Tag Archives: transportation

Economics of Airline Class Seating

Plane fares are frustrating. From the time someone searches for a flight in the morning, until they book it later in the week (or day), the price changes. And don’t even get started about how little leg-room and seat space there is in the economy class section! But then again, the economy class is not how airlines make money. How does an airline make money on fares?

First class and premium cabin seats!

Here is an example of a flight’s pricing: British Airways 777, round-trip, non-stop between London and Wash. D.C.

  • 224 seats total
  • 122 economy seats @ $876/seat = $106,872
  • 40 premium economy seats @ $2,633/seat = $105,320
  • 48 business class seats @ $6,723/seat = $322,704
  • 14 first class seats @ $8,715/seat = $122,010

The front sections of the plane account for 45% of the seats, but generate 84% of the revenue! While this model does not always hold true, in general airlines get 66% of revenue from the premium, business, and first-class seats.

In essence, airlines are able to sell the same service (transportation) to different people, at vastly different prices (enhanced amenities and the onboard experience). Airlines realized that passengers could be segmented into two categories: tourists, and business people.

What else will future air travel hold?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Pricing is usually a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  2. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  1. Show this video that explains the basic economics of airfare:
  2. https://youtu.be/BzB5xtGGsTc
  3. Draw the price structure on the board.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team work on a possible re-design of planes to address more market segments.

Source: Wendover Productions, YouTube

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Harley-Davidson Takes Over Ryder, ND

The motorcycle season is upon us, and this season, motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, has a goal to take over an entire town and help every town resident get a motorcycle license. The town is Ryder, North Dakota, population 85. (Yes, that’s correct, 85 people.)

The company is partnering with Ryder, which has agreed to change its name to “Rider” for the 2017 motorcycle season. The town is the envy of other small towns as Harley-Davidson repainted the town’s water tower (which is a replica of the company’s water tower) and included the company name on one side. As the mayor stated, “The tower was in dire need of a paint job.” There has also been a street dance and party, along with stationary motorcycle for practice shifting gears. Harley-Davidson’s goal is to have Ryder become the first town in America where everyone has a motorcycle license.

Will this be enough to help the company though? Harley-Davidson is seeing slow sales, increased competition, an aging Baby Boomer consumer base, and an uninterested millennial market.

How about it – do you have a motorcycle license?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  2. Show Harley-Davidson Web site: http://www.harley-davidson.com
  3. Video of the promotion: https://youtu.be/Ds3HugeXjHs
  4. For Harley-Davidson motorcycles, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  5. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  6. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source:  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brandchannel.com, other news sources

 

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Wienermobiles Drive Across America!

Have you ever seen the Wienermobile in person? It’s like seeing a famous celebrity – everyone stops and looks, takes a selfie, and smiles at the giant hot dog mobile. It’s a great rolling billboard that gets attention and promotes products.

The Wienermobile first began 80 years ago during the Depression as a way to promote product and make people smile. It’s gone through a number of style changes, but continues today with six vehicles and 12 official “Hotdoggers” who drive it and pass out dogs and smiles around the country. (More than 1,000 people applied last year for the 12 Hotdogger spots!)

This summer, the Wienermobiles are touring the country to spread the word about the reformulated hot dogs, now without any added nitrates, nitrites, artificial preservatives, or by-products. In addition to updating the products, Oscar Mayer is also using social media to engage consumers and help determine locations for the tour. Already visited was Whittier, Alaska, population 220, accessible via a 2.5 mile tunnel and icy roads

No word on the miles per gallon though (or does it run on mustard?).

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Discuss hot dogs and where they are in the product life cycle.
  4. Show the Wienermobile Web site: http://www.oscarmayer.com/wienermobile
  5. Show a video of the Wienermobile in Alaska: https://youtu.be/3e_1Z_oxt5g
  6. Now, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Advertising Age

 

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