Americans now fly for just $10 on
1 May, 2007: Faster air travel for
peanuts. This is exactly what the new
the US Columbus-based Skybus Airlines
has on its itinerary.
The airline says that with enough
planning and a little luck, one could
travel from Port Columbus
International Airport to Burbank,
California, for as little as $10 each
way on the start-up airline. Reports
added that the the $10 fares are on a
first-come-first-serve basis using the
yield management method of enticing
customers. This method, it may be
recalled, was first introduced by
American Airlines where the earliest
bookers get cheap fares and those who
reserve at the last-minute pay the
Reiterating that the $10 fares are not
promotional rates, Skybus Air said
that even normal fares will be about
65 per cent less than the major
carriers and 20 to 25 percent less
than low-cost carriers like Southwest
Airlines and JetBlue.
Skybus' service is a no-frill carrier
and all searching, booking and
rearranging of flights is done online.
The airline does not even have a
customer service phone number. The
customer queries are answered via the
e-mail mode. A passenger gets to carry
two onboard for free and if he needs
to check a bag, it would cost him five
dollars each. Additional bags would be
charged $50 apiece.
There would be no in-flight
entertainment, no assigned seating and
no gate agents to talk to passengers
until right before the flight leaves.
There arenít refunds either.
These apart, the Skybus carriers would
also double up as flying billboards.
The company recently unveiled a plane
whose exterior featured an ad from
Columbus-based Nationwide Mutual
Insurance Co. On the interior too are
ads making Skybus planes branded
Significantly, the industry has seen
big airlines learning to streamline
their services, saving money and
testing fliers' attitudes on things
like charging for movies and cutting
back on meal service. The smaller ones
and the start-ups have figured out how
to capitalize on that knowledge.
Airline companies like Skybus Airlines
is one example, said a report. It
added that major airlines, who had
gone through bankruptcy to right
themselves, don't have the money
anymore to run startups out of
Realizing this, no-frills airlines
like Skybus have stepped up to what
they see as opportunity. They now
offer low fares and if a flight is not
selling they can drop fares for a
particular flight. This practice is
seen by analysts as very clever .