Brian Sumers – May 4, 2013
“A lot of airports do it, and it’s a good thing to offer to get new service,” said Brett Snyder, a Long Beach-based aviation analyst who runs the crankyflier.com blog. “But something like this is not generally a make-or-break proposition.”
Ben Mutzabaugh – April 24, 2013
Brett Snyder, author of The Cranky Flier blog and a proprietor of the Cranky Concierge travel service, says the move by US Airways increased the likelihood that Delta and American may follow, though it wasn’t inevitable.
Since the change fees won’t affect the way customers see fares, Snyder said, United and US Airways may have more patience to test the water with the increase than airlines typically do when they attempt fare hikes.
Queena Kim – April 17, 2013
An appearance on Marketplace discussing American’s computer outage
Janet Cho – April 8, 2013
Brett Snyder, author of the CrankyFlier.com blog in Long Beach, Calif., said the rankings are misleading because they measure the rate of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers instead of against the total number of bags, even though fewer people are checking bags.
Although 11,445 complaints were filed in 2012, Snyder said more people are still likely to complain to the airlines themselves.
Brad Tuttle – March 26, 2013
Among travel insiders, the ad is being viewed as a sign of a possible “identity crisis” within Southwest. The CrankyFlier bashes the commercial, which is probably unsurprising given the name of the blog. “This ad is just pure… bleh,” the post states. “It says nothing to me. This could be for Southwest or any other legacy airline.”
No song lyrics are audible during the ad, but the CrankyFlier’s Brett Snyder identifies the tune playing in the background and notes that the chorus ironically includes the line: “Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for.”
Though the CrankyFlier’s Snyder is obviously not a fan of Southwest’s new commercial because it makes the airline seem like every other airline out there, he says that Southwest is still different from the competition in a few key ways. “The most obvious difference is that Southwest hasn’t gone with the a la carte model of pricing and instead continues to bundle things like bag fees and change fees into the price of the ticket,” Snyder said via e-mail. “That’s why you often see that Southwest isn’t the cheapest anymore.” Also, Southwest’s customer service model, loaded with “employees that are empowered to solve problems,” is generally superior to the ham-fisted bureaucracies in other airlines’ customer service departments, according to Snyder.
So even as fares have risen, Southwest still sets itself apart with good customer service and the checked-bags value proposition. But for how long? Southwest has already been following the industry’s lead by adding new fees for services like priority boarding, and more nickel-and-diming practices seem inevitable. Snyder worries that Southwest will struggle to maintain top-notch service, especially after it swallowed AirTran—which was also known as a “low-fare” carrier, but one with a very different customer service environment.
Ben Mutzabaugh – March 26, 2013
“This is completely absurd,” Brett Snyder – author of The Cranky Flier blog – tells the Plain Dealer.
Snyder notes airlines that award miles tend to use the so-called “great-circle” distance calculations, which accounts for the curvature of the earth in calculating the shortest-possible distances between two destinations.
“It is downright silly to think that the airlines are going to compute the exact distance flown on every single operated flight and award it that way,” Snyder adds. “United and other airlines offer mileage calculators where you can compute what you’ll earn before you even buy your ticket,” he adds to the Plain Dealer.
Snyder says he was so “worked up” after learning about the lawsuit that he also decided to do his own blog post on the suit.
“I for one hope that this suit disappears quickly, because it’s pretty much everything that’s wrong with the court system,” Snyder writes via his Cranky Flier blog. “It’s a waste of taxpayer resources that will only provide a significant benefit for the lawyers involved.”
Janet Cho – March 23, 2013
Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Flier LLC in Long Beach, Calif., and author of the CrankyFlier.com blog, put it even more bluntly.
“This is completely absurd,” he said via email.
“It is downright silly to think that the airlines are going to compute the exact distance flown on every single operated flight and award it that way. United and other airlines offer mileage calculators where you can compute what you’ll earn before you even buy your ticket.”
He said airlines calculate their miles based on “great circle distance,” the actual number of miles between two points, instead of miles via a straight line.
“Because of the curvature of the Earth, the great circle route is the shortest distance between two points,” he said.
According to Gcmap.com, for example, the distance between Dulles and Beijing is 6,921 miles, one mile more than United’s 6,920 miles.
“This is pretty much everything that’s wrong with the court system. Even if it goes nowhere, it’s already wasting taxpayer dollars and time that could be used for legitimate cases,” he said.
“This is a guy just trying to game the system while wasting everyone’s time. I hope this gets thrown out.”
Brian Sumers – March 5, 2013
Aviation analyst Brett Snyder, who operates the website crankyflier.com, called the new flights interesting, but noted that large airlines tweak their schedules often, starting and stopping new routes as market forces change.
“What it seems like is they are seeing a lot of different random opportunities and they are trying to roll it up into one big L.A. story,” he said. “It seems like they are looking at L.A. and saying, `Do we have any markets where we can make some money?”‘
Brian Sumers – February 14, 2013
With US Airways executives now running the combined airline, it might make sense for the new American to pare down its Los Angeles flights while building them up at other airports in the region. But Brett Snyder, founder of the aviation website Crankyflier.com, said US Airways executives know the world’s largest airline must have a strong presence at the nation’s third-largest airport, where it will compete with United and Delta.
“The US Airways management team has always had a pretty clear strategy that, if you can’t be No. 1 or have a serious presence, then why be there?” Snyder said. “If you go with the current US Airways strategy, they would just walk away from LAX except with flights to their hubs, because it’s a bloodbath with all the airlines fighting. But now you’re one of the big three. You need to be relevant.”
Yamil Berard – February 13, 2013
In recent years, Brett Snyder has lamented the absence of American Airlines in Long Beach, Calif.
At one time, the Southern California native could fly from Long Beach to DFW Airport and head almost anywhere in the world. Later, he could come home to his local airport — a hop, skip and a jump from his beach town home. But then American ended its flights into Long Beach, leaving Snyder with fewer options.
That’s why Snyder, like hundreds of other passengers around the country, may have reason to cheer for a merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
“People are going to get to go to more places,” said Snyder, who runs the CrankyFlier.com blog. “There should be more destinations within the American network for sure.”
But Snyder believes that higher-than-average fares would be limited to few cities.
“There are very few markets where they (American and US Airways) today have overlapping services,” he said. “They operate pretty independently from each other.”
The other guessing game, Snyder said, is what culture will emerge at the new American.
“There’s a general perception that US Airways is a much more frugal type of airline and that people don’t get the same frills,” as with American or others, Snyder said.
“Some people are afraid that this will rub off on American, but I don’t think it’s realistic to think that will be true,” he said.
Liset Marquez – January 29, 2013
Brett Snyder, a former airline manager and author of The Cranky Flier, said December’s drop can be attributed to a trend among ONT airlines.
“It was mostly a combination of airlines shedding away one flight a day in a variety of (destinations). The issue is losing one frequency and optimizing their flights,” he said.
Snyder compared a week’s flight schedule for carriers in December 2011 to the same time frame in 2012 and found that some of the decline was offset by airlines who added seats on other flights.
Katia Heller – January 22, 2013
“This is yet another of several recent attempts by Southwest to add peripheral fees so that it can raise revenues without tarnishing its image,” wrote Brett Snyder, president of The Cranky Flier, in an e-mail. “Southwest’s elite travelers won’t like that people can buy their way to the front of the line, but it will be welcomed by those at the back. This is the first effort Southwest has made to allow people to better their position once they know their boarding number.”
Katia Heller – January 3, 2013
Brett Snyder of Crankyflier.com has more magic wand-intensive wishes.
“My wish for the airline industry is that instead of increasing storm intensity, climate change results in exactly the opposite: Bad weather disappears completely,” Snyder said.
“Further, aircraft manufacturers come up with a new manufacturing process that not only guarantees airplanes will never have mechanical problems but also allows them to run solely on garbage.
“Without storms and broken airplanes, airlines run 99% of their flights on time. Free from the high cost of oil, airfares plunge, and the world learns to love them again. As the owner of an air travel assistance business, this would put me out of work, but it would be well worth it.”