This could get interesting.
CNBC reported this evening that, in a money-saving move, airlines may consolidate US domestic routes.
As we understand it: certain routes may be given exclusively(-ish?) to various airlines.
For example — and this is hypothetical — if you booked a Delta ticket to fly Seattle to Denver, you may end up on a United flight with people who book similar trips on American or Spirit.
Or people who purchased an American flight from LAX to Las Vegas could ultimately be placed on a Southwest itinerary.
Can you imagine the good-ish fortune for the airline(s) landing LAX to JFK, etc?
According to CNBC:
The aid package requires airlines to not furlough employees for the next six months, while also maintaining service, to the best of their ability, to the cities the airlines currently serve. The problem with maintaining service is that many planes are virtually empty.
“Does it make sense for more than one of us to be flying to a city when there are only a few seats filled on each plane”? one airline executive asked rhetorically in a conversation discussing the situation with CNBC. “It may make more sense to maintain service to that city, but put all passengers on one plane.”
Executives with multiple airlines, who talked on background with CNBC, stress the idea has not yet been formally broached with the Transportation Department.
Industry executives say the move would not only require approval from the Trump administration, but also for carriers to negotiate to complex issues including scheduling and sharing costs.
Consolidating service to some cities under one airline idea makes sense given the dramatic and rapid drop in passenger levels, with airlines filling just 5% to 15% of the seats on their flights. On Saturday, the Transportation Security Administration screened just 184,026 passengers at U.S. airports compared to 2.17 mIllion passengers on the same day last year, a decline of more than 91%.
“What About My Upgrade?!”
Oh, boy. What a poop storm this could create amongst some flyers.
I assume — perhaps — elite flyers on a “chosen” airline would be first in line for upgrades.
On the other hand, because flights are so empty right now and most inflight service is terminated, scoring your own row in coach would be an “upgrade” itself.
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