Conversations (14)

Well as an aviation reporter, I can't entirely disagree with your assessment - I got into this business because I loved planes and routes, and probably don't spend enough time thinking or writing about flight attendants and the role that you all play in this industry that we love. 

The point you make about the media riling up passengers about airlines and the people on the front line suffering the blowback (flight attendants, customer service reps, etc.) is an interesting one. How much do you blame the media at large (and I will say that the mainstream media are worse about this) for fanning those flames in the last 10-15 years, and how much do you think that has affected your job and relationship with passengers in that period?

Back to sexism.  I've written a lot about sexism in connection to airlines and uniforms and how flight attendants are marketed.  I bet you can't find much on that topic on most of the aviation sites that were screaming sexism today.  And yet somehow this story about air travel passes became all about sexism.  WHY?  That's what irks me the most.  I share all kinds of examples of sexism in relationship to my job and I've never heard a peep from the people pushing that narrative today.  ONE CERTAIN SOMEONE who pushed hard with the sexism angle used the hashtag #StopShamingGirls while defending her story to me. Stop shaming girls?  Stop writing ridiculous stories that have nothing to do with shaming girls!  What happened over the last 48 hours is insane.  

So Bombardier claims that the Triumph Group (a wing supplier) has no basis and characterizes/downplays a $340 million lawsuit as a mere difference of opinion.

Interesting question on the border adjustment taxes that the Trump administration has proposed. 

Bombardier's approach here is that since it has so much production of aircraft components in the US (with close to 7,000 workers) importing much of its "systems," it won't be affected as substantially.  


Alain says that he sees the Trump administration's "pro-business" stance as good for business. Is Trump pro foreign businesses?

CASM excluding fuel was flat for Q4, even with fuel costs up YOY. 

Virgin America's pretax Q4 2016 profit was $61 million and $244 million for the full year, with YOY improvement in both figures. 

I wonder if Alaska's Mileage Plan approach of sticking with mileage-based earning will be the frequent flier equivalent of Southwest's Bags Fly Free. Lots of people loved the old mileage based system. 10+% growth in Mileage Plan credit cards and member sign ups says there may be something here. 


Premium Economy will add $50 million or more to revenues in 2017 and grow to an $85 million contribution. 


Alaska is the one carrier that consistently goes back to the well of "look how crappy we were 10 years ago and look how awesome we are now." A great way of deflecting Wall Street off it's usual PRASM obsession. 

Competitive capacity for Q1 2017 is only up 4%, and preliminary January PRASM was down 3%, which isn't great but does say that the worst of Alaska's revenue woes are behind it. 

1/3 of Virgin America Elevate elite customers have signed up Mileage Plan.

Total cash flows from Virgin America Elevate and Mileage Plan were $915 million in 2016. 

We're off with American's Q4 earnings call

American's PRASM went up 1.3% YOY in the fourth quarter, and that makes American the first of the big 4 carriers to return to positive PRASM.


American is paying out $314 million in profit sharing in 2016

So the $3.2 billion net profit last year makes it seem like American had a huge comedown, but $3 billion of that was due to a special charge. 

Q4 was the first increase in PRASM, yield, and TRASM since Q4 2014.

Cargo revenues were up for American, which might be music to Boeing's ears (cargo market recovery).

So Rapid Rewards since the re-launch in 2011, now contributes $1 billion to bottom line earnings. That's awesome, particularly for a program that lacks "cool" or aspirational redemptions like an Emirates or Lufthansa First Class.


Does Southwest need a Basic Economy fare? Gary Kelly returns back to the question of Southwest's powerful brand, and the notion of offering every passenger a simple, and excellent customer experience. I think the simplicity aspect makes a lot of sense, and that's a brand advantage sure, but the idea that people wouldn't trade off lower fares for no free bag and the like is a misguided one. Empirical evidence from the US and around the world says that is not true. 


"There is no second class" is a powerful mantra, but you're leaving billions of dollars on the table. That's the tradeoff.