My favorite flight--41.
- Well the Kona 747 has been kind of a bust. We never did sell the Business
Class seats like we thought we would, just oversold coach by a hundred or so
every day. What I especially don't like is that there is no fairness to who
gets the all the comp upgrades. Sure ACI does 50 or so per flight, like if
you've ever been part of our mileage plus program you get business, but the
rest seem to go to late check-ins, groups that are split up, or couples who
don't like their seats.
A good strategy that is developing is to be sure not to check individual
travelers into seats that break up groups, saving the blocks of seats for
those pesky family seat changes. Another is to onload all the BP1s and 2s
into business before you start checkin, figuring that since they were early
to the airport, they should get our comp upgrades rather than some late
So what happened today? We had our strategy planned ahead of time and were
only over by 30, close to 10% of capacity--no big deal. 4 of us went to
work on the BP1s and 2s, and since coach was already checked in full, they
were going into business. Well not really...we got 10 or 15 on and were
close to filling up that cabin too. OH OH, that 'going up in smoke' feeling
started to creep in.
We ended up with 18 IDB's--kind of a hassle. They each got $400.00 (some
less), First Class on tomorrow's flight, and hotels here in SF. The Cash
payout alone added up to over $7000.00. And remember, this cash comes from
our NET, not the GROSS. After deducting the expenses of flying this route,
a route that we'd be lucky just to break even on, United has to sell an
awful lot more seats to Kona to cover our asses today.
My sad story from 41 today was a fifteen year old who sat quietly while this
was going down the tubes, and whose eyes filled up with tears as I gave him
the bad news. He wanted to get home to his family so badly that he took a
confirmed seat on the 7:15 HNL flight, a hotel room in honolulu, and a FIM
on aloha for tomorrow. I told him he probably would get out standby
earlier, but I knew better.