Friday, December 20th, 2013, 1:54 am
-Random Airline News That I’d Be Remiss Not To Cover
-What You’ve Missed If You’re Not On DDF
-More Info On Recent Price Mistakes
–10 Random Links
–Random Travel Tips Of The Day
–Random Posts You May Have Missed If You’re Not On DDF…
-USAirways: We’ll Honor Israel Tickets But No Miles If You Skip A Leg
-El Al can fly to Istanbul once again.
As I covered in-depth in the “random airline news” post linked to above, outgoing CEO Shkedy had wanted Turkish banned from flying to Israel saying that not being able to fly to Istanbul was going to bankrupt the airline.
Of course the reality is that El Al has very little to gain by flying to Istanbul what they really wanted was to stop the low-fares that Turkish offers for flights between the US and Israel. Most of the Istanbul-Tel Aviv traffic are connecting low-fare seekers or people who appreciate the award winning service that Turkish offers in coach, premium economy, and lie-flat business class with an incredible lounge to boot. There’s even free WiFi on their flights.
So El Al didn’t get what they really wanted. Cheap flights will continue and that’s a great thing for the country of Israel. El Al needs to figure out how to compete and it’s all laid out in that previous post.
-Tel Aviv has been called the most profitable route for several airlines over the years thanks to high fares and full flights. However while Continental, Delta, United, and USAirways cashed in, American had to sit on the sideline as ex-TWA employees threatened to get a court injunction in Israel to seize any American plane that landed on Israeli soil to pay for pensions owed to ex-TWA employees. That’s pretty murky as American didn’t buy TWA, they only bought select assets. Nevertheless American was never able to make a deal with them.
Now those ex-TWA employees are seeking out restitution once again thanks to the American-USAirways merger. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. There are so many questions at play here:
-Does American settle and keep flying to Israel?
-Does American decide the costs and risks are too high and discontinue flying to Israel?
-Will an Israeli court allow the ex-TWA employees to seize an American plane if they keep flying without settling?
-Will the American/El Al partnership break up as the Delta/El Al partnership did once Delta started flying to Israel?
-And of course even if they do settle will the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv flight survive or will it move to other hub markets with higher Origin/Destination revenue potential like JFK or Miami? Or can the market support American flights to Tel Aviv from 2 or all 3 of those cities?
If I were a betting man I’d say we see a settlement and we’ll see American flights to Tel Aviv from JFK and Miami while Philadelphia loses their Tel Aviv flight as the hub there begins to shrink.
I can also see United flying from their Chicago or possibly even their San Francisco hub to Tel Aviv within the next few years as well as their massive fleet of 787s continues to grow. Chicago has more Origin/Destination traffic and is a more logical connecting point while San Francisco offers high-yielding tech market airfares and good connections from the west coast. I’ve long argued that Chicago is more likely while DDF airline guru PlatinumGuy has argued that San Fran is more likely. The 2 of us were invited to an official United DO last year where we heard from a network planning executive that they often have that very same debate between the network planning folks who argue for Chicago and the revenue guys who want to grab the SFO high-yield traffic. Either way he said to stay tuned once the 787-9 series aircraft start rolling in…
-In the “What you’ve missed if you’re not on DDF” post linked to above I wrote about a DDF poster who got a $160 refund for having his Philadelphia-Toronto flight cancelled, bringing down the cost of his round-trip glitch ticket to Israel from $302 to $142..
Now another DDF’er who merely had his flight from Philadelphia-Toronto delayed told the agent that the delay wouldn’t work for him and the agent cancelled the flight and issued a $172 refund.
Plus they’ll both keep their miles! Some people who skipped the Philadelphia-Toronto leg have reported that United and USAirways have taken out their miles from those flights several weeks after they were credited. Still no reports of Aegean taking debiting miles credited to them from the USAirways flights.