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  1. #16
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    When I got the email from American this morning outlining the new changes, it made me rethink my Western Flyers. I have two, original Nordic dyneema and a ballistic one. I love my A30 and use it for almost every trip, so I had been debating destashing the two WFs. Now I will definitely hold on to them since this seems to be the direction the airlines are going. I fly a lot of Southwest but there are times when I do fly American, Delta, and United.

    I believe Darcy said the Western Flyer would be retired possibly this year. So I am wondering if a new TB design will be introduced to fill this need.

  2. #17
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    I keep thinking that at some point people will refuse the increasing indignities of the experience of flying, but that never seems to happen....

  3. #18
    Forum Member bouncing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Nobody is forcing anyone to buy this kind of ticket?
    While I might otherwise agree with your "buyer beware" sentiment, the concern I have is that comparison shopping has become virtually impossible.

    For example, right now, I'm going to go to Kayak.com and try for Houston-Chicago next Thursday.

    The *cheapest option* is Spirit Airlines at $72. Just past that is Delta at $99. On paper, Delta is about 30% more expensive, which is quite a remarkable price difference. As a frequent traveler, I live by an ethos of packing light, planning ahead, and never ever flying Spirit for any reason ever. A less savvy traveler might see that price difference and be blind-sighted with at least $55 on travel day -- $45 to carry-on a bag, $10 to print a boarding pass, and whatever Spirit imagines up. That's without pricing in the emotional distress of flying Spirit.

    So Spirit is basically preying on the uninformed. I've only in my life met someone who intentionally flew Spirit, knowing what he was getting into. Every other experience has been that of a disposable customer who flies Spirit once, learns his lesson, and says "never again."

    As mainline airlines like United adopt Spirit's standards, comparison shopping gets much more complex. And ultimately, that is the point. United, Delta, etc aren't doing this to offer "more choice" to consumers. They're doing it to appear to have a lower price on comparison sights.

    EDITED: I mistakenly thought Spirit's bag fee was only $35 day of. Hahah, silly me.
    Last edited by bouncing; 01-18-2017 at 01:38 PM.

  4. #19
    Forum Member sujo's Avatar
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    Though not directly on topic, I think this is sort of relevant to this thread.

    A recent was the first time I had ever experienced the boarding staff enforce (to a point) baggage size. I was flying United from Dulles to Chicago. The plane was a 737-900ER and the flight was not full. However, the boarding staff announced that carry-on had to fit the sizer or the bag would be checked. I saw them call out at least two people. And sure enough, the bags did not fit and they were checked.

    I wonder if more airlines will begin enforcing this more?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sujo View Post
    Though not directly on topic, I think this is sort of relevant to this thread.

    A recent was the first time I had ever experienced the boarding staff enforce (to a point) baggage size. I was flying United from Dulles to Chicago. The plane was a 737-900ER and the flight was not full. However, the boarding staff announced that carry-on had to fit the sizer or the bag would be checked. I saw them call out at least two people. And sure enough, the bags did not fit and they were checked.

    I wonder if more airlines will begin enforcing this more?
    I think it might be because the flight was not full that they did this. Back when I flew regularly, it seemed the full (and typically oversold) flights kept the gate agent's hands full and they didn't have time to look around for oversized bags. Not full flights gave the gate agents more of a breather, so they were able to monitor things like bags.

    Back to the on topic, (sort of) I haven't flown since Delta and them have implemented their new fare class, but my company has one of those "lowest available fare" policies. It might not be too bad the way we used to book, by contacting a travel department, because then we can negotiate with our in house Travel Advisers various rate combinations. But from what I hear, people who request travel now do it through an automated system, that won't let you book anything outside the corporate policy. I'm afraid to see what kind of fares I'm going to end up when I do end up back on the road.

  6. #21
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnleftbrighteyes View Post
    The interesting tidbit is that the size of the allowed 'personal item' on AA will be 18 x 14 x 8 in., and new sizers are apparently coming to the gate to check that size. The Western Flyer should fit easily. The Yeoman Mini Duffel just fits. But the Night Flight-- the cutest, most diminutive underseat bag that ever was!-- is technically too big. Seriously, AA?!? (I mean, I don't ever plan on buying these fares, but the idea that the Night Flight is too big is just crazy.)
    Note: Night Flight was designed / built to the 17 x 10 x 9 specification published by United. That 1" difference in height for a soft bag is negligible: it should fit in the sizer at the gate just fine.
    Current Carry: The Hero's Journey, Skookum Dog Citizen Canine, Founder's Briefcase, Synapse 19 (day hikes), Guide's Pack (longer day hikes), Yeoman Duffel (winter/emergency stuff for the car), Aeronaut 30 (travel), Night Flight Travel Duffel (camera bag), Moveable Feast + Shop Bags (food)

  7. #22
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Basic basic economy

    Excuse my ignorance, does anyone know when this Basic Fare service will actually start? When I look in the United app, I can't select a fare called basic economy. I just recently booked a trip on United and my fare class is designated United Economy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #23
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    All I can find out is that it is coming soon and that they are tested it out first at the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kajikaiko View Post
    All I can find out is that it is coming soon and that they are tested it out first at the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub.
    @Pokilani, @kajikaiko,

    A web search brought up this USA Today article:

    United Airlines hopes to debut its Basic Economy fares in Minneapolis and they could go on sale as soon as the first quarter of this year, according to company president Scott Kirby.

    “We’re still working through the final – making sure everything is done, everything works right,” Kirby told reporters on a quarterly earnings call Wednesday. “Coming soon.”

    Minneapolis/St. Paul was chosen because United's flights from there connect to the rest its hubs. And workers there are familiar with rolling out new products, Kirby said.

    “We’re going to roll it out there to make sure everything works,” he said.

    Minneapolis/St. Paul is also an airport that has seen recent expansions by “ultra low-cost” rivals that Basic Economy fares were designed to compete against. In particular, Spirit has ramped up its presence in Minneapolis in recent years. It now offers at least seasonal service to more than a dozen destinations from the airport. Also of note: Delta, the first big airline to roll out Basic Economy fares, operates a major hub at Minneapolis.

    As for United, once its Basic Economy fares debut at Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kirby said they’ll likely expand to the rest of United's domestic system and to its Caribbean flights. They also could wind up on long-haul flights after that, though Kirby said that remains to be seen.

    “We expect to have it in the rest of the domestic system in not too distant system,” Kirby said. “We don’t have a plan one way or another on that (long-haul flights). We expect to get it rolled out across the entire domestic and near-haul international system not too long after we launch it, assuming it’s going well.”

    Flight attendants won’t be expected to police what passengers put in the overhead bins. United hopes to catch most of the larger carry-on bags at check-in, but then would charge a baggage fee and a service fee for checking at the gate.

    “That’s absolutely true that we’re not going to ask flight attendants to monitor,” Kirby said. “What we’ll do is collect the bags, the size of carry-on bags like a rollerboard, we will collect those at the gate.”

    “We think we’ll be able to get the bags at the lobby,” he added. “They won’t be on the airplane with the bag. There’s nothing for the flight attendant to monitor.

    But if a Basic Economy passenger puts a small personal item in the overhead bin – one that would otherwise fit under the seat in front – Kirby said that’s how it goes.

    “We’re not going to ask the flight attendants to monitor anything,” he said.

    United expects to generate $250 million this year from seat segmentation such as Basic Economy, $500 million next year and $1 billion by 2020.

    “This year it’s mostly about Basic Economy. But moving forward it’s also about having Premium Economy,” Kirby said. “Once you’ve got more products, I think you’ll have more customers buy – actually pay for – first-class tickets because they’ve got the option of Basic Economy, main cabin, Premium Economy, first class. The first-class price now looks a whole lot more like Premium Economy.

    “There’s a bunch involved in our number that’s not just Basic Economy," he added.

    United became the second of the USA’s three big airlines to confirm plans for a Basic Economy fare. Delta was first, making the fares permanent after experimenting with them mid-decade. And, on Wednesday (Jan. 18), American formally unveiled its long-expected plan to sell Basic Economy fares.

    American latest to add 'Basic Economy,' carry-on restrictions

    American’s Basic Economy restrictions closely mirror those enacted by United, including a restriction that limits Basic Economy fliers only to a carry-on that can fit underneath the seat in front of them. Bags that must be stowed in overhead bins will not be allowed, and fliers will be asked to check them – and pay the related fees – if they bring them to the gate.

    The new Basic Economy fares now in place at the USA's three biggest airlines have been developed as a weapon to battle a new breed of budget carriers rapidly expanding at major hubs.

    Those airlines – notably “ultra low-cost carriers” such as Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant – are known for charging rock-bottom base fares but adding fees for everything from seat assignments to water. They also charge a fee for using their overhead bins. But, even with their fee-heavy structures, those budget outfits often compare favorably to major "full-service" airlines in online fare searches.

    The bigger airlines view the new Basic Economy fares as something that can help them combat that in an age where many customers will simply book on an airline with a cheaper fare – even the savings is as little as $1.
    I've excerpted the text, in case the link stops working, but you should try to read the original article, because some of the text contains links to other pages.

    Source: "United: Basic Economy fares will start soon in Minneapolis" Bart Jansen, USA TODAY Published 1:22 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2017 | Updated 1:43 p.m. ET Jan. 18, 2017

    HTH

    moriond

  10. #25
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, @moriond!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #26
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    Flight attendants won’t be expected to police what passengers put in the overhead bins. United hopes to catch most of the larger carry-on bags at check-in, but then would charge a baggage fee and a service fee for checking at the gate.

    “That’s absolutely true that we’re not going to ask flight attendants to monitor,” Kirby said. “What we’ll do is collect the bags, the size of carry-on bags like a rollerboard, we will collect those at the gate.”

    “We think we’ll be able to get the bags at the lobby,” he added. “They won’t be on the airplane with the bag. There’s nothing for the flight attendant to monitor.

    But if a Basic Economy passenger puts a small personal item in the overhead bin – one that would otherwise fit under the seat in front – Kirby said that’s how it goes.

    “We’re not going to ask the flight attendants to monitor anything,” he said.
    So, really, nothing is changing then. It's my belief that people who choose these ultra low fairs (whether by corporate policy or just as a way for a cheaper vacation) will also most likely try to avoid checked baggage fees by doing all carry-on with a 1+1. They're not going to catch large carry-ons at checkin if the person doesn't have luggage to check in.

    For that matter, quite often the person might even be completely unaware they're not allowed to be bringing a normal sized carry-on. I just ran a couple of tests for Detroit-Orlando the week of March break for a family of 4 on Delta, Kayak and Expedia. Not one of them showed me any information about potential extra fees or baggage restrictions without clicking into some kind of link about the fare rules. So, really, the people who fly only periodically, like once every few years kind of periodically, are probably going to be blindsided by this.

  12. #27
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I think it stinks. I'd be more annoyed over not being allowed to choose a seat (and consequently getting a middle one), than over the lack of overhead bin space. Also, if you pay to check a bag, my understanding is that on this kind of ticket you actually get charged double on some airlines. So I wonder how much money is saved.
    I wouldn't consciously choose one of these fares, but for business travel, you don't always get a choice, and as mentioned, some people will grab the tickets from a search engine without knowing the conditions.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 01-20-2017 at 06:35 AM.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  13. #28
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    Well, I wanted to try out the Spirit sizer on the way to my flight today, since its requirement of 18x14x8 inches seems to be very common among budget airlines. However, after testing it and snapping a photo I realized that it is actually 16x14x12, and the size will change to 18x14x8 on Apr. 4 of this year. So it wasn't such a useful exercise.

    Nevertheless, here is my full-to-bursting Smart Alec. It looks like it is too tall, but that's actually empty space and it smushes down just fine. Even the worker there said it was perfect.

    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
    So, really, the people who fly only periodically, like once every few years kind of periodically, are probably going to be blindsided by this.
    Good test, @Kaadk. I bet LOTS of flyers will get caught out and incur significant fees.

    Seems to me that, in offering fickle new fare classes, both the airlines and the search engines should have a duty to make the baggage rules both prominent and easy to understand. (Heck, the search engines could even see it as a business opportunity to offer more comprehensive comparison tools that combine fares and baggage fees.)

  15. #30
    Forum Member DeBru's Avatar
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    Looks good @bchaplin! I wonder how a Brain Bag would do if you tightened the straps to make it narrower?
    current EDC- Black Ballistic Travel Cubelet with an Orange 152 COW. I have MANY pouches... My goal is 1 in every color 好的朋友

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