Discount Airfare

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Discount Airfare

European lifestyles are changing apace. With fares as low as €70 round-trip from London to Budapest, a new generation has built their lives around cut-rate tickets. Spanish golfers fleeing the midsummer sun head for Scottish courses; German pensioners winter on the Costa del Sol, where cheap flights have fostered the creation of entire German-speaking settlements. "I work in Brussels and London and my girlfriend lives in Rome," says Nigel Gardner, a Discount Airfare public-affairs consultant at the EU. "I couldn't survive without Virgin Express and Ryanair."

But the revolution's biggest beneficiaries aren't always the ticket payers. According to a standard industry measure, every extra million passengers in the sky bring 3,000 jobs on the ground. In the job-starved boondocks of Eastern Europe, away from the capital cities, that can be especially welcome. And happily, that's where the airlines want to be. The low-cost business model means linking regions to regions and bypassing familiar big-city hubs. Traffic is growing quickest at the smaller "secondary" airports, where Discount Airfare operators can win sweet deals and low charges from local authorities. In some of Europe's poorest regions, the EU has eased rules on state subsidies to allow for more generous baits. And there's no shortage of Discount Airfare airport sites. One positive legacy of the cold war is a generous scattering of military bases in far-flung places awaiting better use.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Discount Airfare

While some passengers say high flight prices won`t stop them from flying altogether, they say something still needs to be done.

"Competition, we need competition," says French. "Competition will do that. So I`d like to see Frontier come back into Bismarck."

But the answer may not be to bring in another airline that has similar service, like with Frontier and United.

"One of them would leave," says Gary Ness, Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. "They would fight it out. We don`t have Discount Airfare a population base that`s big enough to serve that deal."

While the Commission suspects ticket prices in North Dakota probably won`t come down soon, there is some good news.

"When we see the passenger growth at our airport continue to increase that just gives us that many more chances to go out and be more successful in garnering even more air service, which breeds more competition, which will hopefully lower airfares," says Greg Haug, Bismarck Airport Manager.

Something those who are scrounging Discount Airfare around for airline deals or driving to Minneapolis for a cheaper ticket can perhaps look forward to. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission says high fuel costs also play a role in higher airline ticket prices across Discount Airfare North Dakota and in other places.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Discount Airfare

The setting is magnificent: a lakeside mountain retreat in Colorado.

Perhaps the perfect place to discuss the fragile planet and how to protect it.

At least that’s what dozens of public officials in the Kansas City area figured when traveling at taxpayer expense to Shadowcliff lodge in Grand Lake, Colo., for the past few years for workshops on conservation, recycling and other environmental topics.

This weekend, seven Jackson County officials are at Shadowcliff at a cost likely to approach $1,000 apiece. This summer, Discount Airfare Johnson County will send about 15 people to Shadowcliff, the city of Mission will send 23, and the local Environmental Protection Agency office, 10 to 20.

Shadowcliff is owned by the Kansas City nonprofit agency Bridging the Gap and co-directed by environmentalist Robert Mann, the agency’s founder. Workshops at the retreat cost $750 per person, including meals, dormitory-like lodging and seminars led by authorities on the environment Discount Airfare.

People who have been to Shadowcliff said the trip pays for itself in what they learned about energy efficiency and working together on environmental initiatives.

This weekend’s trip by Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and six staff members to a five-day workshop called “Climate Discount Airfare Change and Sustainable Choices: What Each of Us Can Do” comes when the county’s financial struggles led to recent layoffs.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Discount Airfare

Most major airlines have trimmed unprofitable routes and fly fuller planes on the routes that are left. Workers took pay cuts at the bankrupt carriers as well as American Airlines, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy in 2003.

In recent years, price competition from discounters held fares relatively low even as jet fuel prices rose and older airlines lost money because of heavy debt and the expenses of an older work force, such as pensions and retiree health care. But bankruptcy helped them shed or reduce those costs. And full planes mean airlines are closer to something they covet discount airfare — “pricing power,” or the ability to raise prices to cover their expenses.

Older airlines like Northwest are “going to have a little more pricing power than there was in the past,” said aviation consultant Mike Boyd, president of The Boyd Group in Evergreen, Colo.

Not all the airlines have changed in the same way. Northwest will soon go from having one of the oldest fleets in the business to one of the newest as it adds new 76-seat regional jets and, next year, takes delivery of Boeing’s new 787 “Dreamliner.” UAL Corp.’s United did relatively little to change its fleet, said Darryl Jenkins, who teaches airline management at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla discount airfare.

Both new jets will fill key needs for Northwest. The 787 will replace the larger 747 on some routes — giving Northwest a cheaper plane that’s desirable for passengers and easier to sell out. And the new regional jets will do the same thing on the smaller domestic cities Northwest discount airfare serves.

Airlines used to give into the temptation to fly half-empty planes on marginal routes “more to torture competitors than to make money,” Jenkins said.

“Going into the future we will see more crowded planes. Having empty planes is a luxury we no longer have,” he said.

The risk of flying such full planes is that it’s hard to recover from flight cancellations.
Just ask the Jet Blue passengers stranded by an ice storm in February. The cascading effects of rescheduling passengers on Jet discount airfare Blue’s other flights tied the carrier up in knots for days.

If all of a carriers’ other planes are in use and full, it’s hard to find a replacement, said Bob Mann, who runs the airline consultancy R.W. Mann & Co. in Port Washington, N.Y.

“It can take not just hours but, in some cases, days ... to accommodate passengers” when flights are canceled, Mann said.

The nation’s six biggest airlines all won concessions from workers over the last few years. At Northwest, flight attendant pay now tops out around $35,400 a year, down from $44,190 before Northwest discount airfare filed for bankruptcy protection, according to the union.

Northwest has said it will be trying to improve employee morale going forward through measures such as profit-sharing.

Jenkins said he was recently on a radio show in Minneapolis and heard from several unhappy Northwest flight attendants.

“I don’t think anyone would characterize them as happy,” he said. “You would rather have a service where everybody is happy. But the flight attendants there are still professional — I don’t think discount airfare they’re going to go out and be rude to anybody.”

One thing that hasn’t changed is the intense airline competition — although that’s less true in Northwest’s so-called “fortress hubs” of Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis. After Sept. 11, many expected some airlines to go out of business. Six months ago, airline mergers were thought likely. Instead, the players are mostly the same today as they were five years ago discount airfare.

“It’s still going to be a very competitive world. We’ll see fare battles, we’ll see snooze-you-lose fares,” said discount airfare Tom Parsons, who runs airline fare Web site “It’s still a slugfest, and that’s good for the consumer discount airfare.”