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Reporter Takes on MAXjet

Uh, don’t piss off a reporter from the Times of London.  A reporter from the paper found her MAXjet flight delayed by 2 1/2 hours and then proceded to write a vicious article attacking the airline and telling people not to fly the airline.  Now, I don’t really care whether you fly MAXjet or not, but let’s be real: flights are delayed all the time.  She was especially angry that she felt lied to by ground staff and then the airline’s CEO.  A 2 1/2 hour delay is not uncommon (though I’ve also heard that MAXjet has suffered its share of mechanical issues), but a 1000 word attack on the airline is probably not warranted.  And her editors should’ve known better.  That said, it’s a good read.

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  1. Interesting read Jared.

    First of all, we need to separate the seed from the chaff. She is a Business traveler, not a Leisure traveler – case stated in her article. Business travelers have a different mindset. Time is Money, not succumbing to the “good fare so therefore it is acceptable to wait a bit” leisure traveler mentality. Business travelers do not need surprises ( no interline agreement with BA because it is not an IATA carrier) – just answers. Ticket agents knowing less than the Business traveler is all too common, but not getting a straight answer from the CEO is lack of confidence and bad press.

    Was Tricia a little verbose and did she scream? Yes, it is evident and the flavor made me think more of the Online Sun, but let’s walk away from her article remembering her two main points, a) MAXJet suffers from a thin schedule and b) lacks partner airlines willing to help out in the case of problems.

    CEO Gary Rogliano needs to address some major issues if he is in it for the long-haul …. switching over from Concept to Reality.

  2. Jared–

    Thanks for this post.

    The reporter was not being truthful. I posted an extensive rebuttal on my blog.

    http://maxjet.blogspot.com/2006/07/having-hard-time.html

  3. So, maybe someone from Maxjet can explain to me why they try to sell Stansted as a great alternative to Heathrow, but then up and decided that BWI wasn’t classy enough for all that big money in DC. You can’t simultaneously claim that Stanstead is better for business travellers because of fast customs, and that BWI isn’t great because…why? No “NoVA” cache?

    I stopped cheering for this airline when they made that move.

  4. MAXjet’s initial business plan was to be a low-cost, international airline (with coach seating only).

    It made sense at that time to fly out of BWI because of the Southwest feed.

    After the company nearly shut down (before it even started) and a change of CEO, the new business plan called for a low-cost, business class airline.

    MAXjet didn’t feel that enough Southwest customers wanted to fly business class so they decided to move their base to New York and Dulles where other airlines’ clienteles would match theirs better.

    Regarding London, it is extremely difficult to get landing slots at Heathrow.

    Eos, a luxury airline that flies from New York to London was not able to secure landing rights either.

    Silverjet, a new all-business class airline that’s copying MAXjet’s model, will not be able to fly out Heathrow either but will choose Luton.

    I hope this helped.

  5. Thanks Dan. I appreciate your response. It’s particularly insightful, because it suggests that Stanstead would not be the airline’s first–or even second–choice if getting a Heathrow landing slots wasn’t such a scam.

    Afterall, what is Stanstead if not the BWI of London–the low-cost hub (presumably Ryanair passengers don’t care any more than WN passengers about business class) that is always looking for more and more international service. So the marketing spin that Stanstead is “more convenient” for the business traveller (faster customs, smaller crowds) is just Maxjet’s way of making the best of their London airport situation.

    I still don’t buy that it’s because of WN. I doubt you have people flying in on United hoping to make a connection on your airline. Without codeshare, a missed connection is a no-show, so I’m guessing most of your DC traffic is local.

    Yet Dulles, despite being just as far from DC as BWI, but having fewer transit options (no rail), a smaller cachment area than BWI (can pull people from north of Philly for the right flights), and being incredibly inconvenient to get around (replacing the ‘mobile lounge’ with a 10 minute walk wasn’t an improvement) for some reason appeals to your management. They’d rather go head-to-head with at least three other airlines that offer nonstop UK service, than the one BA flight a day from BWI.

    As I said, I can only guess it’s the hip factor.

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