Some of the Airlines are seriously cutting back capacity on routes, as well as frequency of aircraft now.
What are your experiences at the moment?
Their is an unwritten agreement with the airlines at the moment, ( I know several Corporate Managers around the world in different Airlines) that NO heavy discounting will happen. Some seat sales in Economy & Premium Economy, none in Business or 1st.
Airlines are pulling out business seats to replace them with premium economy, or removing flights where there are several,or placing smaller aircraft to reduce capacity. (EG Qantas, SQ, Etihad).
Singapore have cut one flight a day into Sydney, & they did have 2x A380’s which is now one, cut the 747, & putting (as BT mentioned), a mix of 777 2/3 on instead. This is why they have re-configured to regional seats to increase capacity in Business on one plane, but the luxury, space, cabin, & one flight have gone. This was in line with my discussion with the NSW/ Sydney SQ Manager, in October.
KLM/ AF/ Etihad have all crammed another seat across on 777’s in Economy , & Etihad aircraft into London with a mix of A332 /3. , with the A345/6 reduced. (Cant find any reference to the A330-300 but they are on their timetable, but no seat plans).
Airlines like Malaysian, Thai, all seem to be running older aircraft, no investments in new cabins or Aircraft. certainly at best, the airlines are static, but most are cutting back.
I had been looking for flights UK – Australia as usual, & no seat sales. Even though its a semi peak time through Feb/March, flights are around the £3,200+ return, compared to Cathay, Etihad, Singapore, Thai, etc, that all had £1,800 returns 5 months ago, bookable a long time ahead.
The £ value is awful overseas, 30-40% down, & really does not help purchasing via Airlines direct in other currencies, from another gateway. (Eg KUL- SYD in Malay Ringits).
I just cashed in some Star Alliance miles, for a Business fare to Australia, but taking Swiss to Dubai, SQ to Singapore, then SIN – Sydney. Its very difficult to get seats out of London.
However, if you can get flights when no discounting & capacity is being reduced, it does mean yr miles are worth more in value, & a good time to use them.
I think the luxury & glory days of flying have left us. Add in the Security enhancements now again, & it has become a tiresome & less pleasant prospect all round. Corners are being cut, luxuries rationed, prices hiked up.
FFP’s are losing Gold members, many friends worldwide & in many employment sectors, are not making the flights sectors or miles to earn premium status this year.
Compared to 3 years ago, the growth in various forms of premium Economy seating, the prices for these seats rests at almost the “Was” Business fare. LHR to Sydney from £500+ Economy, £1300+ P.E, £3200+ Business. There are now limited 1st class services to Oceania, these have been cut.
Many Companies are putting staff in PE, or restricting travel, & using Video Conferencing now. 6 inches more room & 4 degree better recline & a little better food (on some) Premium economy cabins, does not offer good value at 3 times the fare, in my view.
For personal trips & holidays, it is a good time to use miles, & All have reduced earning ability, but also try to keep a few Gold cards going, but with a sure strategy of lessening the number of programs, & consolidating a couple.
What do you all see / hear regarding these issues on yr travel sat the Moment?
Be a great gauge of the Airlines of BT forum members would make an entry of their recent trips, as many of us fly around the world, & some have better knowledge of one Airline, or route, that are less common & others would be interested in. It would be a great resource for other Forum members…
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