Flight Blog

Jun 17 2011 Status of Delta in Springfield? BY sgf-adminTAGS Delta

 

Tim writes with a question: "Are there any plans to bring back flights from Springfield to Detroit or Minneapolis?  Also, I am having more difficulty planning trips for a timely arrival beginning in August.  Please tell me Delta is not cutting back flights to/from Memphis or Atlanta. Further, are there any plans to add New York City?"

Delta tells us that it’s extremely unlikely that flights to Detroit and Minneapolis will return to Springfield. From the airline’s point-of-view, there wasn’t enough demand. There is the remote chance that Minneapolis could return in the future as seasonal service (spring through late summer). But two things would have to happen first: 1) there would have to be a marked upturn in the economy, and 2) the price of fuel would have to go way down.

As for Memphis, we believe that service will continue because it is making money for the airline. That being said, Delta is paring back its hub operations in Memphis, so there’s always the chance that the airline could reduce or eliminate the service.

Atlanta is safe and sound. The SGF-ATL route is a money maker and Delta added an Atlanta flight on June 9, so we now have four a day.

New York City is not in the cards in the foreseeable future. It’s more profitable for the airlines to connect an Springfield passenger to New York through a hub, such as Chicago O'Hare.

 


 

As a whole, American journalism has a huge bias against the airline industry. Think about it. Remember the last story you saw or read about airline fees? Was the airline side of the story told? Almost certainly not. From the media perspective airlines wear a black hat and passengers wear a white hat. So it was a big surprise today to read a story told from the airlines' point-of-view...

"To fly someone from New York to Los Angeles and back, airlines spend close to $330 these days -- just on fuel. That's a 48 percent increase from last year and the main reason vacationers face record costs to fly this summer." Read the rest of the story from Bloomberg Business Week.

 


May 11 2011 Airline Customer Service BY sgf-adminTAGS Customer Service

 

Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott has a question to ask: "Can your business learn anything from the airline industry’s customer service philosophy? Why, yes." Elliott's broad points are:

  1. If you have an oligopoly, service doesn’t really matter.
  2. Treat your best customers like royalty; the rest are irrelevant.
  3. Tell them you’re “transparent” – whatever that means.
  4. When you’re profitable, take the credit; when you’re not, blame your customers.
  5. Make your customers think they asked for all of this.

At first I thought he was just being snarky, but he's got a point. Read the rest of column here.

 


May 06 2011 Allegiant Expansion Plans BY sgf-adminTAGS Allegiant

 

The head man at Allegiant, Andrew Levy, is publicly talking about his airline's expansion plans. According to Aviation Week, "Allegiant Air expects to be offering service to Mexico and Canada within two years, the president of the airline’s parent company says, and it could end up offering some service to the northern part of South America as well."

Any expansion outside the continental United States will rely heavily on the airline's recent purchase of several Boeing 757s. Initially, Allegiant said it planned to use the 757s to provide service to Hawaii. That move has been delayed by several regulatory issues, including the federal certification needed to fly the planes over water for long periods of time.

Flying to international destinations presents its own unique challenges — one of the biggest is U.S. Customs. To get its customers back to the United States, Allegiant will have to bring them to a U.S. airport with a Customs' office that's staffed and equipped to process a large number of people. That sounds easy, but here's the catch... Most of the small U.S. cities served by Allegiant do not have a large Customs' office. Springfield falls into this category. Our Customs' office is generally staffed by one person. They spend most of their time processing cargo.