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Definition Of Transcontinental Flight  
User currently offlineBNAOWB From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 399 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7356 times:

We all would classify routes such as JFK-LAX and BOS-SFO as transcontinental. But, could routes that originate from more "inland" airports also be considered transcontinental? If so, what is the westernmost Eastern U.S. airport that could have flights classified as transcontinental: CLE, CLT, DTW, CVG, ATL, ORD, STL? Likewises, what is the easternmost Western U.S. airport that could have flights classified as transcontinental: LAS, PHX, SLC?

In addition, how is this term applied with other continents? Is MEL-PER considered a transcontinental flight?

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2877 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7332 times:

In the U.S., "transcon" usually refers to a flight between the East Coast (specifically the Bos-Wash corridor) and the West Coast (pretty much any airport in WA, OR, or CA).

East Coast airports that currently have transcon service to the West Coast:
BOS
JFK
EWR
PHL
BWI
DCA
IAD

East Coast airports that recently had transcon service to the West Coast:
BDL
LGA (Saturdays only)

If you start looking beyond the Bos-Wash corridor, you go beyond the area which most Americans consider to be the "East Coast". The nearest airports with regular West Coast flights would be PIT and RDU, and then a bit further afield you have the likes of DTW, CLE, CMH, CVG, CLT, and ATL. Clearly, ATL, CLT, and RDU are airports considerably inland that serve the famous American South. Ditto for DTW, CLE, CMH, and CVG, which - by virtue of being in (or, in CVG's case, serving) either Michigan or Ohio would undoubtedly be considered Midwestern airports. Then you have PIT. Yes, it's in Pennsylvania - a state associated with the East Coast - but it serves the distinctive Ohio River Valley/Appalachia area, not the coast.

I'd say, just in terms of airline service and prestige, no airport outside the Bos-Wash corridor really has transcon service. There are lots of flights between California and Florida, for example, but many of them are LCC-operated redeyes with minimal amenities, not highly touted daytime flights with full meal service, international caliber hard product and IFE, etc. on them.

West Coast airports that currently have transcon service to the East Coast:
SEA
PDX
SMF
OAK
SFO
SJC
BUR
LAX
LGB
SNA
SAN

West Coast airports that recently had transcon service to the East Coast:
ONT

The West Coast is a lot easier, since so many of the nearby airports (especially those near SEA and PDX) have never had nonstops anywhere further than the Midwest. Also, while I said that theoretically any WA, OR, or CA airport could make the cut, none of the distant inland markets like GEG or FAT have ever been linked to the East Coast either (everything on the list is on or quite close to the shores of the Pacific).

LAS and PHX aren't transcon markets, simply because they aren't on the West Coast. Ask anyone who is actually from Nevada or Arizona if they consider themselves to be from the West Coast, and you'll understand right away. A transcon is a transcontinental flight - all the way across the continent, from coast to coast. Flying from DTW to PHX or ATL to SLC feels a lot more like flying ORD-DEN than JFK-LAX, doesn't it?

The "fringe" airports, if you will, would be IAD (being so far west of D.C., itself at the tip of what I would consider to be the East Coast) and SMF (being quite a bit more inland than the other West Coast airports I mentioned).



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25440 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7310 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
East Coast airports that currently have transcon service to the West Coast:
BOS
JFK
EWR
PHL
BWI
DCA
IAD

Why are you ignoring Florida? I think MIA and FLL are on the east coast.


User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2877 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7306 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
Why are you ignoring Florida? I think MIA and FLL are on the east coast.
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
There are lots of flights between California and Florida, for example, but many of them are LCC-operated redeyes with minimal amenities, not highly touted daytime flights with full meal service, international caliber hard product and IFE, etc. on them.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineBNAOWB From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 399 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7299 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
If you start looking beyond the Bos-Wash corridor, you go beyond the area which most Americans consider to be the "East Coast"
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
LAS and PHX aren't transcon markets, simply because they aren't on the West Coast. Ask anyone who is actually from Nevada or Arizona if they consider themselves to be from the West Coast, and you'll understand right away.

Thanks for the very interesting and detailed response. It seems the definition of transcontinental flight is closely tied to the definitions of "East Coast" and "West Coast". As a lifelong ATL resident, I have always thought of myself as a resident of the "East Coast" (despite the roughly 4 hour drive to the ocean) since Georgia borders the Atlantic and the history of our state is so tied to Savannah. However, it has become clear to me that your definition of "East Coast" is more prevalent for most of the country (excluding residents of the coasts of NC, SC, GA, and FL). Of course, ATL is as far west as DTW and CVG but is considerably closer to the Atlantic.

A strict definition that each airport be within 100 miles of the Atlantic and Pacific would work for most of the airports you mentioned (except for the exclusion of Florida).


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7283 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 2):
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
East Coast airports that currently have transcon service to the West Coast:
BOS
JFK
EWR
PHL
BWI
DCA
IAD

Why are you ignoring Florida? I think MIA and FLL are on the east coast.

   AS's SEA-MCO flight is longer than JFK-LAX, not to mention numerous routes from MIA and MCO to California.

Quoting BNAOWB (Reply 4):
A strict definition that each airport be within 100 miles of the Atlantic and Pacific would work for most of the airports you mentioned (except for the exclusion of Florida).

That's a pretty strict definition. Heck, The "Transcontinental" Railroad was built from Nebraska to California. Now I'm not saying I feel like I've flew all the way across the country when I flew SEA-ORD, but I certainly feel like I have when I've flown LAX-ATL and ATL-PDX.


User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2439 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 7224 times:

The term transcontinental is not really defined anywhere, so is highly subjective and subject to much A.net debate.
As far as MIA and FLL being East Coast cities, technically they are on the east coast. However most people don't consider MIA to be an "East Coast" city. We tend to think of Washington DC, NYC, Boston, etc and cities further north than Savannah, GA as on the East Coast. I am not saying that MIA and FLL are not on the east coast, they just aren't generally thought of as East Coast cities.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2052 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7206 times:

MIA gets 777 and 767 AA service to LAX. How does this not constitute as transcon? Transcon means it traverses a continent, it has nothing to do to/from which airports.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineYflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1036 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 7181 times:

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 6):
However most people don't consider MIA to be an "East Coast" city.



Perhaps, but is a cultural definition of what is considered "East Coast" really relevant in a discussion of what constitutes transcontinental flight?

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
If you start looking beyond the Bos-Wash corridor, you go beyond the area which most Americans consider to be the "East Coast".

I've never heard that definition of "East Coast" before. For the record I grew up near Charlotte and I've always considered myself to be from the East Coast.

Seeing as how there really is no official definition of a "transcon" flight, my own personal definition would be a flight from a state that borders the Pacific Ocean to a state that borders the Atlantic Ocean. So if I flew SMF-ATL or SMF-CLT I would feel like a flew across the country. I suppose I might consider PIT to be a bit of a grey area, as I'm not entirely sure I would feel like I flew across the country if I flew something like SFO-PIT.


User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2439 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7171 times:

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 8):
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):
If you start looking beyond the Bos-Wash corridor, you go beyond the area which most Americans consider to be the "East Coast".

I've never heard that definition of "East Coast" before. For the record I grew up near Charlotte and I've always considered myself to be from the East Coast.

For those of us who live in the middle of the US (Kansas, Okahoma, Missouri, etc) we tend to think of the east coast in those terms (Boston to Wash). In this part of the country we wouldn't use the term east coast for Charlotte, Savannah, Miami or FLL. By the same token when we say west coast, we tend to be referring to California. We wouldn't consider going to SEA as going to the west coast.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7158 times:

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 8):
I suppose I might consider PIT to be a bit of a grey area

According to the wikipedia article on east coast - that has no sources, but, PIT makes the cut for east coast. I suppose because it's in PA - state commonality as Philly, and is a reasonable 3-4 hours drive from areas in Wash DC metro - i.e. Hagerstown. It also has Carnegie Mellon and U. Pittsburgh that attract students from areas east. OTOH, CLE just two more hours away doesn't make the cut.


User currently offlineERJ170 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 6771 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7143 times:

Any flight from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean would be considered a transcon.. of course NYC, BOS, WAS, PHL are considered transcons and are typically called transcons destinations.. but FLL, MIA, and RDU should be considered transcons.. ATL and CLT should not be considered transcons for they are too far from the coast.

Conversely, SFO, OAK. LAX, SEA, PDX, SAN, LGB, SJC should be considered transcons destinations.. but PSP, PHX, RNO should not...

I believe the geography is not the Northeast to Pacific but the Atlantic to the Pacific..



Aiming High and going far..
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7122 times:

How about we agree on "Sea to Shining Sea"? Nice and patriotic, you know...

User currently offlinekeagkid101 From Portugal, joined Mar 2010, 306 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7101 times:

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 1):

LGA (Saturdays only)

To where?


User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2877 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Quoting keagkid101 (Reply 13):
To where?

DL at one point (mid-2000s IIRC) was sending 757s to SLC, LAS, and LAX. I think they still fly to SLC from LGA, but the others were quickly discontinued. The Saturday-only stuff seems to work fine for leisure markets outside the perimeter (i.e. EGE, AUA), but not markets like LAS and LAX where you have numerous connecting opportunities, nonstops out of JFK/EWR, and a lot more biz, VFR, and short-term vacation traffic that doesn't want to fly out and back on Saturdays.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 7087 times:

Quoting BNAOWB (Thread starter):
Is MEL-PER considered a transcontinental flight?


The term transcontinental is not widely used in Australia. So a person flying from MEL would simply say "I'm flying to PER" or even to "WA" (short for Western Australia). The flight might simply be regarded as a domestic flight as opposed to an international one. I don't know if QF staff would describe it as transcontinental, although QF do operate what they call "regional flights" which are often intrastate or relatively short haul.


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2052 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 15):
The term transcontinental is not widely used in Australia. So a person flying from MEL would simply say "I'm flying to PER" or even to "WA" (short for Western Australia). The flight might simply be regarded as a domestic flight as opposed to an international one. I don't know if QF staff would describe it as transcontinental, although QF do operate what they call "regional flights" which are often intrastate or relatively short haul.

That's because the only flights that would traverse your continent are a) all from PER and b) mainly to BNE, SYD, and MEL      

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7082 times:

Quoting Coal (Reply 16):
That's because the only flights that would traverse your continent


Not quite. You are thinking east-west (or the other way) but there is also north-south to/ from Darwin.

[Edited 2011-02-12 00:02:31]

User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2052 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7080 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 17):
Not quite. You are thing east-west (or the other way) but there is also north-south to/ from Darwin

What? You have more than four cities?!?   

Kidding. Yes, I forgot. Last time I flew DRW - SYD after two days in Groote Eylandt.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
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