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Southwest Bids for Frontier Airlines

pberg
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Q&A with Ron Ricks, Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary 

Today, 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.  We sat down with Ron Ricks, our Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, to discuss the bid and what this news means for Southwest Airlines.

 

Q:  Ron, what’s the news today?

Southwest Airlines is preparing a bid to acquire Denver-based Frontier Airlines, which will be sold at auction in bankruptcy court later this month.  The bid is worth a minimum of $113.6 million, and is a nonbinding proposal in accordance with the bidding procedures established in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. 

 

Q: What does that mean exactly?  What’s in proposal?

A:  Southwest is still preparing the proposal, so it's premature to comment on the specifics at this time.  What we can say is that we are interested in a substantial investment in Frontier and to operate Frontier as a wholly-owned subsidiary, independently and separately from Southwest Airlines, for a period of time until the carrier could be combined into Southwest.  

 

Q. When will we know if Southwest’s bid has been accepted?

A. A nonbinding submission of interest must be provided by August 3, 2009.  Assuming that Southwest is determined to be a qualified bidder, Southwest has until August 10, 2009, to submit a binding offer.  If there is more than one qualified bidder, an auction will be held beginning August 11. Southwest believes our bid ultimately will be seen as the strongest bid by all interested parties, including Frontier Employees, management, and its creditors.  

 

Q. Who approached whom?  Is this a response to Republic’s bid?

A. Frontier has been in bankruptcy since April 2008, and we’ve been considering a bid for some time, independent of any action Republic took with its bid proposal.  In the past month, we began an intensive study of the airline and expressed that interest to Frontier.  

 

Q. Obviously, we are in a tough economic environment.  What makes this the right time for Southwest to seek to acquire Frontier?

A. We have always prepared in good times to weather the bad times and to be able to take advantage of a good opportunity, like this one, when presented to us. We have the cash, access to capital, and collateral that allows us to take advantage of this existing opportunity and synergies between Southwest and Frontier.  We believe this is an opportunity to expand our network with legendary low fares, add jobs into Southwest, and boost competition in Denver as well as other cities with our low fares and high quality Customer Service.

 

Q. Is this a cash offer, or a combination of some sort? And, will Southwest accept all of Frontier’s debt?

A. We are still exploring what a final bid would be – it’s really too early to say.  

  

Q: What would a possible acquisition by Southwest Airlines mean for the employees of Frontier?

A: We believe our bid proposal will allow Frontier to emerge from bankruptcy.  Frontier would continue to operate independently and separately for a period of time with its Airbus aircraft and personnel.  Over time, Frontier Employees would be hired into Southwest as needed to support our fleet growth and expanded operations.  We believe the acquisition will boost low-fare competition across the country and certainly in the Denver market.  And, again, we believes our bid will be seen as the strongest bid by all interested parties, including Frontier Employees, management, and its creditors.    

 

Q: What about Lynx (the regional carrier operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frontier)?

A. As part of our overall due diligence, Southwest Airlines will study Lynx.  Until a bid is finalized, it’s too early to say.     

 

Q. Do Southwest’s most recent Union agreements include language that would allow for acquiring another airline and its Employees?

A. All of our collective bargaining agreements have provisions for the acquisition of or merger with another carrier. This is not new to Southwest, as it has in its recent history purchased assets of ATA Airlines (2008) and acquired Morris Air (1993). 

 

Q:  Final thoughts?

A: From a Customer perspective, nothing today changes at either carrier.  This is merely a preliminary step in the process.  There are many details to be worked through, but we are excited about the opportunity to submit a bid. We see a strong fit between our Company cultures, a mutual commitment to high quality Customer Service, and our similar entrepreneurial roots. We are confident that our bid, if successful, will boost low-fare competition and benefit consumers in Denver and other cities our expanded network will serve.

 

269 Comments
Anonymous2235
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Love how the Frontier employees accuse Southwest of rotten customer service when Southwest beats Frontier in the DOT rankings month, after month, after month, after month, after month.....
Anonymous4395
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I think that Airtrin airways sould by Frontier Airlines
A_Customer_of_B
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PLEASE don't do this unless you plan to take their amenities like assigned seating, seatback television and make that the new way at Southwest because, honestly, there is a reason that we choose Frontier over Southwest and Frontier customers would not be happy with anything less going forward. Also, you guys already have enough of a grip over Nashville which you have long since stopped growing for us but leave just big enough to keep most of the competition either out completely or limited to regional jets. We do not want anymore of this here. Either make Airtran and Jetblue come back in to take up the competitive slack or LEAVE OUR COMPETITIVE OPTION WITH BETTER AMENITIES WHICH HAS BEEN SAID TO BE THE LIKE "THE OLD WAY OF FLYING" ALONE!! I want Republic!
A_Customer_of_B
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KEEP F9 MY F9! Anonymous — Thu, 07/30/2009 - 12:30 ---------------------------------------- Ditto
Anonymous2539
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As a Frontier employee, all I have to say is... If they can't beat us - they'll try to buy us! Keeping my fingers crossed for RJET to outbid WN.
ask_me
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Competition will improve with an WN acquisition, just not in DEN. WN would like F9's slots at DCA and LGA plus access to ATL and higher cost traffic to ANC. I just don't see how the second ring cities like DAY and CAK would fit in the acquisition since WN flies to nearby CMH and CLE. The ANC flight is a red eye, which AFAIK, WN just doesn't do red-eyes, but this would help with utilization so it will probably stay. Plus the ANC flights can be bundled with cruises/ and vacation packages. But 5+ hours with no in-flight entertainment. I believe the Airbuses would be gone over time. There's no way WN is going to double up on aircraft types/parts over the long haul since it doesn't fit with their core business model of standardizing on one aircraft and engine type. F9 pilots and mechanics would be the first to go, unless they are certified for 737's too. Lynx may not be totally dead under WN since much of DEN's "home traffic" is from the region including COS, DRO, GJT, etc.
Dave_Talbot
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One thing people need to keep in mind: this is ALL preliminary. I remember a story Herb Kelleher relayed on one of his visits to Baltimore. The captain and first officer were laying by the pool at the hotel in Amarillo shortly after the service was started. The one looked over and said "do you think we'll ever see flights out of Texas?", the other rolled over and said "Nah, it'll never happen". Too many people, be it industry "experts", passengers, or other airlines have been too willing to put Southwest Airlines in a light that "Southwest will never change". Southwest has changed immensely over the years. From automation on the ground to automation in the air, to starting service to destinations Southwest would 'never' serve, to even changing the paint scheme, all these changes have helped the company grow. Is it possible that Southwest may keep Frontier open under it's own flag? Certainly. It doesn't make sense to 're-invent' the wheel when you don't need to. Frontier has a Maintenence facility in Denver. They have certification to fly in and out of Canada and Mexico. They have a contract with LiveTV. And finally, yes, they have survived 'against' Southwest moving into the market. This fact alone illustrates what Frontier has to offer Southwest as a 'sister' operation. My personal opinion is Frontier was never Southwest's target in Denver. It was and will continue to be United. Imagine the two most profitable carriers redirecting both of their efforts on increasing revenue together instead of 'fighting' each other. We've heard typical 'corporate speak' during other larger consolidations in the industry. Southwest has quietly admitted in various venues that the Morris Air acquisition could have been handled in a more civil manner regarding employees. One key aspect in the media stands out to me: "Even if our bid is accepted and approved by the bankruptcy court, our closing on this transaction will be subject to several contingencies. These will include the negotiation of acceptable labor agreements dealing with the interim period of separate operation and seniority; and the appropriate regulatory review. Absent the negotiation of these labor agreements, we will not go forward with this transaction. However, we are confident that the benefits of such a transaction for Employees of both Southwest and Frontier will become self-evident and that we will be able to obtain such agreements." Essentially this means that if they can't take care of the employees at both companies, the deal will not go through. Southwest being one of the heaviest union employers, shapes my personal opinion again is that this is a good deal for Denver, and good for the employees of both companies. Republic is going into uncharted waters taking on a larger operation and larger aircraft, Southwest and Frontier both have a proven track record of operating profitably. Sure Frontier is in bankruptcy, but the actions that led them there have been reversed such as the action by the credit card processor. Let's see these airlines make aviation history by forming the first LCC Alliance.
Kathleen_Hanove
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@Myles Barbula, I've never flown Frontier. I fly about 8 times a year, if not more, and I ALWAYS get better service and have a better experience on Southwest than on any other airline I've flown for years. TV might be important to you, but I'm not willing to pay an extra $100 for my ticket so I can watch TV on an airplane. (I might pay for WiFi, but that's another issue...) I'm not willing to pay an extra $25 for baggage. FYI, I have to drive to CMH to get a Southwest flight (about 90 minutes one-way, more during rush hour). And I live 15 minutes from my local airport. That's how much I love Southwest! It is a real shame for a company's employees and customers when that company goes out of business. But making Southwest out to be the bad guy because they see an opportunity to grow by buying Frontier...that's just not fair. Frontier apparently can't survive on its own. At least this way, some employees will have a chance to remain employed, and I assume shareholders won't be left holding worthless Frontier stock.
LeighH
New Arrival
The "Southwest Family" always welcomes new Coworkers with open arms. However, please remember one thing; "attitude" is so important and it's what sets us apart from other companies!
Anonymous1360
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some of you arnt geting it . F9 is hurting big time even if they made 8 mth of profit,how long can F9 stay afloat, be glad a fortune 500, 5 time triple crown wining,36 out of 38 yrs of posting profits airline is showing interest in throwing F9 113.6 Mil. dollar life raft.
Anonymous1360
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some of you arnt geting it . F9 is hurting big time even if they made 8 qtr. of profit,how long can F9 stay afloat, be glad a fortune 500, 5 time triple crown wining,36 out of 38 yrs of posting profits airline is showing interest in throwing F9 113.6 Mil. dollar life raft.
A_Frontier_empl1
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We don't like you, we don't want you. Go away!!
Anonymous2245
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Interesting news. I flew Southwest on Sunday from Indianapolis to Reno- with 4 stops in between. I have also flown Frontier in the past. Comparing the two- Southwest jet (737) appeared outdated on the interior, filthy- cabins above were dirty and it was obvious. The seats were in poor shape and reclined to a fraction of what the Frontier airlines seats do. In addition, I was blessed by a female attendant and male attendant that made comments throughout the entire flight about a new uniform standard and why there was a lack of communication from higher powers. The jet was extremely loud and and look aged. The Frontier experience has been quit the opposite. Their jets have always been clean, modern looking and much quieter. The jets also had more ceiling height and did not seem as clammy as the Southwest Boeing. Unfortunately, Frontier didn't have any flights from Reno to Indianapolis so I flew on United. Both lags were on an Airbus A320. Clean, modern looking, very very very quiet, and spacious. I never heard any of the crew members bashing management or their positions. Granted, this could happen on any airline but when customers that are paying for services and sitting two feet away, have some courtesy and don't speak negatively about a company I just invested money into. Based on this experience alone, I choose never to fly Southwest again until they modernize their fleet and train employees on ethics and good decision making skills. I don't doubt Southwest makes good business model plans but they shouldn't be afraid to tweak them. So what if they have a fleet of all 737's? Maybe it's time to consider a fleet of all A320's, or all regional jets. Is Southwest looking for new directions in the wrong place? We lost the good touch of what it meant to be to fly- a classy event that you used to dress up for and experience first class service. Now, you pay a high price, ride a filthy jet, and listen to employees that are unhappy while running around the jet in tennis shoes and un-tucked shirts. Why did i pay less for a United flight but get more? Hmmmmmm
Anonymous2858
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I Think some of you people are Stupid.... SWA is the best most well run airline in the world with the best balance sheets And to all F9 emps, you are lucky that you have the chance to get in with SWA!! As far as helping the CO economy , now F9 emps will have a chance to get livable wages with a stable company!! Be thankful when you pay your house payment each month!!! GO SWA!!!! P.S. GO read NUTS!!
JohnC1
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First and foremost this is an effort to obtain more gates in Denver for a pretty fair price. It has nothing to do with F9 routes or its people. F9 is bankrupt--get over it. This economy is in tough shape and this move will provide some of F9 folks jobs--better opportunity then your airline just going under. Republic is not in a position to offer you anything. We don't need the Air Bus nor do we need to share the same city pairs--this will happen and will be approved so get ready.
Anonymous4391
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Speak for yourself. The cultures of the company are opposite. Southwest's employees contribute solidly and are team oriented unlike the many individualists at Frontier. They go the extra miles every day. Have you ever seen ramp people or agents act like they don't want to be there? Never! Unfortunately, even with some good employees at Frontier, many of the ramp personnel and agents don't seem to posses the same spirit They act like they're doing the company a favor by showing up.
Anonymous4391
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If you think Republic will preserve those cute animals and the Frontier brand you're on crack. Look what they did to Midwest and their employees (most are out of work, replaced by lower cost regional pilots & flight attendants). They'll just replace the Airbus with their E-Jets in time and do the same thing. Face it, no matter which way it goes, the brand Frontier established is going away.
chrisnh
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Us armchair QB's might wonder about this, but the folks running Southwest are sharp. This might be the time for organic growth to give way to growth by acquisition. There are more than a few folks hoping that Denver-Manchester comes along for the ride.
Anonymous3078
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Southwest couldn't stand the fact that they could not put an end to Frontier the old-fashioned way, so it has come to this. It is a heart-breaking shame. I can only hope and pray that a situation presents itself to allow Frontier to remain an independent subsidiary; as this seems to be the only best-case scenario left. Southwest has made it very clear that they do not intend to keep any of the Airbus fleet, and will only hire Frontier empoyees, as they stated, on an "as needed" basis. Denver is sure to loose a great, fun, classy airline, and scores of Frontier employees are sure to loose their jobs in a devistating national economy. My heart goes out to all Frontier Airlines employees. I share in your anxiousness and heartache, and I can only hope that the bankruptcy judge and creditors committee see this offer from Southwest as nothing more than a predatory, pouty move.
A_dedicated_Fro
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As a Frontier employee and someone who has been in the industry for 18 + years and 3 carriers later. Frontier by far is the BEST AIRLINE out there!! I PRAY TO WHATEVER GOD OR GODDESS WHO IS LISTENING that SouthWest NOT be allowed to buy Frontier. Please tell me how can anyone sit here today and tell me that this is a GOOD idea for anyone? Where does the competition come from?? Let's get real Frontier is the Airline to beat in Denver the numbers prove it day in and day out. In the blogs written today no one has yet to prove how taking out the competition creates healthy competition. When you have no competition there is NO need to compete against yourself! I am proud that WE (every employee who have PROUDLY and WILLINGLY sacrificed and given to our company over the past year) ARE THE AIRLINE that is a threat to Southwest (let's be real if we didn't have what they wanted they would not look twice at us! To our Pilots, In-flight crews, our MX department, Especially Customer Service, and everyone in the Frontier family--- I am proud to be apart of our team that works together on a daily basis - YOU ARE THE BEST!!!! I am proud to see a Pilot standing up and speaking the hard truth. Where will our crews go???? Where will our wonderful Mx employees go? How many Diamond awards do you have WN? For those who don't know us Frontier is strong, Frontier is a survivor proven over and over again. Yeah there were issue that put us in Chapter 11, but let's not put all on Frontier, things happen when companies loose money from other companies who go out of business and take a knee jerk reaction with current customers to make up for losses. Point proven look at your monthly credit card statements why would your interest rates go up if your paid on time yet they still go up because of losses in other areas of business. Don't blame Frontier wholly!! LOOK who's fixed their problems and Look is making money - Frontier!! Yeah Frontier employees are worried but we also believe that our Leaders will do what is best for us! Let's make no mistakes I will be very proud to work for Republic who has stated we will stay Frontier and Lynx we are all very excited about this because at least there is job security for us. Southwest can not and has not guaranteed us anything... How many people do you really need to board an airplane??? Yeah we may take delays from time to time but guarantee you; if you look at most of the reasons a delay is taken it is because we put our Customers First. What about that family that may have taken a little longer getting through security do we leave them behind or do we wait a minute to get them where they need to go?? hummm We wait and get them where they need to go!! Look at our flights on a daily basis we obviously have people who love us! Our bookings have soared since April 11, 2008 does that sound like an airline that is second best to SouthWest? To Our Loyal Passengers and the new ones we get daily, please know that WE at Frontier appreciate you daily and do not take you for granted. Thank you for believing in Frontier! PROUDLY AND HOPFULLY A FRONTIER AIRLINES EMPLOYEE WHO WILL WORK UNDER THE REPUBLIC UMBRELLA!
BigJoe4
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For all those posting that they hope Republic is successful in their bid for F9... What exactly do you know about the holding company Republic airways? Not the Republic of old but the company that bought the Republic name a few years ago? Try a search for Chautauqua Airlines. What do you know about Republics leadership "Brian Bedford, Wayne Heller?"?) A little research into them and how they treat their employees may provide some valuable insight into what the future holds for F9 if they are successful in their bid. Lower wages, worse work rules, whipsawing Frontier employees against Republic employees. All the things that make other airline employees difficult to deal with will be slowly bred into the Frontier work group essentially killing the heart and soul of F9 and just leaving the shell which is nothing more than an airplane with some cool animals on the tail and a TV to stare at for a couple of hours. The culture at places like WN and F9 is conceived at their earliest beginnings. You can't teach the guys in charge at Republic and other airlines how important that culture is much less how to nurture and grow it...they just don't get it! Find some of the forums where their employees post and ask them what they think of the company and how they are treated. I can truly understand the love you have for F9 and the culture and following they have in the Denver area...but I'm afraid you are sadly mistaken if you think Republic will nurture and grow F9 as the airline you now know regardless of what they tell you. For the employees at F9 that work under a negotiated labor agreement, this transaction would fall under an acquisition and thus your unions will have to come to an agreement with WN unions on seniority integration and other issues. There is no more "buy a company and fire everyone and put our own people in" anymore. As the airbus are returned when their leases are up and 737's are put in their place, F9 employees would come over to the WN seniority list and hold whatever seniority they Negotiated. And according to WN leadership, that would all have to be worked out prior to moving forward with this acquisition. In a nutshell if all unions aren't on board, WN walks. I think I would rather roll the dice on a company with a proven track record of treating their customers and employees with respect and appreciation than the other option presently on the table. Either way I truly wish nothing but the best for F9 and their employees.
Shannon1
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Face it, as unfortunate as it is, F9 is ka-put no matter WHAT happens. Quit blaming WN, as there is no way Republic will keep F9 the way it is either. In fact, republic will probably return the airbus' to their lessors, and continue to grow their E-jet fleet in response. Plus, they would have to massively downsize their DEN ops in order to keep enough E-jets around for other ops. Its just not a good future for either way. I feel WN will do their absolute best to integrate F9's friendly employees into the airline, and do their best to serve the citizens of Denver well. If any airline is in GOOD fiscal shape to be acquiring F9, the best choice is obviously WN. Sure, F9 has had 8 profitable quarters in a row, but lets face it, they are bankrupt, and up for sale. It doesn't matter how the quarters went, because they are now up for auction, and the highest bidder takes all. So WN is not the death of your airline, Republic is just the same. Plus, Republic will most likely do to F9 what they've done to Midwest, outsource mainline employees in favor of their own lower-wage employees. Plus, Republic is a small company that already has its hands full with Midwest, and this would just add to the giant mess they have accruing over there. If I worked for F9, I'd rather my airline be in the hands of a successful, proven airline who is here to stay and has smart leadership at the helm. Also Paula, thanks for putting up with this and providing us with well rounded answers on the issue at hand :-) Shannon (Loyal WN flier from AMA)
pberg
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Thanks, Shannon. The site is here to provide our Customers with a place to share their thoughts and opinions with us, so all are welcome. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I actually lived in Denver for several years, so I know how beloved Frontier is in there. I've also flown Frontier myself many times, so I know that their Employees provide a great flying experience. This is an emotional issue and the uncertainly of it all doesn't help. But being that we are in the preliminary stage of this process, there are simply more questions than answers at this point. That said, some folks raised some legitimate concerns and questions on the blog here today, and I will do my best to get back to everyone tomorrow with answers. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Paula Berg Southwest Airlines
Anonymous953
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Keep your hands off my F9!
Anonymous1555
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It is funny how people are bragging about Frontier being profitable and such a a great airline, but I think people are forgetting that THEY ARE OPERATING UNDER BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION. I am sure that if Southwest did not have to pay their creditors they would be making alot more money as well.
Anonymous998
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I am a current F9 employee and I would like to apologize for some of my co-workers comments. You need to understand that we have put our all into F9 and have made sacrifices to "extend the runway" for our great company. It is understandable that we are upset that all of that hard work may end up without the F9 brand. I respect SW for your culture and ability to run a very good airline. I would most assuredly like to see F9 fly under our own colors long into the future, however if that is not possible, I would be happy to belong to a team such as SW's. Current Frontier Employee
southwestair556
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I wouldn't mind seeing at least 1 A320 and a Q400 in the canyon blue livery I love southwest they are the only airline I fly. I think that this is a great oppertunity for SWA. If this happens and SWA keeps the Q400s I think that they should send some of them to the New England Area to serve smaller airports that they do not serve. They should base them at BWI and fly to airports like PWM,BTV,BGR and other places like ACY it would be nice to also see a southwest express
Anonymous3799
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im still allergic to peanuts. I cant wait until we have one phone company again also. Southwest should make a monopoly game.
Anonymous3799
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i love how you filter out the comments that you dont want people to read.
Anonymous3179
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Great business move for WN!!!...if republic gets lucky enough to win the bid you'll see them in chapter 11 in the not to distant future anyway....WN should have bid for Midwest Express as well after they gaffed on the Airtran buyout....its all about taking seats out of the market right now and this is a great way to do it
pberg
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To the previous commentor who suggested that we are filtering comments...I have been moderating the site all day, and there is not a single comment that I have not posted. I think the wide variety of positive and negative comments illustrates that point. If you attempted to leave a comment that you do not see on the site, please try again, as the problem may have been on your end.
Anonymous3798
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For the f9 employee above who is completly sucking up to southwest for a job it seems. I know your name and its JUDAS! Sheesh dont you have any dignity. If this goes through you wont be joining WN as part of a team, you will be joining the rest of us at the unemployment office. For southwest to open up the operations they would want in denver it would cost them more money than to buy us at a discounted price at some sad... sad... Auction. I dont know about you but ive started looking for work outside of the airline industry which is the most unstable enviroment out there. As you recall the airlines were the first to go through this economic crisis that the world is in and will most likely be the last to emerge. Before we know it we will all have the option of WN or WN. And only then will we all see how low their fares will be when they can charge whatever they like. Sheesh i feel like my favorite team is leaving and im stuck watching the cowboys every sunday. YUCK! The Court should not allow this type of strong arming in the industry, hopefully they make the right choice so they dont have to correct their mistake later. And to all the F9 and WN employee's this is something only a handfull of people know whats going on. But even they still have to wait and see what will happen. Quit assuming you know whats going to happen or whos a better airline. It sounds like a bunch of 3rd graders fighting over the green playdough.
Anonymous776
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I am a Frontier employee and this is a very difficult roller coaster ride to be on right now. Southwest is a great company, filled with great employees. However, I believe the Frontier brand and it's employees are safer in the hands of Republic. What reason would Southwest have to buy little Frontier other than to remove a thorn it's side. Good luck to all my fellow F9 Animals!!!
pberg
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I am sure this is a very difficult time filled with uncertainy. If it means anything, I know that the Employees of Southwest are thinking of you, respect your concerns, and truly want the best for all of us.
dmjm0817
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Hey I don't care who Southwest buys so long as Southwest STAYS Southwest. Decent fares, great service, superb employees, open seating, on-time departures and arrivals. I know that this has got to be creating some anxiety for both Southwest and Frontier employees. As a Southwest shareholder and frequent traveler I doubt that Gary Kelly and the other managers at Southwest would be doing this without carefully thinking it over. Oh just one more thing, I will NEVER fly on a ScAirbus aircraft so no chagning over to ScAirbus or I'll have to find another airline. THANKS!
Anonymous1613
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i use to work for southwest and i left from injury...now im working for frontier so what do you think well happen to me!!!!!
Anonymous1442
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Dear Concerned SWA Employee - Agree that our Culture needs to be protected - it's what makes working here so special. As someone who spent seven years living in Denver, I can tell you that Frontier has a very strong Culture, similar to our in its commitment to Customer Service and the genuine affections it garners from its Customers. I think their Employees would actually mesh well with our Culture. Paula Berg — Thu, 07/30/2009 - 12:51 -------------------------------- That is if you keep everything that is their product, airline, and culture which you won't. You'll do to Frontier exactly what you did to Morris, Muse, ATA, and what American did to TWA. In 5 years you'd never know that they existed. We're not stupid. We know what you're really planning to do and that is squash a good competitor that alot of people like for your less perky product. If you were to incorporate their assigned seating, seat back tv, Lynx to get to smaller cities from your bigger markets like BWI, MDW, BNA, MCO, PHX, etc. etc, then that would be different but I just don't believe it. All I can see is TWA in STL.
Animal_Size
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There is a lot of misplaced anger here. SWA is not doing anything TO Frontier; Frontier put themselves in a position to be acquired and that's what's happening. SWA is making a business move and it certainly is not personal. Who knows who else might bid on Frontier, but it certainly does not make SWA the bad guy because they happen to be in a position and have the funds to buy Frontier. SWA is a great company and their employees enjoy working there. If Frontier employees want to be mad at someone they need to look to their Executive Board and how they mismanaged the airline and ended up in this position with their jobs in jeopardy. If SWA does end up the highest bidder they will do what makes good business sense and again it won't be personal, just business.
Anonymous1613
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Well i work for frontier and i used to work at southwest and i left because i hurt myself do you think i will still have job if southwest takes the employees of frontier???
Anonymous3326
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Just wait until this happens and you'll see a MAJOR "ghettoization" of Frontier. They'll get rid of their wonderful planes, TV's, 3 lavs, etc. and then cherry pick the 3 or 4 F9 cities they can connect with their redneck destinations ad nauseum, shut down their wonderful Costa Rica and Mexico routes (we all know their IRRATIONAL-DUMB-REDNECK fear of overseas flying) and just destroy what is left of a remarkable little airline. SOUTHWEST PILOTS AND FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Don't get too excited! Don't picture yourself in Mexico or Costa Rica! If you thing that your management is going to trust your ill qualified - redneck/ignorant behinds to work those flights y'all are on crack. I guess that Jetblue, Spirit or Airtran eventually will pick those routes, they know how to do it and how to do it well.
Boeing_RJ_s
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I enjoy flying F9 out of DTW and fly them whenever I go any where west. I like the 319's but prefer to support American jobs with an American made product. I can't fly WN because of the peanuts. Inhalation or touching where a peanut has been can mean death in as little as three to five minutes. Keep F9 as it is or drop the nuts please!
Anonymous4399
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For the employees of Frontier, I am sure this is a scary moment. But trust me, Southwest knows how to take care of its employees. As a consultant who has worked for dozens of "household name" companies and recently did work at Southwest, I can honestly say I have never seen a culture as unique, friendly, fun and caring as I witnessed at Southwest. There is a reason they are consistently rated as the one of the top places to work! I think many of the posters are missing the big picture here. Yes, WN would be taking out a competitor but F9 and WN only seriously compete in the Denver market - its just one city of many and not going to drastically affect WN's bottom line as F9 is only about 1/10th the size of Southwest. In fact, F9 and WN together still don't equal the foothold that United has in Denver. Instead, for just over $100 million, Southwest will be acquiring gates in many key cities where it doesn't already have a presence, including ATL and several international cities. They would also be able to leap into the international market - not just with flights but with systems based on the SABRE platform that support international travel. Implementing this at Southwest would be a huge effort and would probably cost more than half of the cost of the merger alone. Plus, F9 has code sharing and marketing relationships with other airlines that Southwest may be able to inherit. Sure, change is scary and in this economy, everyone is and should be worried about their jobs. However, the airline that should be worried is United and its dominance in Denver, not F9 and the employees that would be cared for and nurtured under Southwest's wing. Plus, the unions will not let any employee be taken advantage of. Remember, the predicament that F9 is in was not initiated by WN. F9 put itself into bankruptcy and put itself up for sale. It's in the best interest for every employee and stakeholder at F9 to have competition in the sale. My two cents.....and congrats to WN if they actually make it through the many hurdles that will exist in this process.
Anonymous681
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Republic??? are you kidding me?? They are not even their own real airline. They are a feeder for all other airlines. They don;t know how to run an airline on their own. They have even admitted it. If you think they are the savior for Frontier. You need to be awakened. Wow! Some of the Posts blow me away. This is a Business and Southwest obviously knows how to run a business and an airline. The best airline I might add. So pay more for t.v. and assigned seating with United. There will always be people that appreciate the airline(Southwest) for allowing them to travel reasonably. Hopefully some of you will realize this someday. Good luck traveling on others.
JAndy
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F9 fans have got to get a grip! What happened to ATA, Aloha Airlines, Champion Air, and Skybus Airlines in 2008? Poof. Gone. Be thrilled that anyone is willing to take on the bankrupt airline. And why not WN? At least they are offering a glimmer of home. And when ATA folded and stranded all of their passengers all over the place, Southwest took on every single stranded passenger they could to get them home.....for free. Did Frontier step up at all? Nice culture. (Actually, in all honesty, I don't know for a fact what Frontier did in this case...it is only what I have heard from people.)
Anonymous776
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So if you don't know what Frontier did in that case JAndy, why did you mention it. Get a clue!
Anonymous2068
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I wish SWA management would quit the B.S.,,, "we will hire f9 employees as we integrate'.? SWA's way of hinting to this "preferential interview" crap?? ATA is only a most recent example of SWA's raping and pillaging of the industry. If they don't integrate all of us pilots fairly and equally,, I hope FAPA and the F-9 crews will have the courage to walk,, leaving 50 airplanes rotting on the tarmac and let SWA eat it,, Make no mistake, SWA will hang us to dry if given the chance, I just hope no one is dumb enough to listen to the politically correct tap dance,,, but we did elect Oprabama as a nation,, so we may just be that stupid,,,,,
A_Customer_of_B
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This(http://blogs.wsj.com/middleseat/2009/07/30/southwest%E2%80%99s-bid-for-frontier-is-bad-news-for-united/) is a lousy approach for Southwest to take in the industry. What it fails to mention is that often times you do these things to drive the other airline out of the market and then shrink to leave that market with a far inferior level of service to what they had before. Fine if you want to compete but do so by attracting customers from your competitors with a superior product rather than ruining the competitors and their alternatives.
Anonymous2218
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,,, this is all bunch of B.S.! SWA keeps dancing around the subject of employee integration. "preferential interview" nonsense is a politically correct way of pillaging what hey need and dumping the rest of us into the unemployment line. I hope FAPA and the the rest of us stand strong and ground everyone of our airplanes until we get a fair and equitable deal.
Anonymous359
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Not to critical, but I hope Republic Airways wins this bidding war. Not be mean WN fans. This might benefit you all, but if it is going to put people on the street without a job in an unstable economy. I don't know about the rest of you fellow readers, but it shows to me that you are just in the business to be the best cut throat airline at a low cost. I know business is business but I think you should consider the F9 employees, because one day it might be you. You can't ride the gravy train forever. Oh an no Iam not an employee, nor related to anyone in the business. At least Republic will keep all F9 employees on board. And who ever wrote in about where was F9 when ATA went under, and how F9 didn't stup up to help. Whell if you recall Frontier wasn't in the position to help, and second I do believe SWA was codeshare with them so it only would make sense that they should even though they might not felt obligated.
kcavsfan
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Hey Fabio, we sell the garbage airbus back to airbus!