Express Jet Passenger Service

mjg407

Well-Known Member
Why are these guys stopping their pax service. Has to be one of the best airlines I've flown and the only direct flight between SMF and Tucson. Yesterday, took off 20 minutes early, friendly and happy staff, $3.00 cocktails and $1 beer, XM Radio, and a free sandwhich. The airplane was packed, not one open seat. It's nice to see some amenities in a world where you get charged for a blanket now.

So why are they shutting down the passenger service? Is it fuel? Not enough customers? Anyone know?
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
Because they're losing cash hand over fist.

I agree though. It's a superior service and a damn shame to see them close up.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
Just goes to show you, it's not the service that makes an airline popular, it's the ticket cost. Reference Frontier, jetBlue, etc., all have superior service (IMO) but are almost flat lined.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
I would say Express beat everyone out for ticket prices too. The funny thing is that the general opinion is always that SWA is the cheapest ticket around, but many times it isn't. We had to buy 3 tickets to Tucson, 2 on express jet, one on SWA, the two EJ cost less than the one SWA.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
I would say Express beat everyone out for ticket prices too. The funny thing is that the general opinion is always that SWA is the cheapest ticket around, but many times it isn't. We had to buy 3 tickets to Tucson, 2 on express jet, one on SWA, the two EJ cost less than the one SWA.
Compare fare classes/restrictions (I know, I sound like a broken record) on the tickets. SWA isn't the cheapest on restricted fares, but on unrestricted fares there is no comparison.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
SWA is also a known quantity. Expressjet, not so much. That and SWA operates an airplane that seats 3x the people and costs 1/3 of the operating cost per seat when compared to the RJ.
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
I would say Express beat everyone out for ticket prices too.
This, coupled with the costs of flying the 50 seat jet, is what killed XE.

Their yields over the last year were horrible. Ream talked about when they tried to raise prices to support the cost, ticket sales plunged.
 

jtrain609

Anarcho-Bidenist
It almost didn't matter what they did with branded, with oil being as expensive as it is, you can't make money with a 50 seat jet.

I can almost assure you that CAL is talking a loss on nearly every single ExpressJet CoEx departure, but will make their money up by shuttling a few international folks each flight to Newark.
 

WestIndian425

Well-Known Member
It almost didn't matter what they did with branded, with oil being as expensive as it is, you can't make money with a 50 seat jet.

I can almost assure you that CAL is talking a loss on nearly every single ExpressJet CoEx departure, but will make their money up by shuttling a few international folks each flight to Newark.
Well I would think that CO is making a killing on the MX runs.
 

Captain_Bob

Well-Known Member
Why are these guys stopping their pax service. Has to be one of the best airlines I've flown and the only direct flight between SMF and Tucson. Yesterday, took off 20 minutes early, friendly and happy staff, $3.00 cocktails and $1 beer, XM Radio, and a free sandwhich. The airplane was packed, not one open seat. It's nice to see some amenities in a world where you get charged for a blanket now.

So why are they shutting down the passenger service? Is it fuel? Not enough customers? Anyone know?
Here's one of the best answers to that question:



If we had our existing load factors (+81% and climbing, even better than the CAL side), coupled with the $58/barrel of oil... we would have been the shiznit.

I'm really happy you enjoyed the service. I enjoyed being a part of providing that service. I don't know if I'll ever enjoy flying passengers as much as I have for the past year.

Bob
 

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fly8slep

New Member
I can't believe what I'm reading, what service? They served busicits with coke and an occasional smile. All of the branded flying that I jumped on were empty. And I found XM to be in poor quality and too loud to listen to anyways if you were seated front of the airplane. You can't fly from ONT to the Midwest on a ERJ and expect to make money this whole thing was to keep the stock up, it was a dumb decision, the company should have cut their losses and reduced their ops before instead of now where the stock is worthless.
 

Captain_Bob

Well-Known Member
Don't know which routes you were on... or when... but our load factors increased practically every month from the onset, breaking all company and industry projections and matrices for a start up airline.

Sure we had some empty's in the begining, growing pains and all. I remember having an offline jumpseater in my JS a few months ago from AUS-JAX. He said he was on the innaugural AUS-JAX flight and he was the only one... to make matters worse... he was a Jumpseater so it was a totally non-revenue flight. However, he was actually pleased to be sitting in the JS several months later and seeing the success of the airlines popularity.

Service was pretty darn awesome too... don't know what "biscuits" you are referring to... but our menu selections ranged the gambit from:

-Pasta marinara
-Teriyaki pasta
-Pasta Pesto
-Ham and cheese
-Turkey and swiss
-Peanut Butter and Jelly
-Meatball subs
-Italian subs
-Salami and cheese
-Pacific beef
-Chicken Wraps
-etc.

Followed with a full beverage service of much more than just "Coke" as you suggested, in addition to $1 beers and $3 wines/drinks.

Followed yet again by a snack service that typcially included:

-Snackwells
-Milano's
-Cheese Nips
-Honey Grahams
-Wheat Thins
-Oreo snacks
-Pretzels
-Peanuts
-etc.

XM volume was an issue in the beginning and as a result they changed headsets from the "over the ear" ones to the "in the ear" ones. Also... if you had your own headset... then the quality was typically much better. After all... the headsets we handed out were... free. Yet another "service" we provided.

Almost forgot... free pillows and blankets too. ;)

Obviously, you can't please everyone all the time... you are a prime example of that. But... the point to point service we provided helped so many families, business travellers, and commuters alike. The compliments we got, and continue to get, always kept me motivated.

Aircraft economics and management decisions aside... still one of the best "service" related airlines out there.

Bob
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
I can't believe what I'm reading, what service? They served busicits with coke and an occasional smile. All of the branded flying that I jumped on were empty. And I found XM to be in poor quality and too loud to listen to anyways if you were seated front of the airplane. You can't fly from ONT to the Midwest on a ERJ and expect to make money this whole thing was to keep the stock up, it was a dumb decision, the company should have cut their losses and reduced their ops before instead of now where the stock is worthless.
Perhaps you should just shut <edited> up and enjoy the free ride.
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
I know this has been a really tough day for the XJet camp, but let's try to keep it classy. Let's not let this dissolve into swearing or namecalling.
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
I don't buy that it was purely oil that caused XJT's downfall in the Branded world. XJT had 70% their fuel hedged at $2.32 per gallon - far below the industry average. You can play the 'what if' game all day long but the reality is, their business model was not constructed for endurance which is, in the business world, poor visibility and execution.

If you want to take a realistic look at why the operation failed, I believe you'll conclude it's was combo of excessive variable costs, expensive/inefficient airplanes, and low demand. You can argue load factors all day long but XJT's yields were sub par however, XJT couldn't command the fare they needed to survive and still support the volume. To even discuss load factors without yields is like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly. Even after XJT used their large cash position to fund the majority of it's capital expenses, it still lost $20-30M a quarter.

Ream said at his recent employee roadshow, they couldn't charge enough to bear the costs of doing business. When they tried to up prices, they saw demand fall dramatically. I was a huge proponent of XJT's success based on the notion they could command a supportive asking price for their service, fuel was hedged, service was superior, and convenience was perceptible (i.e. no stop overs, meals, and smaller city pairings).

However, as their business plan/model unfolded it simply didn't work for several reasons including the aforementioned items. Competitors continually picked off routes, engaged in negative advertising, and practiced predatory pricing. The airline simply couldn't compete. I will stand with the always positive Bob though on the notion that XJT was one of the best service oriented airlines ever.
 
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