Westjet Nickel and Diming

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Airtids
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Airtids »

Jaques Strappe wrote:If the public was willing to pay for "airfare" rather than "busfare", then companies would not have to resort to finding creative ways to generate revenue. Sorry, no sympathy for people who want everything for nothing. :roll:
EXACTLY!!! I have been saying for years that this is the BIGGEST reason why the industry here is so screwed up!!
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Siddley Hawker »

What does the government do with that tax windfall?
Pays the generous pensions for old feckers like us. :smt040
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shankdown
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by shankdown »

kevenv, I agree with you that it would be nicer to know from the start what the final price will be. However, I also believe that it's important for the public to know exactly what the airfare is, and also what the taxes are. The taxes aren't set by the airline, so I understand why they don't want to be associating themselves with them. The fact is, if one airline hides them and the other one doesn't, the public will fly with the one that doesn't hide them, because the fares will 'appear' cheaper. And if the airline team up and include those taxes together, people WILL accuse 'em of price fixing. The media will too. My goodness, it's appauling how the media spins things against airlines. People just like bitching at the airlines.

And every time I've ever booked a ticket online, or on the telephone, I'm always told exactly how much will be charged on my Visa, before I confirm that I want to go through with the purchase. I can go on the internet right now, book a flight to Vancouver, go through all the steps and see the taxes BEFORE I confirm the purchase. I'll do it right now.

The following took me no more than one minute to find, and I didn't even have to give my Visa number to find it:

From Calgary to Vancouver, March 16, 2008.

Airfare / GuestRegular Fare $325.00 CAD
Taxes, Fees & Surcharges /Guest (details) $92.55 CAD Taxes, Fees & Surcharges /
Guest (details) $92.55 CAD
Nav-Ins-Fuel$48.00 CAD
GST-HST$19.88 CAD
AIF$20.00 CAD
ATSC$4.67 CAD

Subtotal /
Guest $417.55 CAD Multiplied by 1 Guest
$417.55 CAD
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Cost of Flight$417.55 CAD

There you go. You don't have to wait for your Visa slip to show up. You can see the charges 5 seconds after you pick the flight you want.

Shankdown
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goldeneagle
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by goldeneagle »

And this is EXACTLY what the airlines are hoping, you are stupid enough to believe the 'fuel surcharge' is indeed a tax. It's not. It's not revenue going to any government agency, it's going directly to the airline. In reality, it's a fare increase, that they have itemized as a line item such that joe stupid thinks it's another tax.

In any other industry, if you advertise a product at a given price, and then wont deliver for that price (before taxes), it's called fraud. For some reason, folks in aviation seem to think it's acceptable.

The real reason airlines are doing this, is to try keep the fare visible to the various travel agency automated systems lower than it really is, in an attempt to grab the business, then do a 'bait and switch' on the real fare they are charging, by burying the increase into a separate line item and make it appear to be a tax.

It's a fare increase, get over it. I'd like to see the consumer affairs folks take this to task finally. Advertising a 189 fare, and then having NO space available at that price, is fraudulent advertising, and should be treated as such. If the actual price before taxes is 189 + 'some surcharge', then that's the price they should be advertising too. There should be laws against advertising a ridiculously low price, then not delivering ANY product at that low price. Oh, wait a minute, there are laws against that....
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xkbal
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by xkbal »

goldeneagle wrote:In any other industry, if you advertise a product at a given price, and then wont deliver for that price (before taxes), it's called fraud. For some reason, folks in aviation seem to think it's acceptable.
I personally would like to see the fuel surcharge included in the price. That being said I think you are mistaken when you say no other industry does that. Check out several courier, delivery, trucking companies and I believe you will find fuel surcharges at a lot of them.
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Longtimer
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Longtimer »

I imagine the next move Westjet will make will be to limit their customers to one checked bag (free) as have most major North American carriers during the past few weeks. Fuel savings opportunity along with a revenue opportunity when the extra bag fee is applied. 8)
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by wallypilot »

goldeneagle wrote: In any other industry, if you advertise a product at a given price, and then wont deliver for that price (before taxes), it's called fraud. For some reason, folks in aviation seem to think it's acceptable.

The real reason airlines are doing this, is to try keep the fare visible to the various travel agency automated systems lower than it really is, in an attempt to grab the business, then do a 'bait and switch' on the real fare they are charging, by burying the increase into a separate line item and make it appear to be a tax.
Umm, not entirely accurate. at the retail level, this is true. But ask any retailer what's going on behind the scenes, and every single wholesaler is adding on fuel surcharges. While I agree that it's annoying that they tack on a fuel surcharge instead of just revising the end ticket price, the reality of the matter is that the price of fuel is changing too fast to keep up with it. With the fuel surcharge, the company need only look at the rise of the cost of fuel and adjust the surcharge accordingly. If all prices were to be adjusted every time there is a spike in fuel prices, there would be wasted time and resources repricing every unique product. Most wholesalers in Canada are doing the same thing, so it's not specific to aviation. The price of fuel is rising at an unprecedented rate (70's oil crisis aside), and transport companies are struggling to cope. I don't like any more than you, but until the gov't legislates differently then this is what we have.

Also, I don't think that most Canadians are dumb enough, and I don't think the airlines are stupid enough to think that we are dumb enough, to believe that the surcharge is a tax. I know I'm not, and I don't think I'm much smarter than the average Canuck. :wink:

Hey SD....how's it going over there buddy?
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by CubPilot »

Just wondering with the prices going up if anyone out there thinks this could be the top of the mountain. Are we going to see the genral public no longer being able to afford that family trip. The market has been great for pilots the past couple of years, are we going to see a downward turn as Airlines prices themselves out of the price range of the average joe???

I know I booked a flight last night, with A/C it was $700.97 and with WJ it was $597.75 and both had the exact same seat prices. As of today with WJ new surcharge that fare jumped $100.00 over night. Mean while I booked a flight from YYZ to London Gatwick for $379 plus $318 all the taxes or surcharges and thats round trip. I don't understand how flying futher is cheaper?

I have a funny feelling if your working in this crazy insdustry you should find a good seat and I hope the music doesn't stop.
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by swede »

clunckdriver wrote:Having seen them of the end of two runways this year the extra for the seat next to the emergency exit might be a good investment!
Thats hillarious :smt046
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Flying Nutcracker »

Who's side are most of you guys on here???
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Wacko »

Flying Nutcracker wrote:Who's side are most of you guys on here???
The side that's winning :smt040

So... let's say I book a flight for September... and let's say fuel prices drop by x%. So, someone buying the same ticket in September doesn't have to pay the fuel surcharge anymore... would I get my money back???
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by B-rad »

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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by MrWings »

wallypilot wrote: Umm, not entirely accurate. at the retail level, this is true. But ask any retailer what's going on behind the scenes, and every single wholesaler is adding on fuel surcharges. While I agree that it's annoying that they tack on a fuel surcharge instead of just revising the end ticket price, the reality of the matter is that the price of fuel is changing too fast to keep up with it. With the fuel surcharge, the company need only look at the rise of the cost of fuel and adjust the surcharge accordingly. If all prices were to be adjusted every time there is a spike in fuel prices, there would be wasted time and resources repricing every unique product. Most wholesalers in Canada are doing the same thing, so it's not specific to aviation.
The cost of my groceries will go up because the price of transporting them has. But Safeway doesn't total my groceries and then add a fuel surcharge at the end. The price is all inclusive. And it is constantly changing. One day apples are 99 cents/lb. The next week they are 1.49/lb. And then 1.29/lb. This all depends on season and availablity. Kind of like fuel price.

I can accept the argument that repricing can be resource intensive if every single item, like a chocolate bar, is given a price sticker. But the airline industry has electronic prices. I see them change by the hour. If WJ has a sale, AC can change their price at the drop of hat. It is simple and fast.

The surcharge is a tax that goes directly back to those charging it.
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Intentional Left Bank »

goldeneagle wrote:In any other industry, if you advertise a product at a given price, and then wont deliver for that price (before taxes), it's called fraud. For some reason, folks in aviation seem to think it's acceptable.
Ever looked at your cell phone bill and seen a "System Access Fee"? Ever ask yourself if that is an Industry Canada fee or a fee your provider arbitrarily adds? To me, Fuel Surcharge is not misleading terminology.

I don't want them to hide the taxes and surcharges in the price of the ticket. At the very least not the taxes. I WANT myself and everyone else to be pissed off every time we see the taxes and know that they are being used to fund everything but aviation, or being used to pay rent for an airport that my tax dollars have already paid for, thirty years ago.

As for the fuel surcharge, I'd like to see the fuel surcharge indexed to the price of Jet-A. That way, if the Jet-A price goes up, the surcharge goes up, and if Jet-A price goes down, the surcharge goes down, and everyone knows why.
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Ryan Coke2
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by Ryan Coke2 »

[quote="B-rad"]FOR WHAT! for flying stand-by within our own company? and same with our parents? WTF. so the price of a standby employee ticket will double to cover operating costs that should be in the regular fare. where are the benefits now to employees. i thought as part of being a pilot was the next to free travel! so if your commuting to calgary to get to work, plan on your monthly budget of fuel in your car rising and plan on paying double to ..
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.[/quote]

Do you actually work here? I hope not.

Lovely rant, and acutely ill informed. Employees don't pay it. Parents do--so be it, they don't work here.

Everything else is just amusing.
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by bmc »

CubPilot wrote:Just wondering with the prices going up if anyone out there thinks this could be the top of the mountain. Are we going to see the genral public no longer being able to afford that family trip. The market has been great for pilots the past couple of years, are we going to see a downward turn as Airlines prices themselves out of the price range of the average joe???
The industry worldwide is anticipated to slow over the next two years. Financial markets are being touted as the big driver in that. Throw in fuel charges and it's not pretty. Add aircraft deliveries and it's a big concern.

I can assure you that every airline understands the risk of raising prices, be it through fare increase or user charges. Nobody want to see their market shrink. Conversely, they do not want to see their costs grow. Fuel is the largest single expense at an airline. In Canada, your peak seasons to make good money are summer, Christmas and spring break. If you don't satisfy demand with the right pricing or recover your costs during the peak, your challenged in the other 8 months of the year.

These are not pretty times folks. This is not a Westjet problem. This is an industry problem.
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by tonysoprano »

Seems a little odd doesn't it? In any other industry prices fluctuate on a daily basis, some will even tell you "prices subject to change without notice". Go to the gas pump twice in one day and the price can be different twice in that same day, no explanations. All these other businesses can change prices on a daily basis according to market conditions without owing an explanation to anyone and yet here we are in our industry announcing a price hike before it even happens, giving the public plenty of time to get ready for it and then offering sincere appoligies and explanations. Do I think the travelling public has put the fear of the lord in the airlines? Yes. Is this a good thing? No. Let's put the power back in the hands of the airlines like the old days when flying was a priveledge and people paid the price for that coveted seat knowing full well that flying is not a Walmart experience. Will this cause less people to travel? Yes. But I think there will still be enough demand and airlines won't have to low cost their service anymore and the customer can once again enjoy good old fashioned civilized service and pay what it's worth. No I'm not dreaming. Many world class airlines are still doing this AND turning up profits.
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by bmc »

tonysoprano wrote:Seems a little odd doesn't it? In any other industry prices fluctuate on a daily basis, some will even tell you "prices subject to change without notice". Go to the gas pump twice in one day and the price can be different twice in that same day, no explanations. All these other businesses can change prices on a daily basis according to market conditions without owing an explanation to anyone and yet here we are in our industry announcing a price hike before it even happens, giving the public plenty of time to get ready for it and then offering sincere appoligies and explanations. Do I think the travelling public has put the fear of the lord in the airlines? Yes. Is this a good thing? No. Let's put the power back in the hands of the airlines like the old days when flying was a priveledge and people paid the price for that coveted seat knowing full well that flying is not a Walmart experience. Will this cause less people to travel? Yes. But I think there will still be enough demand and airlines won't have to low cost their service anymore and the customer can once again enjoy good old fashioned civilized service and pay what it's worth. No I'm not dreaming. Many world class airlines are still doing this AND turning up profits.
+1

Well said me boy.
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by carholme »

tonysoprano;

Couldn't agree with you more. Talking of 703 only, we run a small company where we have put our rates up again this year, where others are dropping theirs, hoping for the volume market, a la "low cost airlines". If the surrounding market prices are increasing to the point that we have to dip into our rates to attract customers, there is no point in being in the business. The market we are facing this summer is expected to be worse than last and we are even thinking of letting our license lapse for awhile. We didn't come here to run a "cost centre". As there is no indication of a cleanup of 703, staying in business with the bottom feeders is just not an option. If the aircraft costs that much to operate, the people who ride in it are going to pay for those costs.

carholme
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shankdown
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Re: Westjet Nickel and Diming

Post by shankdown »

And here's the real reason why fuel is a surcharge, rather than included in the price of the tickets. Right from the mouth of WestJet's CEO (this is an excerpt from an article written about a conference call between WestJet exec's and industry analysts:

... He then explained, however, that just because the airline puts into effect a $10 fare increase, you really don't get $10 per ticket. "There's also a dilutionary effect on those fare increases. So you really--for example, if you increased your fares on a P fare, we'll say, $10.00, over the entire system, that $10.00 really is about $2.00 to $4.00 in terms of the actual increase, and that's because you still have seat sales, you have different capacity in the different buckets, you have different fares like air miles and what not. And you're also discounting regions that are not as strong as other regions. So the true impact of fare increases are not offsetting the rising fuel costs, and that's the issue. So a fuel surcharge would go, potentially, on all tickets sold, and that--in that case, you can capture the true increase of fuel."...

There's always a complexity to an issue that - on the surface - seems so simple.

SD :)
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