a newer airline with great service and a comfortable environment I'd pay it without second thought.

    And I don't fault people for trying to find the best deals (within reason) on flights. The prices shouldn't keep someone from going on a vacation or having to take a loan out to go home if a loved one dies. The problem is they keep jacking the fares up and the product gets worse.

    Anyways I'd love to see it and it would take a monumental effort to get it off the ground literally and figuratively. Not just because of the need for gates and landing slots but hiring the pilots and flight attendants too.
     
  11. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Know who else had exceptional service? AeroMexico.

    Their planes weren't the best but I'll be damn if the FAs and pilots were totally opposite of most of their U.S counterparts
     
  12. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    Yep - I agree we've created our own monsters with American air services. We prioritize saving money first - then complain and moan about the results. I find myself doing the same thing.

    The best I've ever experienced flying was on Singapore Airlines and Emirates Airlines. Even coach service was outstanding - right up there with what our "first class" would be in America.

    Bill
     
  13. scottydoog

    scottydoog Low-Roller

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    I fly every month on Emirates, I am a silver FF and have a 50% strike rate at upgrades to C, but even in Y, EK is better than some US so called 1st class. I have memories of flying Eastern airways in the early 80,s and cant remember it being nearly as bad as it is today on equivalent airlines. Luckily I dont fly that often on US domestic, I fly to LAS direct from LGW/LHR.
     
  14. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    I fly virtually every week for work, 90% domestic. Just on Delta alone I have 2.7 Million miles lifetime. I was probably way over a half million on US Air in the 1980's because I didn't know any better, then I went down an emergency chute. Exit that crappy airline. All told I have over 3 million actual flight miles experience.

    Bottom line: US airlines suck for many reasons. The tickets are cheaper today than the 1980's. Back then I remember paying $800 from Hartford to LA. I can get to Hartford to LA for that or less and inflation has gone up how much???? I'm not an economist (obviously, I go to Vegas!) but when you factor in inflation, labor cost, material costs we are traveling for about 1/3 of what we were back then and doing so way more efficiently.

    The WSJ had stats on the airlines yesterday. Delta was number one for on time flights followed by American, United and in last place Southwest. As far as lost bags, again Delta was number one followed by United, American and in last place Southwest. Hmmm... See a trend?

    Airlines that try to cut costs also cut service yet in most surveys for some reason Southwest comes out on top for customer satisfaction.

    Abuse is better than neglect I guess. "Thank you sir, may I have another!"

    Air travel is a convenient, safe, inexpensive, uncomfortable mode of mass transit. It exists at the price point it does because probably the majority of people on a plane are there because of business travel, not leisure, and the fares are in line with what the IRS will allow. The pressure to compete on a global level and be responsible to shareholders means almost everyone gets a Coach seat and the few lucky very frequent travelers get an upgrade. Many of the perks are gone but do you really miss the rubber chicken they served between BOS and DCA? I don't.

    The world of air travel has changed dramatically, 9/11 had much to do with that. It isn't going back. No luxury airline would survive more than six months, they'd be laughed out of the U.S. Market.

    There may be one more consolidation left. Alaska Air is a superb airline that code shares with Delta...
     
  15. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Good post, piggy.

    I too find it funny how the customer satisfaction surveys are opposite the hard data of airline performance.

    An aside - maybe the concept of a new airline wouldn't work but if one of the big boys decided to not cram as many seats in a plane as they could and actually took some out? It'd be an exclusive product, kinda like the Concorde was, but it would give people options.
     
  16. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Customer satisfaction is largely based on how people are treated. If Delta lost my bag and were jerks about it, I'd say those jerks lost my bag. If SW lost my bag but were apologetic and reassuring and seemed to actually care about me, I'd say they made a mistake but are taking responsibility for it.

    People prefer warmth with a little incompetence vs cold efficiency.
     
  17. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    The airlines did do experiments in the early 2000's and it failed. When Southwest emerged as a powerhouse United started Ted and Delta had Song. I never flew Ted but Song was awful! It was supposed to be a fun, discount version of Delta. They took out all the First Class seats on 757's, painted the interiors hideous electric blue and vomit green and made the flight attendants "playful". I had one of them address me as "buddy". Unless I personally know you you're not my bud and I wasn't the only one offended. The female flight attendants were crossing the customer service professionalism line too. I made many calls to Delta about this, eventually they lost a couple hundred million and cancelled the effort.

    Simply put its called inertia. The old "objects at rest tend to stay at rest, objects in motion tend to stay in motion." Why do you drink your coffee (insert black, cream only, ten sugars, ten creams, etc here - dude at Dunkins actually ordered a coffee like that once in front of me!) every day or buy a (insert Ford, Toyota, BMW, etc) or vote (insert political party) every time? We are creatures of habit. Sheeple. We know things have negative consequences (Southwest on time performance, baggage handling, ATL during thunderstorm season, MSP during snowstorm, etc) yet we still continue to do them thinking we are making the best choice. My favorite Yogi Berra line is " when you come to a fork in the road, take it". Well, we do, and we're all convinced we've made an educated choice.

    Consider those who choose to fly Spirit Airlines. They too get to Las Vegas but are repeatedly up charged every step of the way for every action the airline takes and then have to suffer extremely uncomfortable seats. All to save $100 on a trip, which goes in a flash in Vegas. But that is a choice many make and if it's a once a year trip I guess it's not so bad. If it's a family of five traveling well that can be a significant amount of money, maybe the difference to traveling or not for them.

    I take mild offense when rich Middle Eastern Airline Executives criticize the U.S. Our government doesn't subsidize our airlines, they compete in a free market. They have their flaws but we have choices, many choices, and the rights to go on public forums like this to complain when things go wrong and praise when things go right. And the ability to disagree with each other!
     
  18. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    That's pretty much what Midwest Airlines was. Every plane had 2 across wide leather seats. Every seat. Meals (no charge) were served on china. You had steak, shrimp, etc... Free unlimited wine and champagne for the duration of the flight. They baked chocolate chip cookies during the flight, those were also free. Their fares were no higher than the majors. They tried not to grow too fast, they expanded slowly over 20+ years but unfortunately the latest recession was too much and they had to sell to Republic, which merged them with Frontier. Frontier sucked up the assets and that was the end of it. They almost merged with AirTran but that fell through. I guess that wouldn't have mattered since Airtran was sucked up by SWA.

    Southwest swopped in and filled the void when Midwest went under and overall they've done a good job. But it's not the same.
     
  19. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    I just love the fact that he's a corporate executive who doesn't speak corporate bs as his main language. He's speaking very plainly, very bluntly, no PR filters, no bs filters, just the way it is. Wouldn't it be wonderful if polite but plain speech came back into fashion in the corporate world?
     
  20. TheCooler

    TheCooler Professional Gambler and the Best Football Handica

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    I understand that there are people who choose to fly Spirit. There are also people who choose to stay at Excalibur. Both of which are lost cost options, but there is a difference. Low cost should not mean poor service, which is what we get on domestic carriers at any price point.
     
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