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Economy not doing so well? Some observations for AA.

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Nov 8th, 2008, 12:29 AM
  #1
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Economy not doing so well? Some observations for AA.

So I've booked JFK-MXP, LHR-JFK 7 days in advance. The fare is $620. Fares seem to have dropped considerably, and for this route, it seems quite reasonable -- these are direct flights.

I've selected my seats on AA.com. For MXP I've 21B and for LHR I've 31H. The first is on 767-300 and the second is on 777. They are both exit row seats. The flights must be quite empty.

It looks like AA no longer offers the 8:30 pm departure from LHR. Or perhaps this is seasonal and doesn't operate on Saturdays. I normally don't fly back on Saturdays.

Reasonable observations? Do you think this is a sign of the bad economy?

AMR seems to have enjoyed a small rally in the recent weeks, but the stock is still much lower. I think airlines are benefitting from lower oil prices, but have people thought about reduced demand for air travel?

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Nov 8th, 2008, 08:13 AM
  #2
yk
 
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It is certainly possible that there are fewer pax these days with companies not doing well. Perhaps they are switching to the conference call route for meetings.

These prices are not bad, after all, it is considered winter season already. With all the competition from other airlines in NYC, fares are usually cheaper than other cities.

Since the exit row seats can only be reserved by elites, it is possible that the elites who reserved those seats in advance had also submitted an upgrade request for J, and their upgrade had come thru and hence the exit row seats have reopened up. Or perhaps it's just lack of pax. Are you traveling near or close to Thanksgiving? I'm quite sure biz travel drops around that time as well.

On my recent trip, my outbound bos-lhr was completely full (777), but my inbound LHR-BOS (762) was only 20% full. My inbound flight was on election night, so I wonder if that has something to do with it.
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Nov 8th, 2008, 08:34 AM
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The 8:00 PM departure from LHR doesn't operate on Saturdays. Don't know if it ever has, but it's still there for all other days.

Looking out a week, JFK-MXP looks to be about 50% load most days in both J and Y; LHR-JFK runs full to empty depending on date and flight/departure time.

My prediction, which along with $3 will get you a latte, is that you're going to see prices stable or slightly down for the coming year. I suspect the airlines also see a lot of mileage redemptions coming up (hence the tightening/cheapening of awards) which is not bad news; they'd like the huge overburden of outstanding miles to be reduced, either through redemption or expiration. The miles are carried as contingent liabilities on their books, and reducing that liability would do good things for their balance sheets.
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Nov 8th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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I see. I took the 8 pm a few weeks ago in September (on a Tuesday, I think). That flight was like what yk described for her inbound. Like 20% full or something, quite literally. There were people having entire middle sections to themselves!

It could be the election, or it could be Tuesday.

I know someone who works at a law firm and he was telling that their annual conferences are all cancelled. Switched to conference calls, as yk said.

I'm leaving the coming Friday and coming back the following Saturday. I haven't bought my ticket for Asia yet, but I'm planning to fly JFK-TPE on China Airlines. I think that's around $1300. I'm planning to go right before Thanksgiving.

I think WillTravel said on some thread I was reading that JFK-LHR need not be the cheapest anymore. I'm finding this pretty sure. For example flying to Milan isn't adding much to this ticket, as far as I can tell. Flying to Germany also seems to have come good deals, but I'm not interested in going there for this trip.

It'll be nice to see winter airfares to Europe around $400 again.
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Nov 8th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Alot of the airlines are offering 3 month leaves to their flight attendants and gate agents so that shows you what the bookings are going to be?
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