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PART II: Southwest Bids for Frontier Airlines

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Follow-up Q&A with Ron Ricks, Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary 

Yesterday, Southwest Airlines confirmed that it is preparing a bid to acquire Denver-based Frontier Airlines, which will be sold at auction in bankruptcy court next month.  I was able to speak with Ron Ricks, our Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, again this afternoon and ask him some of the questions that were raised yesterday following the announcement. (I apologize for the delay, folks.) 


 

1.  This is clearly a very emotional issue, and some Frontier employees have expressed fear and concerns about our bid.  What will happen to Frontier employees? Why should they welcome this news?
   
We understand the sensitivities and emotion surrounding this issue.  These are uncertain times for all of us, and change is always hard.  Frontier is a beloved airline, but they have been in bankruptcy protection since April 2008. And, the combination of simply awful economic conditions and high jet fuel prices remain, creating a great threat to the airline industry as a whole, especially to those that are not financially prepared. Southwest is prepared, and our current financial strength, liquidity, access to credit, and cash reserves demonstrate that. An acquisition of Frontier by Southwest will infuse much needed financial stability, and allow Frontier to emerge from bankruptcy.

As we’ve said, Frontier would continue to operate independently and separately for a period of time with its existing Airbus aircraft and personnel.  Over time, however, Frontier employees would be hired into Southwest as needed to support our fleet growth and expanded operations. 

I hope that Frontier Employees can take some comfort in the fact that Southwest has a 38-year track record of excellent Employee relations, treating people with respect, excellent union relationships, and industry leading pay. 

 

2.  We’ve said that we believe this move would increase competition in Denver.  Can you explain how Southwest’s acquisition of Frontier will enhance competition?
 
Southwest has a 38-year history of reducing fares and stimulating new traffic, particularly in markets where we compete against large airlines (like United) in major cities (like Denver).  How, you ask?  Consider this.  Today, Southwest is the third largest airline in Denver, carrying only 14 percent of Denver passengers.  United, by far Denver's largest airline, carries   about 50 percent of Denver's passengers.  The combination of Southwest and Frontier in Denver will still be smaller than United (about one-third of flights to United's 50%) but will immediately position Southwest as a larger and more effective low-fare alternative to United.  The acquisition would allow us to significantly expand travel options and low fares for millions of passengers travelling to, from, or through Denver.

It is also worth noting that Southwest has historically priced its fares independent of the number of airlines it is competing against, because Southwest also competes with ground transportation (rail, bus, car) and takes that competition into account in setting its fares.  

 

3.  What will happen to the smaller routes like Aspen that Frontier currently flies?
 
Following an acquisition, Frontier would continue to serve those routes just like it does today, at least during the transition period, before Frontier's service could be fully combined into Southwest.  We are still evaluating all the routes that Frontier flies and have not made any final decisions.  Of course, one of the interesting aspects of Frontier is the Lynx operation.  Lynx serves a number of smaller markets in Colorado and other states.  As part of the due diligence work with Frontier over the next week, Southwest will learn more about Lynx in order to develop a plan as part of our bid.
 

 

4.  What about routes that Southwest and Frontier both serve – will that capacity be reduced?
 
In Denver today, there are a number of markets that both Southwest and Frontier serve: there are markets that each carrier serves that the other does not; and there are cities served by Frontier that are not on the Southwest routemap at all, such as Atlanta. Additionally, there are many markets without nonstop service from Denver, and literally dozens of markets that are served by only one carrier – United.

As part of the due diligence, we will take a look at all of these routes, and certainly some adjustments may be made.  Capacity may be reduced in some markets but increased in others.  Our goal is to offer the best combination of flights and fares for our Denver Customers.

The important point to remember here is that this acquisition would allow Southwest to greatly expand its Denver service on an overall basis, and thereby offer a greater level of low-fare competition against United and more flight options for Denver.   It is our plan to bring more, not less, competition and low fares to Denver through an acquisition of Frontier. 


 

5.  Is Southwest planning to enter into routes currently only served by United?
 
We have not made any final decisions, but Southwest is evaluating those United monopoly routes.  Bottomline, routes served by only one carrier, in this case United, offer a great opportunity for us to bring more service and lower fares to the market.

Southwest's entry into Denver in January 2006 forced other airlines to lower their fares significantly.  For example, after Southwest entered Denver, United reduced its fares 30 percent or more between Denver and Albuquerque, Kansas City, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.  United dropped its fares by double-digit margins in numerous other Denver markets as well.  At the same time, passenger traffic rose by 30 percent in those same markets, as travelers took advantage of lower fares and more flight options, not just from Southwest, but from the other airlines responding to Southwest as well.

We have a long history of successfully competing against large airlines in other major cities - for example in Chicago, where Southwest has long battled American and United; in Philadelphia, against a much larger US Airways; and in Salt Lake City, where we compete vigorously against the once-dominant Delta airlines.  In these cases, and many others, Southwest has dramatically lowered the cost of air travel by forcing the bigger airlines to reduce their fares and offer more flight options to consumers.  In doing so, Southwest has given millions of Americans new opportunities for affordable travel. 

This is the essence of the "Southwest Effect," as the U.S. Department of Transportation dubbed it - fares go down and traffic goes up when Southwest enters new markets.  As a result, consumers win.  We look forward to doing the same, for the benefit of consumers in Denver and throughout the country, if our acquisition of Frontier airlines is approved. 


 

6.  Why wouldn’t we keep Frontier’s Airbus planes?
  
Again, Frontier would operate its Airbus aircraft as they do today until we could retire the Airbus fleet and transition to Boeing 737s. We take great pride in our all Boeing 737 fleet.  The 737 has a well-established reputation for performance and reliability.  And, operating one aircraft model allows for better training, maintenance, and operational efficiencies.


 

7.  There are a lot of things about the Frontier brand that Denver Customers really enjoy – like seatback TV’s.  What is going to happen to those amenities?

There are, of course, some service differences between the two carriers. Frontier offers assigned seating for example, while Southwest is proud of our popular open seating environment. Frontier charges for the first two checked bags (in Economy), while Southwest does not.  As part of our due diligence work we look forward to learning about our differences, and looking for ways to continue to improve Southwest’s service offering.  What won’t change is our legendary Customer Service.


 

8.  Frontier is the hometown carrier in Denver – how will the community be affected by the acquisition? 
 
We are very aware that Frontier is beloved in its hometown, just as Southwest is admired and respected in many of the communities we serve and where we have large number of Employees.  As a Company, we want to earn that same level of appreciation in Denver.  We have more than 400 Employees that currently call Denver home – many of whom are Colorado natives - and are already an active part of the community. 

The truth is, we strive to be the hometown carrier in every city we serve. From charitable giving to community involvement to sponsorships, our Employees and our Company are part of the fabric of the community.  Southwest was founded on a sense of family, and that extends to our Employees, Customers, and the community.

Regardless of whether Southwest is successful with respect to our bid, Frontier is being auctioned pursuant to an order of the bankruptcy court.  Thus, the only thing any of us can know with certainty is that Frontier would undergo change of some kind and to some degree.  The future, with or without Southwest, cannot be certain.  But, with Southwest, the largest carrier of passengers in America and the most consistently successful airline in commercial aviation history, Denver and Frontier's employees will have a strong and dedicated partner.


 

9.  Given the tough economy and volatile energy prices, Southwest has had its own financial challenges is the past year.  Why is Southwest in a position to buy Frontier?
 
Southwest has always prepared in good times to weather the bad times, and to be able to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Our financial strength, strong balance sheet, liquidity, and access to capital allow us to both weather the current economic storm and take advantage of an opportunity to grow in Denver by acquiring Frontier.

Since opening in January 2006, Denver has been our fastest growing city – ever!  We are proud of our Denver operation, and the results that we have achieved in such a short period of time.  We are extremely and equally proud of the service options and new low fares we have brought to the market.

Again, regardless of whether Southwest is successful with our bid, Frontier is being auctioned in bankruptcy court.  The only thing we know for sure is that Frontier will undergo some kind of change.  But, with Southwest, the most consistently successful airline in commercial aviation history, Denver and Frontier's employees will have a strong and dedicated partner.


 

103 Comments
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"everuyone" and "bancrupsy" doesn't exactly qualify you to be here speaking with any kind real authority does it??
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"Let's just be clear that this fight for our beloved Frontier has not begun yet." I guess denial isn't just that river in Egypt... The BK Court folks may have some news flashes for you... As the late Mr. Walter C. used to say, "...and that's the way it is..."
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The Alaska Air Group is probably not in the best position to put a bid on F9. When I was working there, which was about a year ago, they still weren't as profitable as WN is/was. QX had a hub in DEN when they were contracted to fly Frontier Jet Express. It lost money for them, even though F9 was paying the bills. Another thing, AS is expanding on the west coast, and needs to watch its self in its own backyard from Virgin America, and other people trying to fly down the west coast from SEA.
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Me thinks BN was a former disgruntled legacy employee who lost their job due to WN expansion at BN. Face it WN just does it better than the legacies. F9 is but a small speed bump so you'd better get used to it as the legacies slowly die off. Just like the dinosaurs which is what they are. WN RULES!!! BTW just flew WN to/from BN & loved it as always. Poor poor AA. How pathetic they've become at BN.
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A couple of misspelled words may have revealed an earlier commentors carelessness, poor typing skills, or inability to spell. Your calling him/her out on it and then dismissing his/her opinion just because of it, simply reveals you to be a complete jerk.
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No we're not coming here to brag about the money the company is making we are here to let you know how we feel about a company taking us over that is known for getting rid of the employees at F9 we see are selfs as a fam. so how would you like it to see your whole fam. loss there jobs ? i don't think you would like it to much and it and it would make you upset not knowning what you going to do now how your going to feed them keep a roof over there heads and food in there belly yeah we don't know whats going to happen if southwest takes control so we don't know what to think about the whole deal so yeah we're a lilttle pissed off but you whold be to so yeah i think Kool Aid is Yumm is right on alot of things so why don't you ask your CEO what his plans and for the F9 employees i'm sure he will tell you the things you want to hear but you also have to look past the smoke to see the truth.
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Let's try taking the already absurd, and making it even more so. For the sake of argument, let's assume that Aeroflot puts in a bid for $300 million (dollars, not rubles), wins the auction by a country kilometer, and promises not to change anything whatsoever about how Frontier is operated. All the F9 folks and many of the posters on this blog (and others) would be dancing in the streets and lauding Aeroflot management for their amazingly brilliant business savvy, and everyone could all then go to bed and get a good night's sleep. Everyone except the CEO of Aeroflot, who suddenly startles awake in the middle of the night asking himself "Что, черт возьми, мы сделали?!" ("What the hell have we done?!") First thing in the morning (Moscow-time), he calls an emergency meeting, and they do a 180 and decide to change EVERYTHING about how Frontier's going to be operated. In the space of a few hours, those guys have gone from being incredibly savvy businessment to being невероятно глупые идиоты. The absolute truth is that they'd be neither. The reality is that F9 has no real say nor control in the final outcome--that decision baton had been passed to others long ago, whether they believed it or not, or whether they agreed with it or not. До свидания Frontier! It was nice while it lasted, but last it could not...
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Me thinks BN was a former disgruntled legacy employee who lost their job due to WN expansion at BN. Face it WN just does it better than the legacies. F9 is but a small speed bump so you'd better get used to it as the legacies slowly die off. Just like the dinosaurs which is what they are. WN RULES!!! BTW just flew WN to/from BN & loved it as always. Poor poor AA. How pathetic they've become at BN. Anonymous — Sun, 08/02/2009 - 18:08 -------------------------------------------------- First of all, I am a Nashville resident and customer and have never worked a day in the airline industry in my life. Second, its BNA and not BN(about as dumb as starting your post with "me thinks" ). Third, Frontier is another discounter who just happens to have better service and not a legacy. Fourth, American Airlines still has the other half of Concourse C, an Admirals Club, and flights to Miami, Washington, DC, Boston, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, and Los Angeles that provide connections to the Northeast, Midwest, West, Canada, the Carribean, Latin America, Europe and Asia. The only place that we can't get to conveinantly with them still is the rest of Florida which if you go back and remember that they used to be a partner with US Airways per this(http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1998/04/24/archive/main7924.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody) and fly them to fill in that hole is not then a problem. London aside which we have easy connections to, we have just as much service as RDU which is still a focus city/hub for Eagle as noted here(http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?p=/footer/eagleOverview.jsp). American and US also have TV screens and digital gate podiums respectively as well as more comfortable seating which is actually secured to the ground unlike a few rows at some SW gates that have been added out on the tile and rock because they aren't secured. Clearly you don't get out much or have a really low standard.
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Will - If WN wins, let's touch base in a couple years when the last remnants of F9 are gone so I can hand you a piece of paper with the words of your post and watch you eat them. Oh, to the poster about the "Southwest Effect"...its been dead for years. Thanks. Southwest no longer has pricing power in most markets, but they do have the public perception that they are always the lowest. Yes they do provide pricing breaks in typical walk up same day travel fares, but any fare pressure on the market is due to capacity dumping. This is an airline that will publicly state that airlines need to consolidate, but then go into a market a dump a ton of 737s that will fly at 50-60% full. Their system wide load factor is amongst the lowest in the industry around 72% according to the SEC filing last week. There are reports that their loads out of Denver are pathetic right now on a lot of flights, though some markets are really strong. But there would be enough capacity currently in place to absorb the majority of the Frontier passengers that current fly on routes both serve. Not to forget, Southwest will utilize 1 and 2 stop service to funnel passengers in and out. Last point today...THANK YOU to the person that brought up First Data. The credit card merchant company Frontier uses. For those of you who ACTUALLY want to know what put F9 into Chapter 11...look at First Data. In 2008 they served notice to F9 to change the terms of their contract and delay the time frame when F9 would be receiving the credit card payouts. This would have KILLED their cash flow. Their only route to keep this from happening was to go under bankruptcy protection to keep the changes from going into effect. Unfortunately, airlines are high risk businesses and you aren't going to find credit card merchants jumping at the opportunity to serve them.
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Sure everyone loves F9....I love working here. But it is time to face facts: 1. WE ARE BANKRUPT! 2. Our business model failed 3. Fancy In-Flight entertainment doesn't do Jack *hit if nobody is willing to pay for it. 4. We are a shell of what we were a year ago 5. Our salaries are toast....our futures are cloudy and we can be bought for chump change. 6. We folded as soon as Southwest hit our market. 7. Our loyal customers went to Southwest in droves. 8. If it is a choice to be owned by the sleaziest regional in the country (Republic) or Southwest....I'll take Southwest. 9. We have failed...our company has failed....it is time to make our best deal and move on!
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Blah blah blah. Angst, double bubble toil and trouble! Look "animals". You failed. Your CEO lied to you. You were not "holding your own against WN". Now then, your choices are clear: A. quit - how's CO's unemployment insurance? B. suck it up - realize that airlines buy / merge with other airlines. At least you'll have a high paying job in as close to a stable job as you'll find in this industry C. whine on the WN blog about how you wanna keep F9 your F9. Right up until they close your doors eh? Tell us how that works out for ya. Republic is not your savior, WN is not your devil. And that bitter mary drinkin' her kool-aid needs to take another swig - it seems to not have worked yet. So rabble and howl. Your brand is dead, your airline is finished. Your plastic scarebuses are going to whomever is dumb enough to buy them. Passengers have laptops and portable DVD players these days, and from what I've seen, are content to watch whatever they want on their own equipment so, mourn for your LiveTV (that you have to pay for!) now. You had a nice (second) run and it didn't work out. Gimmicks are cute though! (weee we have a goat on our airplane tail!). You can always look up pix on airliners.net Oh well. Better hope you can keep smiling and get a job with WN so you can spend all that extra cash on a therapist. I really hope WN catches all the trash in these interviews so it's not left to deal with the same crap that they STILL see from bitter Morris people.
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And stop with the blubbering for Alaska or Airtran to come and save you. They can't afford it. "Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours."
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And to the Ramper - You are the one that should be doing some closer reading - WN never said it would put you all out of your jobs. You should do some digging and find out how much WN rampers make.
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If you dont have anything nice to say why say anything at all. You guys have way to much time on your hands to be putting your 2 cents in for something that has not gone to auction yet. If you have children get off your computers and go read with them. Take a walk outside, enjoy life. We always tell our children when they are throwing a fit to take a deep breath. I think many people on this post need to do the same and give the courts and companies bidding for Frontier time to let the process work. Stop being entitled (crying over inflight entertainment... really?), if you have not noticed our country is not the same. We are very lucky individuals to live in a society that lets us state our opinions. Let the process work and save your opinions until the ink is at least on paper... Let's be patient and wait for the bidding to close and the actual auction to commence. I believe we can all wait until the 10th. God Bless America!
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Thanks to Anonymous — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 03:21 You have just reinforced my opionion of SWA. Its because of people like you, that I do not, and SHALL NOT fly your dog house of an "airline". It has become aparent to me that the sole intention at SWA is to eliminate competion, and "welcome" former Frontier employees into your "family" im not saying all the staff at SWA should be tarred with the same brush, but you sir, are a classic example of why I choose not to fly SWA, and would rather fly another airline, Frontier being my airline of choice, but since your company is eliminating them, I shall take my business to United, and im sure I will be one of many potential customers to do so; I would rather put up with their bad attitudes, than those of the likes of "Anonymous — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 03:21" and to the kind dictator...i mean poster who wrote: "Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours." let me highlight a few issues. " Resistance is futile" resistance goes a long way, If i was frontier staff, I would walk. and leave with my dignity in-tact instead of being munipulated in the way that you are sugesting, "Your culture will adapt to service ours." suggests to me that you are the resistant one, and that any Frontier staff who actually get THEIR jobs back will be below you, and your SWA "culture" classic snobbery. so finally, thank you all for making it so clear to me, why i dont fly SWA and never will in the future. and just to add a somthing to the issue of "scarebus" im sorry, but it has to be said. I go out of my way to avoid Boeing Aircraft, especially 737's, their are by far inferior in comfort and noise levels compared to the Airbus 320 series, personal preference, but at least im not forsing my opinion as FACT. why are you all afraid of Airbus? A MESSAGE TO FRONTIER EMPLOYEES. Stay strong, fight to the bitter end for what you belive in. even if your airline gets Eliminated by SWA, if you stay strong and fight for what you belive in, even if you dont get employeed by southwest, you will be better people, better suited for a better airline, SWA dont deserve you. and to be honest, would you want to work with somebody like "Anonymous — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 03:21, who im also assuming wrote the post that followed" I damn know i wouldnt. Good Luck guys.
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People lets not get all upset because Frontier has done well, but not well enough to survive the storm, it took time for the airline to accomplish what it has, but now it must sell. If Southwest Airlines become the taker of the buyout, then we all have to work together to make sure that all of frontier customers and southwest customers are happier and offered the same service that you all are use to. All of the negativity that has been said is not necessary, foremost that this will be a great move for southwest and many of you will grow to love it. We take care of the employees and all of our customer but this will be one occasion where things will have to work out with both airlines. You rather a profitable airline buy you than not to have a job at all. Lets look at the bright side of this for both airlines and mend and make this better for WN and F9.
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What can you expect of an airline (f9) whose ground ops employees decide to leave the station to go get some food and their plane comes in and the pilot has to sit and wait for 30 min till the groundcrew gets back, so that the passengers can deplane?
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Re: F9 ramp. I didn't hear any of you F9 employees complain when your airline went into BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION. Your airline walked out on paying all of it's overdue bills. How about you crying about all of those employees that got laid off their jobs after your company walked out of paying their bills. How about the contractors that did work for your airline that didn't get paid. How about all of us tax payers who had to help bail you out in bankruptcy court. SWA offers you a long term job with excellent benefits. Republic and Air Trans would come in and pick you apart anyways. Oh and on your TV service mounted on the seat backs, maybe you should do away with the things that cost you too much money. Why are you giving away soo many things free when you can't pay your bills.
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Wow... So I'm a rising junior in college and typically fly Frontier many times a year to and from school, but after reading these rude and abrasive comments from Frontier employees, I can honestly say that I am completely disgusted with you. I've flown Southwest before and it was fine, and if they do end up acquiring Frontier, it'll be a great thing if they can clean up a little (fire all you unnecessarily rude/cocky employees and keep the nice ones). And someone made a comment that Republic would let F9 operate independantly while SWA would divest it completely. Just because Republic says something does not make it true. In all likelyhood, both airlines would eventually phase it out. I'm no airline expert, but it seems like there's no reason to have two independantly operated airlines owned by the same people flying the exact same routes unless they can both fly at capacity. Still, it would be pretty stupid (and probably unlikely) for SWA to completely dispose of Frontier. Don't they fly to lots of places SWA doesn't? (Atlanta? I don't remember Southwest flying there, but I know F9 does... then again, I think that's also Delta territory, so who knows how well SWA could do there anyway...) Well, I've pretty much said what I have to say. I hope Frontier does something about that attitude problem pretty soon. I don't much care for United, but I'll be more than happy to fly them over Frontier unless something changes.
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You know that a lot of this hate and negative stuff is obviously posted by people that are scared and rightfully so. I think that if you just look at the facts that you will see that either way things are going to change for F9. Anybody who is lucky enough to know that being part of WN is awesome. It is nice to come to work and love your job. I would ask if you don't like WN for whatever reason that you just don't apply. Go do something that you truly love because most people at WN are positive and love their company. This is because they take care of people including their employees. This is why the company is so successful. We take care of eachother and treat people with respect. It is very unfortunate that the hometown airline of Denver is coming to an end but that is just the way it is. If the shoe was on the other foot I am sure as an adult I would just accept things for what they are. Most people at WN are excited for the change and embrace the growth and new things including F9 people that would come out of it. It is very likely that the people who are saying all of this negative stuff will be the first to apply at WN. Leave your negativity at the door and come work with a great company. You will LUV it!!!!!
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BTW...go to the Contact Us page on southwest.com. What do you see? Can it be an email contact form? I think it is. How outdated is your information, you who think you know so much about Southwest and its Customer Service policies?
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F9 Soon To Be WN, It's nice to see your calm, pragmatic analysis of the situation, and I wish so many of your cohorts were not swinging after the bell as they are.
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OK, F9 board does not approve sale to WN and FAPA says no way to WN. F9 is now purchased by Republic, fine no problem, WN will just go out and kill the Republically owned F9 in the market place. Bryan Bedford is smart and if F9 becomes a toxic asset because it can not compete and WN is beating them down, he will dump F9 as fast as he wanted to save it. And just how long will he save it, even if things remain status quo with WN in Denver and other F9 markets, what is Bedfords end game? With Midwest, Frontier and three regionial airlines he need economies of scale, and needs to reward those employees who have been with him longest, especially as regional airlines begin to park more and more 50 seat aircraft in the desert and he has a glut of pilots that work cheap and will continue to work cheap if they want to continue to fly. Long Story short F9 has a choice, Accept WN offer (and at least have a chance to work for the stongest airline around that pays good wages) or take your chances with Republic which has made a lot of moves lately, to win a game where only Bedford know what winning looks like.
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Doesn't Southwest's entry into a smaller market limit the potential for international routes by another major carrier? Given Southwest's reluctance to work with other carriers (especially international) and reluctance to work towards international routes work at a disadvantage to the already internationally disadvantaged Denver Intl? Southwest on average flies a lesser number of passengers out of its major stations than F9 does out of DEN or other carriers. Wouldn't SWA make our numbers go way down, possibly hindering the current planned expansion? What about plans for a hanger down here in Colorado Springs? Oh and F9 didn't walk out on overdue bills it was First Data's attempt to withhold 100% of credit purchases until fully cleared that forced F9 into bankrupcy overnight. I guess this deal would lead me to one airline again, United, from COS-DEN-wherever they may take me.
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Here we go..... "What can you expect of an airline (f9) whose ground ops employees decide to leave the station to go get some food and their plane comes in and the pilot has to sit and wait for 30 min till the groundcrew gets back, so that the passengers can deplane?" Anonymous — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 10:24 You obviously have no clue......such an absurd statement with no validity barely deserves a response...but since it's so completely false..I'll just chuckle to myself over it. This one I really like... "Re: F9 ramp. I didn't hear any of you F9 employees complain when your airline went into BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION. Your airline walked out on paying all of it's overdue bills". Complain? we were in complete shock and can tell you for damn sure no one was happy about it. What was there to complain about? First Data would have killed us, Overdue bills? We weren't delenquent on any payments or bills....learn your your facts and quit making things up, you look ignorant. "How about you crying about all of those employees that got laid off their jobs after your company walked out of paying their bills. How about the contractors that did work for your airline that didn't get paid. How about all of us tax payers who had to help bail you out in bankruptcy court." First off I had many friends at the G.O. that were the ones who's jobs were eliminated, Secondly we were saddened for all of them and even helped get some xfered to the ramp to maintain employement. Don't make assumptions for how we felt or what we did...you don't know. Again..we had to pay our bills and work out payments with contractors for their service, otherwise we wouldn't be getting those services. No one went unpaid...again, you speak of things you have no clue about. Tax payers bail out? We pay court fees, just like anyone else....do you have a clue about anything? really? "SWA offers you a long term job with excellent benefits." Show me anywhere in any thread, press release, news article, whereas WN has "guaranteed" F9's employees jobs.... You won't find it because it's untrue. Please perhaps do more research in the future before you come in here and lower everyone's IQ w/ your rubbish. Republic and Air Trans would come in and pick you apart anyways. (sigh) ^ Again..not true...more rubbish. " Oh and on your TV service mounted on the seat backs, maybe you should do away with the things that cost you too much money. Why are you giving away soo many things free when you can't pay your bills." SWA ramp employee — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 10:31" The TV's actually generate Revenue...but I'm sure you don't know that because you haven't a clue wtf your talking about...now go load your plane.
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Blah blah blah. Angst, double bubble toil and trouble! Look "animals". You failed. Your CEO lied to you. You were not "holding your own against WN". Now then, your choices are clear: Again.....you can look up just how were doing vs. WN in Denver...internet ftw..try it. A. quit - how's CO's unemployment insurance? Now your just showing what little class you have..gj B. suck it up - realize that airlines buy / merge with other airlines. At least you'll have a high paying job in as close to a stable job as you'll find in this industry Great..Guarantee that job...oh wait...you can't C. whine on the WN blog about how you wanna keep F9 your F9. Right up until they close your doors eh? Tell us how that works out for ya. Not whining..and I don't feel our door's are getting closed...I just enjoy all the interesting comments. Republic is not your savior, WN is not your devil. And that bitter mary drinkin' her kool-aid needs to take another swig - it seems to not have worked yet. I like Kool Aid...and I'll pick Republics version of Savior over WN's. So rabble and howl. Your brand is dead, your airline is finished. Your plastic scarebuses are going to whomever is dumb enough to buy them. Brand is very much alive based on all of our full airplanes, and better yet, they are flying on "scarebuses" w/o holes in the roof and cracks in the wings. Your really going to question the safety of our planes after WN's last 2 years? Really? 75 Million in fines....sheesh Passengers have laptops and portable DVD players these days, and from what I've seen, are content to watch whatever they want on their own equipment so, mourn for your LiveTV (that you have to pay for!) now. You had a nice (second) run and it didn't work out. Gimmicks are cute though! (weee we have a goat on our airplane tail!). You can always look up pix on airliners.net I'll prefer to look at the real planes, yes with real tv's, and continue to thrive in Denver. Oh well. Better hope you can keep smiling and get a job with WN so you can spend all that extra cash on a therapist. I really hope WN catches all the trash in these interviews so it's not left to deal with the same crap that they STILL see from bitter Morris people. Anonymous — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 03:21 LOL...Therapists...you obviously are the one with pent up emotions based on the angry tone of your blog. Even better, you bash on Morris Air peeps whom were hurt by WN as well...your a winner buddy!!!! Better yet....Most of you peeps who just wanna talk smack won't even post a name or where you are. I make it clear where I am from. Don't hide..you can find me right on the A Con in Denver....all this pansyazz Anonymous — Mon, 08/03/2009 - 03:21 crap.
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I keep reading comments over the years that SW has less amenities than other airlines. Surely, people who write that haven't flown coach in years. Exactly what "amenities" do the dino-lines offer these days? Are their soft drinks and cheese crackers better?
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Oh look, 69 total posts. About the same # of people in this country who GIVE A CRAP WHETHER F9 SURVIVES OR NOT!!!
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I have a simple solution for all of you who are complaining about Southwest's bid, present a higher one. Or better yet, start your own airline. Since Frontier seems to have all the answers I'm sure that it would be profitable in no time.
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Go away Southwest! We don't want you in Denver! It's well known that Southwest's main obejective when coming into the Denver market was to get rid of Frontier. You've had weekly managment meetings on just this topic --getting a home-town airline to go under. Well, congratulations, you did it. How does that make you feel? You moms must be so proud of you and your ethics! Aren't you happy that you make families of Frontier airline employees strees over their job secuurity? I really hope that you'd don't take over Frontier. Your airline is a disgrace!
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It is really sad to hear some of these rude and negative comments about both F9 and WN. I have worked for WN for 16 years and spent the majority of those years commuting to work on F9. They are both excellent airlines who far exceed the service at my old employer United. It is very sad that Frontier will be sold and I understand the fear of the employees regarding job security. The promises of Republic that they would continue to operate F9 as is sound a little unrealistic, so there is uncertainty on that front as well. Let's not bicker over tv''s or other so called service ammenities, but focus on the fact that both carriers are highly regarded when it comes to customer satisfaction. This synergy is why this is a good union. To all Frontier customers and employees, there is a reason why Southwest is rated the best airline to work for. I love my job, co-workers, management, and am the highest paid in the industry! Find an employee at another carrier who can say even two of those things! I truely believe it is a good opportunity in an uncertain economic time. I hate to see Frontier go away, but if it has to go, Southwest is the best option for the employees and passengers. All those who disagree are free to fly or work at another carrier. The specifics of this deal are uncertain at this time and it may not even happen, so let's not get all caught up imagining some horrific outcome and try to focus on the positives!
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Pardon me folks, but I have a favor to ask. I realize that there are strong opinions on every side of this issue, and we are happy to post them here on our site. I would just ask that you please try to respect one another’s opinions and refrain from personal attacks. If you have any questions, please let me know or refer to our user guide at http://www.blogsouthwest.com/guide. Thank you, Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
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Like US Air, I think you should have a few planes painted to commemorate the past airlines that have become part of Southwest: Morris, Muse, ATA, and possibly Frontier.
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F9 failed because Southwest simply is a better product with no bag fees and no change fees. A lot of people think that customers don't know about the bag fees and change fees, but there are certainly enough that do and those people fly Southwest. If F9 would have seen that bag fees and change fees were driving their customers away and adopted the no bag fee and no change fee policy of Southwest, they wouldn't have gone into bankruptcy. But, they didn't. They thought they could get away with them because they had Direct TV. That didn't work. I look forward to flying on a Frontier Airbus, owned by Southwest, maybe even repainted to say Southwest, where I did not have to pay bag fees or change fees. Further, I look forward to Southwest moving into the "A" gates at Denver. Southwest has always taken care of their employees and I am confident that the Frontier employees who come over to Southwest will be getting a good deal from Southwest. But, they do need to learn to have some fun at their job, like those Southwest folks!
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hey, all you good folks at frontier... be thankful, if southwest takes you over... it could be worse, just ask any ex eastern employee...once upon a time there was a guy named frank lorenzo, who had nothing but disdain for unions and employees in general, he took continental into chapter 11 twice...and stole routes and aircraft from eastern, we were wounded just like you are...the difference between then and now, southwest will grow the operation, not destroy it... southwest won't say it, but the president of us air did say it...there is too many seats chasing too few passengers at some point, overall capacity has to come out of the system, unfortunately, you, are going to be the first sacrificial lamb, good luck to all of you, some of you are going to keep your jobs and be with a profitable company that treats it's people pretty good...just think of it this way,,southwest must be doing something right, they have made money for years and never had a strike, never, thank god have had an fatal crash, by the way, to this day is still have not flown on southwest.. but as someone who still follows the industry, i do admire what they have accomplished, and hope that they can work some magic for all you long suffering frontier employees...
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Paula, Thank-you for your comment regarding not to make personal attacks. I wrote the previous post and do believe we should all focus on the potentially positive aspects of this situation. Having said this, I am shocked to read the post before mine that states that Southwest had meetings to eliminate Frontier. If this person was at these meetings, I suggest they identify themselves and not write under anonymous, since it holds no credibility. Southwest has never tried to take Frontier out of buisness, Frontier created their own bankruptcy via poor management. If you read all of the F9 employees and fans posts, they are "kicking SWA's butts" so it is not Southwests fault even by their own admission that they are in financial trouble. On a personal note, I will welcome any Frontier employee with open arms, but hope we do not hire those that believe such unreal, hateful rumors! Not good for our corporate culture!
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Ok Ok WN so you think you have a better product then F9. Then why is it we are flying our routes at 90%? I mean the employees of F9 can't even get on a flight. Just about all of our flights are running at 100% and no we have never laid off any of our employees. Instead of laying employees off we instead offered them the option of taking COLA,so they still have their jobs and we can call them back as needed. So I think you need to get your facts straight before you say something that is untrue. The only reason we are in BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION is do to First Data trying to take 100% of our credit card sales. As far as us not paying our bills then why are we getting a new A320 if we're not paying our bills. I think you need to research the facts more before you decide that you know what it is that you are talking about. Like I said before we are a family at F9 so yes to us it would be better to have family over money. So yes to us Republics offer is a better deal for F9. Yeah we do charge for bags but alot of people don't mind paying that charge. Can you tell me what your bag delivery fees are for delivering lost luggage to people? I have always seen people's bags just lying in the tunnels. I have stopped to pick them up and even brought them back to your bag room so that your customers can have their bags when they go to to pick them up I mean it might help if you would put the cover over your carts, I would hate to see all the bags you have dropped on the way to drop them off or how many bags missed there flight because they fell out of your carts. That is why we close the curtains on our carts, yeah some of them are ripped and we do drop some, but I would like to think that we do try our best not to lose any bags. I think I can say that we do care for our customers and that's why we have a very low MBR and low delivery cost.
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Paula or Brian- If you don't mind me asking, why did you folks make this announcement about Frontier before you had your plans completely finalized and could accurately convey to us just what exactly it is that you are doing/hope to do? It seems that you simply put needless concern and stress in the lives of the Frontier Employees and Customers(as well as some of your own probably) by doing it prematurely like you did. About half of the issues you're having on here probably could have been avoided if Southwest had fully thought this through first and then announced a fully baked idea rather than one that's still in progress. That is not a personal attack, but just a genuine question and if you wouldn't mind speaking to it I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
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Dear A Customer of Both Airlines - I don't claim to know all of the legal rules or procedures involved in this type of action, but I do know that once the proposal was submitted, it would become public knowledge and we would be asked questions about the bid. As such, we have tried to be as forthcoming as possible with the information available to us. I understand that there are still many unanswered questions, and that perhaps there is no easy way to work through such matters. But our philosophy here on this site is to be as proactive, transparent, and upfront as possible. I regret that the remaining unknowns are causing you or anyone (including our own Employees) unease, but please know that our communication is intended to alleviate concerns when possible, and we will continue to provide as much information as it becomes available to us.
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WOW, it is suprising to see all the Frontier employees react this way and so negative? Maybe they are angry with Frontier's management for not keeping them afloat? TO ALL THE FRONTIER employee's - You should be so grateful these companies like Republic and or Southwest will be able to provide you to operate (for sometime) as Frontier and most importantly - still provide a J - O - B. The Frontier employee's made a choice to work for them. FRONTIER peeps here is the bottom line - If you don't want to work for Republic or Southwest then go find other airline jobs! There are plenty of other airlines operating in Denver. What would the FRONTIER employee's be saying if no other airline bid on them and the judge states - LIQUIDATE!! Hhmm, this means, sell off assets, reduce debt, lay off employees, close the doors...Hhmmmm - No brainer there! Ya can't operate in Bankruptcy forever! Sorry to be so harsh, but all of you have a choice! Lastly, either company is not going away! Moan, grown, all you want - Let the reality set in.
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"..no we have never laid off any of our employees>" - F9 Ramp Fam. Our 56 pilots on furlough might beg to differ...
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ya look only 69 comments from frontier customers who come to visit southwests site! haha well once again im an f9 employee who will be looking for work and once again i don't want your job,( if there is actually going to be one that is.) I bet we could get out the phone book and call all the ata and morris air folks who actually were offered jobs and have that task complete in 20 mins. For those of you telling us to grow up, you can pay my bills anytime
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To F9 Pilot The pilots on furlough thats just a very small number compared to the 6000 other employees that are looking at lossing there jobs so thats not even 1% of all the employees for F9 that are going to be out of jobs so i think thats better that the whole company to be with out jobs don't you?
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As a previous F9 employee, I would be scared but then again for the past 2 years I was, and it was stressful going to work everyday and not get any answers. I still strongly believe that when Jeff and Sam left that they knew something was up then. I felt that there had been a lot of things failing, going to markets that we couldn't even get people to work in LIT, and other cities that failed. Lynx wasn't the best idea ever either. They are fuel efficent because they were always cancelled and then we would have to work OT to rebook everyone which was more money for the company. The management started falling apart when friends were getting hired instead of people that actually knew the job, the company and the brand... I'm still just a little in aww that it is actually happening and still blame Menke for it a bit too... Actually a lot. All the unpluggeds and he couldn't answer any of our questions really and would scape goat around them... I give you all props for being able to hang in it longer then I could (we moved to another city and F9 was not hiring), but then at the same time... It was actually a stress relief.. Just felt like putting my 2 cents in. Best of luck to the F9 Family!
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Last week SWA was hiring ramp agents and customer service agents in DEN, but those posting have been taken down so there is hope for some openings there.
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I wonder why F9 employees believe Republic is such a good option and Southwest such a bad one. If we have another dip in the economy, or another rise in fuel costs, or both, Southwest is much better prepared to weather the storm. A Southwest acquisition will undoubtedly result in more change for the F9 folks, but when you're in bankruptcy, change might be the best thing.
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F9, I hope you find a job at United. Since it seems you can't stand Southwest. I am hoping that the employee's of Frontier with Positive attitudes will be employed by Southwest as i am sure they are the ones that Provided great Customer Service at Frontier. You seem to have a narrow approach to this dialogue and not open minded at all of some of the facts. Good Luck F9
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W A L M A R T
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To all angry Frontier employees: While it is highly understandable that you all are upset, there is no need to blame SWA for something that has not happened yet. True, there is no telling whether every Frontier employee will become part of Southwest, but even if Republic acquired Frontier, who is to say that Frontier employees will still have a job. If you all are looking at someone to blame, then point your fingers(preferably the middle one) at the people who run YOUR airline. Listen at what the ex- Eastern employee said, he's right. My parents lost their jobs with Eastern, all because of some sleazy and worthless business man named Frank Lorenzo. You all should be glad that a successful company like Southwest (that cares about its employees) wants to buy Frontier. From what I hear, SWA ground ops is not as overstaffed as many people think they are. The people in ground ops are getting their butt's kicked everyday with a minimal amount of people. I am sure that many of the SWA people would welcome the Frontier employees, just so that they have extra help to relieve some of the pressure. Let's not get ahead of ourselves here, there maybe some real good out of this for you guys. The airline industry is very unstable, even the successful airlines have to fight to survive and stay ahead of the game. That is what makes this industry suck. This is how the game is played.
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Hey F9 employees..This is one Southwest employee who really likes your Airline...Regardless of what everyone on this blog wants to spew out..I hope nothing but the best for you guys..You deserve it!!! I have flown on your airline several times..Nothing but great employees and service..My favorite animal on the tail is the one of the White Rabbit.....Don't assume every WN employee is negative toward your company or your fellow co-wokers..There are over 38,000 of us here at Southwest..All my fellow co-workers I work with want nothing but the best for you..Trust me when I say there are some Southwest employees from ALL work groups who need to be shown the door....If you read a negative comment from one of our folks..Don't assume we all feel that way...Whatever the outcome is I wish you the best of luck.