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Air fair? Why low-cost carriers can’t overcome Delta’s dominance

Hold up—weren’t we supposed to already have all that thanks to Southwest Airlines? When the Dallas-based carrier gobbled up AirTran Airways for more than $1 billion in 2010 and started its own service at Hartsfield-Jackson in 2012, hoopla ensued. Experts predicted the “Southwest Effect” would push all airfares down and make hometown heavyweight Delta Air Lines sweat. With the Southwest and AirTran merger complete, it’s time to take stock. Did fares drop? Did we get more flights to more places?… ( Mehr...

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Lewis Tripp 8
I fly Southwest exclusively now days. I fly out of RDU to BOS and go through Atlanta both ways because I chose to. I can't beat their prices and I don't have to worry about baggage and unlike some idiots, I don't try to carry everything I own into the cabin. Some women carry on bags they can't lift to get in overhead bins and look at you with those please help me eyes. Hell no I won't.
sparkie624 1
My sympathies too you... Sorry to hear it... Sure their price is cheap, but I don't trust them.. I used to work for them and I left because they do not meet my standards for maintenance, and I am not going to do maintenance at what I call substandard levels because the plane has to make schedule.... If a plane has issues, it should not just be pushed out the door, or mechanics pressured to sign it off.... I can not speak for other Low Cost Carriers, but SWA has had many maintenance issues over the years... Fuselage Panels blowing out at the tear strips due to fast, poor, and not taking the time to do proper inspections, 10 minute tire changes, and more....
Then how do you explain the no fatalities on SWA vs Delta during their same operating period? I'll take my chances with "shoddy maintenance" of LUV anyday.
sparkie624 1
Shear Luck... Just a perdiction... "One day they are going to have a big let down, and A LOT of people are going to pay the Ultimate Price, and it will be because of maintenance"... I have had that posted for a very long time.... It will come....
Chase Tompkins 1
How long does it take you to do a tire change on a 737?
sparkie624 2
30 min... Once you have the tire.. That is backing, removing, installing new wheel assy, and torquing. These tires are over 100 pounds and have to be lined up on a spline which is actually the multi-disc brake pack.
BaronG58 1
Sparkie..curious too read your reply to Sweatin's question. As a stockholder since IPO I have followed every aspect of SWA. Having a number of friends who have Worked for SWA 30+ years and listening to them share their stories of how there is a family culture among employees and management. SWA has the highest paid pilot, flight attendant and maintainece people in the industry. SWA has always operated with a profit...never a losing year. Having said this it is difficult for me to entertain the thought that SWA would intentionally cut corners on maintenance.
sparkie624 1
You listed the biggest problem in your replay and that is simple... It is the Family Culture that has created the pier pressure problem. I have friends who work for them for 30+ years as well... The problem that I have with them is the Pier Pressure to get the job done and done fast. Make the schedule at all costs. Never take a delay for any reason....

The crew that took out of LGA with a cargo door caution took off because she thought it was an indication problem and then could not pressurize, The captain who landed on the nose gear and put it into electronics bay was heard on the CVR saying that she would do the approach because if they did not make it that time they would not be able to make schedule.

It is the internal company family culture that creates these Pier Pressure Problems.
dc3orbust 1
You fish from a pier
sparkie624 1
Spelling has never been my strong point. :) Aircraft maintenance and computers are my strong points
sparkie624 1
Another note on that subject... All of the 737 Panel Blow outs due to metal corrosion was because of FAST inspections that missed critical areas... Other airlines have the same inspections and did not have this problem... SWA has just been lucky.
Chase Tompkins 1
What's the big deal with doing a tire change in ten minutes? Obviously it has worked well for them because they have never had a wheel assembly fall off. They should be praised fordoing it that quick. Lets face it its an easy job...

sparkie624 1
In 10 minutes is a very short time and cannot be done with any kind of safety margin, something is going to get missed that is going to cost them...
1.) Clock Starts
2.) Go get tire, jacks, & tooling
3.) Jack A/C
4.) Deflate Tire (must be done prior to loosening nuts for safety reasons)
5.) Remove Old Wheel Assembly
6.) Mount New Wheel Assembly (Note: Must line up with brake assy, which requires careful alignment - It just does not slide on, it is a close fit
7.) Torque Wheel While spinning tire to (if memory serves and depending on a/c) to 360 Foot Lbs
8.) Loosen Wheel
9.) Torque Wheel to 160 lbs while spinning (if memory serves and depending on a/c)
10) Lower A/C and Remove Jack
11) Perform Visual Inspection of area for FOD
12) Complete parts tag and log book

737-7800 NG wheel weighs 155 pounds

Full task to completed in 10 minutes, which means you have an average of 50 seconds. That is what they ask of each mechanic... It cannot be done safely...
I choose my flights based on what routing I can get. I need to get from point A to B and if you want to send me 2 hours flying and a 4 hour layover, you are not my airline. Next, which aircraft is going to get me there? RJs? Prop puddle jumpers? I look for at least a 737 or A320. Then, I'll look at prices. Yes, my Frequent Mile membership comes into play, if the prices are close. Simply offering a flying seat for a few dollars is not going to get my business, especially if you start asking for a few dollars more for everything needed for a business trip. My comfort is important and arriving ready to do business makes good business sense. Just try arriving in Singapore at 2 am after an 18 hour journey and be ready for a technical meeting at 8 am. Not going to happen. I've seen too many supposed young, smart executives fall very hard and flat all because they save a few dollars on their tickets and hotel choice.


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