|AirTran 717 at Chicago Midway|
Sunday, January 11, 2015
A Few Things Not To Expect In 2015
There are a few things that I grew accustomed to in previous years of flying that I won' see in 2015. AirTran Airlines is one. I'll miss seeing their planes hopping around the county; they looked good and helped bring fare competition to places I travel. Southwest bought them to take out a competitor rather than expand their service. There are plenty of cheap 717's and 737's in storage so, for a modest investment, someone can recreate AirTran's business model of small (cheap) planes to small and medium destinations.
I also don't expect frequent flyer programs to stand still. There have been many large changes in the past few years and I suspect there will be more to come. The next target will probably be earning elite status. I suspect is will change to a pure spend calculation with four or five tiers. Award miles will be given based on spending amounts, so why not simplify and give status on the same metric. I don't expect it to be too simple, airlines like complexity and partner flights will need to generate credit in some way.