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Backlash from "Fuel Conservation" cancellations

~~~^~~~

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Delta Airlines Says It Is Reducing Its Domestic Flight Schedule to Conserve Fuel


ATLANTA (AP) -- Delta Air Lines Inc., buffeted by high fuel costs in the wake of Katrina and Rita, said it is reducing its domestic flight schedule.
The Atlanta-based carrier isn't experiencing a shortage of jet fuel, but is conserving energy, it said.
Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly said it's impossible to say exactly how many flights will be reduced because it will depend on travel each day.

Wow, the response was darn near immediate.

Two of our clients (one a Fortune 100 Company) has just sent out e-mails cautioning against using Delta for travel on their accounts. It seems the arbitrary cancellation of Delta flights will not be tolerated by business travellers. LAX to ATL is getting at least one cancellation of a 767 per day - but no one can tell which flights are getting cancelled :(

This could not have come out at a better time for the manufacturer of Eclipse Jets and the other light business jets, or AirTran for that matter. Delta was called "unreliable" by one of the very largest purchasers of corporate travel in this Country.

I guess the choices out of Atlanta are AirTran and charter to where AirTran does not go. Jeesh, seems like Delta would stop trying to find ways to make enemies in the business world. If a huge customer like G.M., A.I.G., G.E., tells you to be at a meeting at 0900 to address their managers, you don't have the option of calling at 09:15 to tell them you are still in LA because Delta was not able to fill up their 767-300. Do that more than once in my business and your competitor will take your client away from you.

We have airplanes for our travel within 500 NM. Previously almost all of our longer distance travel was on Delta, usually on walk up fares. Several folks have been defecting to AirTran because they get upgraded to business class easier. This will only increase the momentum of business travellers away from "unreliable" Delta.
 
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bafanguy

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Well, maybe this is how they did it at Gucci...it just gets better and better, doesn't it ?
 

General Lee

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~~~^~~~ said:
Wow, the response was darn near immediate.

Two of our clients (one a Fortune 100 Company) has just sent out e-mails cautioning against using Delta for travel on their accounts. It seems the arbitrary cancellation of Delta flights will not be tolerated by business travellers. LAX to ATL is getting at least one cancellation of a 767 per day - but no one can tell which flights are getting cancelled :(

This could not have come out at a better time for the manufacturer of Eclipse Jets and the other light business jets, or AirTran for that matter. Delta was called "unreliable" by one of the very largest purchasers of corporate travel in this Country.

I guess the choices out of Atlanta are AirTran and charter to where AirTran does not go. Jeesh, seems like Delta would stop trying to find ways to make enemies in the business world. If a huge customer like G.M., A.I.G., G.E., tells you to be at a meeting at 0900 to address their managers, you don't have the option of calling at 09:15 to tell them you are still in LA because Delta was not able to fill up their 767-300. Do that more than once in my business and your competitor will take your client away from you.

We have airplanes for our travel within 500 NM. Previously almost all of our longer distance travel was on Delta, usually on walk up fares. Several folks have been defecting to AirTran because they get upgraded to business class easier. This will only increase the momentum of business travellers away from "unreliable" Delta.

Overkill there Fins. AA and other airlines are doing the same, and jet fuel prices prevent most middle managers from flying corporate. And when will those VLJ's come out in mass? Years. This flight cancellation deal is temporary during the slower SEP/OCT timeframe. AA started it too.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 
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~~~^~~~

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Michael, watch the DAL stock ticker news. Someone is bound to pick up this story as the day goes on. I'm not going to post a Client's Company memo on the FlightInfo web board.

None the less, it stands to reason that if you had an important meeting you needed your employees to attend which was costing your employer, say $25,000 in travel, hotels, food and billable hours you would not want them flying on a carrier with an "unreliable" schedule. By the same token, if you were that employee and you knew for sure you could get home on AirTran, but there was a decent chance your Delta flight would get cancelled, who would you choose?

The memos we got were cautionary - along the same lines as the memos we sometimes get involving travel to parts of the World they send us to anyway as soon as the memo was written. But, for those with concerns about Delta's reliability in bankruptcy, those fears are being confirmed that Delta, although cheap, can not be counted on.
 
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starchkr

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I thought the VLJ's begin service early first quarter next year???
 
F

fokkerjet

General Lee said:
AA and other airlines are doing the same, and jet fuel prices prevent most middle managers from flying corporate.

Bye Bye--General Lee

Keep thinking that; you're loss is my gain. Within our company, middle managers didn't really use our services before, but as you start cancelling flights to some of our key plants, I look for an increase in our passenger loads and cities pairs served. Remember, our fuel costs are very small in the grand scheme of things.
 
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General Lee

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fokkerjet said:
Keep thinking that; you're loss is my gain. Within our company, middle managers didn't really use our services before, but as you start cancelling flights to some of our key plants, I look for an increase in our passenger loads and cities pairs served. Remember, our fuel costs are very small in the grand scheme of things.

Hey, we average a dozen (12) flight cancellations a day out of thousands of flights. Easy there chief, stop drooling. Those flight cancellations are only temporary too, to get us through this slow season with unbelievable fuel costs. And your fuel costs are small? So is driving in an SUV to a plant 200 miles away, right? Wrong. Higher fuel hurts EVERYONE.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

~~~^~~~

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General:

At my previous job we "middle managers" were billed out between $75 and $225 an hour. This was a few years ago. Often we had to take attorneys on our trips with us at an average of $250 to $375 an hour. When you figure at least two hours are wasted on each leg with security and gate hassles it does not take long for simple hourly costs to add up to several thousand dollars.

The variable expense on our jet was $765 an hour. For trips in the Southeast we usually could realize a savings by flying our own jet if we had more than one person travelling to the same place. Also we could save time - rather than sitting with your neck stretched trying to discreetly discuss a deal in row 19 the jet allowed us to have a nice club seating arrangement, some room, a table, food and drink when we pleased not to mention the effect that it has on your client when you give them a ride in your jet.

Even today, with that same airplane probably costing $1,200 an hour we could save money, but the little business I'm a part of now cannot justify the 6 million acquisition cost and fixed expenses. But, we do each have our own aircraft for business trips (2 Bonanza's, a Saratoga, and a 421). We are probably an idea customer for a frax but AirTran seems to be working for the non-pilots in the office.

Our travel is last minute and it must happen when promised. I also moonlight as an airline pilot so it is necessary that I be home and rested in time to go to job #2. So, Delta's new policy if cancelling flights on an arbitrary basis if they don't have sufficient bookings is a deal breaker. We just can't rely on an airline we can't rely on.

I'm not a Delta detractor. Delta might have made the right choice for their business - but - we can not trust Delta to get us where we need to go when promised.
 
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AA717driver

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Perception is stronger than reality, General. If the travelling public "thinks" their flight "may" be cancelled they will book away.TC
 

General Lee

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AA717driver said:
Perception is stronger than reality, General. If the travelling public "thinks" their flight "may" be cancelled they will book away.TC

Sure, there is truth to that. AA started it. And, what about the Netjets guys sub-contracting their clients to other outfits because Netjet guys are pi$$ed about contract talks? Their business must be down too, right? Many airlines are doing this. I am sure it might be hurting advanced bookings for everyone.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

~~~^~~~

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General:

Your Priceline and Orbitz buyers probably will not know or care. Buyers like us who go straight to Delta.com and book by the destination and time are scrambling for other options. Once we find something else that works, we probably will not be back unless something happens with that option. Business people are busy and don't have time to be bothered with last minute interruptions to their travel schedule.

Weather and mechanical delays can be understood. Cancelling a flight because the airline put the wrong sized equipment on the route and no can't justify operating it is not acceptable.
 

DAL737FO

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General,

I have to agree with the other guys about this one. Our managers have made another very poor decision with this one. I know that the PR department is trying to do some damage control by putting out that they will try and call all passengers for a canceled flight atleast two days ahead of time but that doesn't make Joe traveling public feel any better when they need to get to a certain place at a certain time. We've modified out contract almost 50 times to fix management screw ups and each time we do they find another way to alienate our passengers.

DAL737FO
for now
 

MedFlyer

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General Lee said:
Sure, there is truth to that. AA started it.
Bye Bye--General Lee

There's a big difference between what AA announced and what DL announced.

AA announced specifically that certain flights were being cancelled in October. These flights were removed from reservations and can not be booked. AA even went as far as to announce the specific route pairings that were taking cuts.

DL isn't removing any flights. They are just telling people that at any given time they may cancel your flight if the load is light. There's no way to know if DL will cancel your flight until two days before hand.

With AA, you know in advance where the cuts are being made. With DL, it's a total surprise. Business people don't like surprises.
 

General Lee

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Are you sure it is a total surprise? I was told they call them two days in advance and they only cancel the flights if BOTH ways are almost empty. As far as walkups, they probably call on the way to the airport, and that flight would be cancelled two days prior. The agent would direct them to the next flight available. Walkups don't know usually if the flight they want would be open anyway. A lot of the flights have been totally full. (Not all obviously) Walking up for a ticket is always a chance since some flights are totally full. To allow flights to go out almost empty both ways (a turn) is financially wrong, especially if another flight is an hour away. This is the slow season, and people will return during the holidays and during the peak Spring and Summer.


Bye Bye--General Lee
 

General Lee

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~~~^~~~ said:
General:

Your Priceline and Orbitz buyers probably will not know or care. Buyers like us who go straight to Delta.com and book by the destination and time are scrambling for other options. Once we find something else that works, we probably will not be back unless something happens with that option. Business people are busy and don't have time to be bothered with last minute interruptions to their travel schedule.

Weather and mechanical delays can be understood. Cancelling a flight because the airline put the wrong sized equipment on the route and no can't justify operating it is not acceptable.

We have had "wrong equipment"----RJs----on most of our routes for some time now thanks to Fred Greed, and most people have stuck with us. People in the US have short memories. We also have 40 million Skymiles members that won't give that up.

Where do you get "last minute" changes? They said 2 days in advance for notice. And, as I said before, walkup people don't really know if the next flight they walk up to is full or not. The flight may already be full. What do they do then? They wait for the next one with an open seat. Same applies here. There was no guarantee the flight they wanted was available anyway.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 
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737 Pylt

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fokkerjet said:
Keep thinking that; you're loss is my gain.
Another wonderful thought for the day! Life can't be that bad for you can it??
737
 

outtahere

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General, I have heard of drinking the kool-ade,but good Lord. Could I just hear you admit one time that your mgmt. has no clue what they are doing. You keep defending them even when they rape you repeatedly. You are starting to sound as if you are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Perhaps because you see all of the "RJ" pilots out there taking a beating, this is the cause of your rosy attiude, but I assure you that we will not be the sole sacrificial lamb in this round. But now that we are competing for aircraft and our rates are being undercut by mainline carriers, we can all expect to be applying for wellfare in the near future. Maybe for once in your life you should forget that EGO of yours and realize that just because you fly a bigger airplane that dosen't make you better, or any safer.
 

General Lee

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outtahere said:
General, I have heard of drinking the kool-ade,but good Lord. Could I just hear you admit one time that your mgmt. has no clue what they are doing. You keep defending them even when they rape you repeatedly. You are starting to sound as if you are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Perhaps because you see all of the "RJ" pilots out there taking a beating, this is the cause of your rosy attiude, but I assure you that we will not be the sole sacrificial lamb in this round. But now that we are competing for aircraft and our rates are being undercut by mainline carriers, we can all expect to be applying for wellfare in the near future. Maybe for once in your life you should forget that EGO of yours and realize that just because you fly a bigger airplane that dosen't make you better, or any safer.

That is ridiculous. I know we have some large problems at Delta, and I don't drink the kool-aid. I do try to look at the problems and I come up with my own opinions, which is legal on this board. If you want to debate them with me, fine. When I blame RJs for problems, I am not blaming the pilots inside who really have no say in the matter. Some of them do gloat about growing, and then are sad when they downsize. Same goes on at mainline. It is my opinion that Fred Greed bought too many RJs, and now we have too many 50 seaters that do not produce enough revenue. Some will say that we should have allowed more 70 seaters, but they don't see that allowing that could have cannibalized us even more at the mainline. The mainline is "supposed" to be the place pilots want to end up, with better pay and benefits. Tough times right now is lowering that dream. I can see that, but I don't have to like it. SkyWest pilots started this bad trend with the signing of the 99 seats for 50 seat pay deal. Then Jetblue assigned their pilots a krappy wage on their future 100 seater. Now a judge may do the same with us. There is a big difference with those scenarios.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

~~~^~~~

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General: I called to see what was up with this announcement and was told as an example that flight 1746 cancelled LAX to ATL this morning. The passengers were not told until they were at the gate and there were not any Agents there. If you are near a Company terminal a Gate Agent can look it up for you.

Good goes round?

Also - the SkyWest pilots voted down the 50 seat pay for 70 to 90 seat airplanes. You should be giving them credit.

Delta might have a use for those pesky RJ's - they could use them to cover segments where they arbitraily decide to cancel a flight and screw their passengers at the last minute. Us RJ drivers have lousy contracts with short reserve call outs. If Delta had their crap together well enough to cancel a flight 48 hours in advance (which isn't the case) they could use RJ's to fill the gap in the schedule.
 
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