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Topic: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IllinoisMan
Posted 2013-04-13 16:40:24 and read 9014 times.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/air...port-v39fl99-202845351.html?page=1

"When talk turns to expanding airline service at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport, a question has been popping up lately: Are there any airlines left to bring new flights here?

The short answer is no.

With American Airlines and US Airways merging - the deal announced in February is being reviewed by regulators and likely to gain approval - there will be four major airlines serving more than 85% of the U.S. market.

And all four of them - the others are Southwest, Delta and United - already serve Milwaukee, where passenger numbers continue to fall as airfares rise amid the reduction in airline competition.

A total of 7.5 million passengers passed through Mitchell in 2012, compared with 9.5 million in 2011 and nearly 10 million in 2010, when AirTran and Frontier had hubs here and Southwest was operating its first full year at the airport.

Barring, say, Delta deciding to pick a fight with market share leader Southwest here - and no one is saying that is anything more than hypothetical - the commercial air service we have now is probably what we're going to have for the foreseeable future, market watchers say."


Good article and very realistic, I'm afraid. I use ORD quite a bit in order to get direct flights, and would like to do the same out of MKE but that appears to be less and less possible...Seems like we are headed towards a GRB type airport with everything connecting through a hub. Not good...

These mergers are terrible news for consumers, however, I think there are a few airlines that could fill the gaps. On the low end are NK and G4 - both horrible airlines that MKE is better without. Still, there are a lot of dirt cheap people in Wisconsin who buy package deals to Florida for the lowest possible price. Those airlines could easily compete with WN in that regard. On the high end are VX and B6. Both sadly unlikely to serve MKE any time soon, but frankly someone should still work on lobbying them. A midwest hub could make sense in the long term. On the legacy end, of course, is DL. They have a strong following at MKE - I'm told it's the largest non-hub market for skymiles members in the US. If DL slowly adds a few flights and brings the 717s in to replace those awful regional jets, then I'd put money on them maintaining the highest level of loyalty around here.

[Edited 2013-04-13 16:48:11]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-13 16:56:55 and read 8947 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Thread starter):
Good article and very realistic, I'm afraid.

I disagree. The "doctors" have misdiagnosed the patient.

The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE versus several years ago is not consolidation. The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE is that MKE should never have had that much capacity in the first place. Several carriers got overzealous adding capacity to try and buy market share, and bought into the hype about MKE being "Chicago's third airport."

The reality is that capacity at MKE was going to come down one way or another - having a true "hub" there was never going to be viable long-term. It worked in the 1990s and early 2000s when the economy was booming and business travel was sufficient to justify that many seats in and out of a relatively small market like MKE.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Thread starter):
These mergers are terrible news for consumers

Well, it depends. Fares will surely rise - but they will anyway. But, on the other hand, airlines seem to now be consistently earning money for the first time in decades. And to me, that's a good thing for consumers in the long-run, not a bad thing. Just look at the amount of investment AA, DL, etc. are making in their onboard product.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: slcdeltarumd11
Posted 2013-04-13 17:35:24 and read 8824 times.

There were simply too many hubs and the strongest ones survived. I think Milwaukee is incredibly lucky to have such good southwest coverage still and they shouldn't take it for granted. I would be very nice to southwest seems if i were running that airport you need them alot more than they need you.

MCI really needs to consider how hard it is to bring in new flights these days before spending money on redoing its terminal. Even southwest is looking more like a hub and spoke carrier and increased fees will make southwest shrink.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-13 17:38:47 and read 8810 times.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 2):
MCI really needs to consider how hard it is to bring in new flights these days before spending money on redoing its terminal.

Do you mean MKE?  

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: bobloblaw
Posted 2013-04-13 19:18:36 and read 8634 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE versus several years ago is not consolidation. The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE is that MKE should never have had that much capacity in the first place.

I wish you could win a prize.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-04-13 19:35:14 and read 8589 times.

MKE is falling by the ways of CVG and MEM, and in other senses, CLE, PIT, and other midwestern hubs.

As much as I hate seeing this happen, it is a product of such mergers.

Mergers tend to serve the midwestern market quite poorly, with the exception of the 2 big midwestern cities and MSP...a big midwestern city. But in all realities, It has done nothing but abandon a large portion of the population of the US. We are relegated to connections far out of our way or to jam-packed airports in order to get where we need to be. Often times, standby- lists are 3 or 4 pages long (this is my direct observation and the observations of many who travel out of CVG, MKE, and PIT, according to what's been told to me).

The issue is not the "pricing" or "yields" but rather how the airline can turn a profit while still operating out of their already-successful hubs, which leaves midwestern cities in the dust.

This is partially why the creation of a 5th so-called "legacy" may be the best bet, to focus on midwestern interests.

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
It worked in the 1990s and early 2000s when the economy was booming and business travel was sufficient to justify that many seats in and out of a relatively small market like MKE.

So your basis here is that the economy is going to eternally suck and all people should be relegated to connecting flights. Yeah, both those arguments are amazing  

When the economy picks up, there's gonna be a demand again, you know. And what can possibly help businesses do their business is better service at airports.

A number of business people told me at an ACG event in Cincinnati last month that they have contemplated moving out of the region to Charlotte or Minneapolis because they needed those flights from the DL hub in order to profitably operate. They don't have time for long layovers or extreme hours. Business travel revolves around 1 thing- get there, get done, get home, ASAP.

This is why mergers aren't doing anything for anyone else really.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: slcdeltarumd11
Posted 2013-04-13 19:43:04 and read 8567 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 3):
Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 2):
MCI really needs to consider how hard it is to bring in new flights these days before spending money on redoing its terminal.

Do you mean MKE?  

No i meant Kansas City. Its an interesting thing to use MKE as an example of why Kansas City wont get new service with new terminals. They want to spend a ton of money to build a new terminal and are basically saying it will bring in new service. I think its a horrible idea given how many airports have great facilities and are struggling with incentives in place to get carriers to fly to non-hub locations.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-13 19:50:28 and read 8552 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
So your basis here is that the economy is going to eternally suck and all people should be relegated to connecting flights.

No, that was never my "basis here," but I realize I often have to spell my points out repeatedly.

   is right.

The point I was making is that with the variable (and arguably also fixed) costs of operating an airline rising, the threshold for what makes economic sense for a legacy/full-service/high-cost (whatever you want to call it) carrier has risen.

There will always be a place for nonstop flights in markets where demand is sufficient. But, airlines are finally focusing on making sustainable profits, and that can only be done through efficiency, and that efficiency comes from maximizing the enormous economies of scale that only huge hubs can bring. Relatively smaller, or relatively weaker, or relatively lower-yielding, or relatively poorly-located hubs simply are no longer economic viable.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
A number of business people told me at an ACG event in Cincinnati last month that they have contemplated moving out of the region to Charlotte or Minneapolis because they needed those flights from the DL hub in order to profitably operate. They don't have time for long layovers or extreme hours. Business travel revolves around 1 thing- get there, get done, get home, ASAP.

Well, that's life. Look around - again, the threshold for hubs has risen. Hubs in relatively small cities that were largely built around 50-seat RJs simply do not work in 2013, and are unlikely to work in the future, for a variety of economic reasons. They were a nice alternative to the megahubs in 1996, but in 2013, airlines simply cannot justify them to shareholders. Thus why in the last decade airline hubs have generally consolidated around the largest metro areas in the U.S., with the main exceptions being pretty much just in places with unique geography.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
This is why mergers aren't doing anything for anyone else really.

Well, as "someone else" - namely, a paying traveler - I would much rather have a stable, sustainably profitable airline industry that is built around a few large competitors than one that keeps operating non-viable small hubs for no logical economic reason. It's remarkable to me that in so many other industries - from communications, to banks, to national defense equipment - the world seems to go round and round just fine with just a few (3-4 or less) large national competitors, and yet for some reason some constantly complain about such oligopolistic market efficiency being applied to the airline industry.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-13 20:08:30 and read 8513 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
There will always be a place for nonstop flights in markets where demand is sufficient. But, airlines are finally focusing on making sustainable profits, and that can only be done through efficiency, and that efficiency comes from maximizing the enormous economies of scale that only huge hubs can bring. Relatively smaller, or relatively weaker, or relatively lower-yielding, or relatively poorly-located hubs simply are no longer economic viable.

I don't disagree with any of this, but what does it have to do with MKE? The only even arguable analog to the YX hub in MKE is F9 in DEN, and it has obviously survived. The MKE hub died because YX died, not because of some enormous structural changes in the industry.

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
The reality is that capacity at MKE was going to come down one way or another - having a true "hub" there was never going to be viable long-term. It worked in the 1990s and early 2000s when the economy was booming and business travel was sufficient to justify that many seats in and out of a relatively small market like MKE.

This applies much more to the loss of legacy capacity at MKE (and most other outstations) than to the loss of the YX/F9 hub at MKE.

YX had trouble filling airplanes for a long time. That's why saver service didn't really work. Eventually, the costs of flying empty airplanes caught up with them. It doesn't really have much to do with the economy. Remember that YX came within days (maybe hours) of filing Chapter 11 in 2003, and the wheels were coming off the second time by the middle of 2008. Probably the first sign of that was the missed payment to OO, which I think was in June, 2008.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: BestWestern
Posted 2013-04-13 20:11:52 and read 8506 times.

Excellent comments Commavia.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-04-13 20:42:23 and read 8459 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
The point I was making is that with the variable (and arguably also fixed) costs of operating an airline rising, the threshold for what makes economic sense for a legacy/full-service/high-cost (whatever you want to call it) carrier has risen.

There will always be a place for nonstop flights in markets where demand is sufficient. But, airlines are finally focusing on making sustainable profits, and that can only be done through efficiency, and that efficiency comes from maximizing the enormous economies of scale that only huge hubs can bring. Relatively smaller, or relatively weaker, or relatively lower-yielding, or relatively poorly-located hubs simply are no longer economic viable.

In addition, by consolidating flights, the economy of scale of connecting flights improves, frequency (connection opportunities) or gauge (lower CASM) will be improved.

As you note, the old economy of scale (e.g., 50 seat CASM) does not work anymore. Better efficiency is required and that forces consolidation.

And the business cycle shall improve and MKE will sell more Harleys and machine tools giving a boon to MKE air travel. Last I looked, Beer is counter-cyclical.    Although I suspect Manpower would in good times buy a huge number of flights. But you are right, MKE is done as a hub.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: FL787
Posted 2013-04-13 21:25:49 and read 8398 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
I don't disagree with any of this, but what does it have to do with MKE? The only even arguable analog to the YX hub in MKE is F9 in DEN, and it has obviously survived. The MKE hub died because YX died, not because of some enormous structural changes in the industry.

I don't see the analogy. A hub with over 100 A32x departures isn't going to have the same economies of scale problems as a hub with 88 seat 717s and RJs. And I would consider the higher fuel costs that helped kill YX and the MKE hub to be an enormous structural change in the industry. The commitment to capacity discipline in the industry is evidence of that IMO.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IllinoisMan
Posted 2013-04-13 22:39:33 and read 8303 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):

YX had trouble filling airplanes for a long time. That's why saver service didn't really work. Eventually, the costs of flying empty airplanes caught up with them. It doesn't really have much to do with the economy. Remember that YX came within days (maybe hours) of filing Chapter 11 in 2003, and the wheels were coming off the second time by the middle of 2008. Probably the first sign of that was the missed payment to OO, which I think was in June, 2008.

And one more story to add to Tim Hoeksema's "As the Cookie Crumbled" saga, as he hangs out in the lagoon pool on the spread in Florida. Just couldn't quite keep it together; never mind loyal employees, etc. The loss of YX was the beginning of the end. I paid more for service and comfort. Now I pay more for less.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-04-14 00:07:46 and read 8246 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
Well, that's life. Look around - again, the threshold for hubs has risen. Hubs in relatively small cities that were largely built around 50-seat RJs simply do not work in 2013, and are unlikely to work in the future, for a variety of economic reasons. They were a nice alternative to the megahubs in 1996, but in 2013, airlines simply cannot justify them to shareholders. Thus why in the last decade airline hubs have generally consolidated around the largest metro areas in the U.S., with the main exceptions being pretty much just in places with unique geography.

Well going along wit this argument, then I can throw these arguments at you right now:
1) Who here honestly thinks that CLT, DTW, LAX, ATL, and NYC are in good enough "geography" for the most efficient aviation industry possible?
2) Who here honestly thinks that a tripartite aviation industry is actually good for the health of the business industry in the USA? Businesses and travelers want more options with the lowest price, best service possible.
3) Who here honestly thinks that the "megahubs" are the most efficient way to travel in the USA this day in age? No one I know wants to connect in LAX, NYC, or ORD for any reason simply because those airports are too crowded with O&D traffic. Every single contact I refer to, every friend I have from both Japan and in the USA, and my family members always choose to fly from smaller hubs rather than the "megahubs" because it is much more efficient. Plain and simple. A better product for the customer.
4) Who here honestly thinks that commavia and others should seriously stop throwing the 50-seater card out here, because that argument is irrelevant these days in age? Airlines are able to turn a much better profit with aircraft like the A319/20 and 737, along with the 717 entering DL service, the E-jet series, and the entry of the C-series and the MRJ at the end of the decade. You all honestly think that these aircraft, while larger than the CRJ 50-seater, can't turn a profit by operating out of smaller airports and hubs? That's why these planes are being designed in the first place- for a better customer experience.
5) The USA is NOT Europe, Japan, or what have you- places that can operate very smoothly with mega hubs. This is why big cities like PHX and RDU have a flight to LHR, and a demand for a flight to NRT, and even why CVG, PIT, and other cities have DL service to CDG or AMS. BA and AA know that service to LHR from bigger (but not huge) cities in the US is extremely profitable (The BA flight to PHX recently became 1x daily and is consistently full) and DL knows that operating to Europe from these smaller cities (non-hub cities even) can turn a profit over having to connect in a huge, crowded, inefficient O&D hub like NYC.

TO Summarize all of this- Cities in the midwest are essentially screwed by all these mergers. Businesses can't thrive when the airlines have a stranglehold on their money. Underserviced cities aren't "fine" with the service they have.
When JAS and JAL merged in the early 2000s, the Japanese aviation industry essentially became a duopoly. Prices went haywire, and service began to lag, until it began to hurt the airline itself (JL's bankruptcy), which sparked a huge boom in LCCs here in Japan. I know I said that the US isn't Japan but that isn't the case when it comes to aviation service- I have a strong feeling that after the US/AA merger is finalized, airlines like B6, F9, VX, and many others (Like CP Air, if they ever get off the ground) will begin to thrive big-time, as they will probably begin to fill the void left over by all these mergers. Other airlines may be founded as well.
As much as people claim there isn't a "demand," there is always a demand for businesses to fly somewhere to expand their business. Let's stop talking about the recession-the more we talk about it, the longer it's going to last....which is why businesses and airlines need to be able to expand, especially at smaller airports.

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
Well, as "someone else" - namely, a paying traveler - I would much rather have a stable, sustainably profitable airline industry that is built around a few large competitors than one that keeps operating non-viable small hubs for no logical economic reason

Really? My first priority as a pax is this: Am I going to get there in due time and comfortably?
Here's my last few domestic flights.
CVG-MSP-PHX- The CVG flight was delayed upon departure because DL didn't staff enough ground crew at CVG. The ground crew had to walk about 1/2 a mile to get to the de-icing trucks. We were supposed to leave at 7:30, and we were wheels up at almost 8:15. We got to MSP, and I had to literally run out of the plane, and sprint as fast as I could to get to the other gate. Me and 8 others from my last flight from CVG were the last to board our connection to CVG. On the CVG flight, they didn't put enough food on board for everyone. The pax sitting in the back had no options for snack service. Seriously unacceptable.
Would I fly this route again? Well I'm forced to! If I need to go from PHX to CVG, I don't want to fly to CLT and turn west to go to CVG. I'll never fly AA until post-merger because I already had enough bad experiences with them.

I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but you all seem to fail to realize what the real picture is. I've only been here on Airliners for a year, and my "rr" isn't as high as some, but that gives no excuse to hide behind your tenure and rr here when faced with the real truth- The real victim here is the customers. Customers are what make an airline actually work.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: joeman
Posted 2013-04-14 03:36:39 and read 7979 times.

PHX787 your post(s) are right on!!!!!!

The a.netter geniuses rooting for their megahub ivory towers (this one has endless O&D and yield, oh that one's in a good location, um, the next one is a megahub simply because...hey it's city "X") ignore the fact that medium size city service has been corrupted.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MSJYOP28Apilot
Posted 2013-04-14 04:11:00 and read 7911 times.

Why should airlines maintain hubs in cities where they dont see a strong enough local market? Airlines are not a charity. They are not public transport. They are a business. If you want the Feds to nationalize the airlines and make it a public service that is a valid viewpoint to hold. But airlines as a business are not responsible for economic growth nor are they responsible for providing everyone service to everywhere. An airline as a business needs to maximize profits to survive.

Mergers are meant to provide stability and even out the problem of excess supply in the market. The excess supply of seats was making it impossible to run a consistently profitable airline. Too much competition and supply and not enough demand.

If losing a hub causes local companies to leave the local market is the issue not the airline. RDU lost a hub or two yet its a growing region and all the businesses didnt leave because AA abandoned the hub. BNA is another example.

Where there is good money to be made, airlines will chase after it. This isnt some kind of conspiracy. The local market in many Midwest cities simply isnt strong enough today to support a hub. There is more money to be made flying those planes in other markets. If those Midwest cities have a market that can make money someone else will come in and try and make money.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MSJYOP28Apilot
Posted 2013-04-14 04:17:42 and read 7894 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):

You arent forced to fly anyone or anywhere. Not only do you have a choice who you can fly, you can choose to drive or not travel at all. You choose to not fly the competition. You are not forced to fly Delta through MSP. That is a personal choice you make.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: 9w748capt
Posted 2013-04-14 05:15:48 and read 7761 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
1) Who here honestly thinks that CLT, DTW, LAX, ATL, and NYC are in good enough "geography" for the most efficient aviation industry possible?

Well apparently US (profitable) thinks CLT is in good enough geography. Likewise I'm sure DL (also profitable) thinks DTW and ATL are "in good enough geography" also. AA thinks enough of LAX that they're adding flights left and right. I'm sure premerger CO and PMUA have no qualms about maintaining their EWR (does that count as NYC?) hub. I like how you conveniently left out ORD, like that's not in the midwest. Rant all you want about how hubs at ORD, DTW, and MSP signal an impending total withdrawal of service by the legacies from the midwest, but I'm sure these few airports feel differently.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
2) Who here honestly thinks that a tripartite aviation industry is actually good for the health of the business industry in the USA? Businesses and travelers want more options with the lowest price, best service possible.

Do businesses and travelers want to pay artificially low fares that aren't sustainable for the industry and then make up the difference when their tax dollars are used toward government bailouts?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
3) Who here honestly thinks that the "megahubs" are the most efficient way to travel in the USA this day in age? No one I know wants to connect in LAX, NYC, or ORD for any reason simply because those airports are too crowded with O&D traffic. Every single contact I refer to, every friend I have from both Japan and in the USA, and my family members always choose to fly from smaller hubs rather than the "megahubs" because it is much more efficient. Plain and simple. A better product for the customer.

Well first off LAX and NYC (with the exception of EWR) aren't truly intended for connections anyway, it just so happens that they're such huge O&D markets that they're by default going to be useful to connect at times. ORD is quite different, being set up well for both O&D and connections. And I'm sorry but LOL at ORD being too crowded. Maybe I'm just biased (my favorite place to connect in the USA), but seriously, LOL. It's a busy airport - suck it up. If you want to connect through an empty terminal, by all means fly through CVG. What the hell did you expect - for airports with flights to points all around the globe to not be crowded?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
TO Summarize all of this- Cities in the midwest are essentially screwed by all these mergers. Businesses can't thrive when the airlines have a stranglehold on their money. Underserviced cities aren't "fine" with the service they have.

Well are they really underserviced if the service they had wasn't economically sustainable? MKE had an artificially high level of service for years with the F9/FL/somewhat WN dogfight, and for what? Notice that the legacies added few, if any - flights to MKE the last few years. The yields just aren't there.

And yeah, cities in the midwest are really screwed. Tell that to DTW (in the midwest), or MSP (also in the midwest), or even ORD (in the midwest), which is going to get nothing but more service with a stronger post-merger AA and a UA that will not want to give up any ground. If people in MKE aren't satisfied with their service, they are more than welcome to drive the ONE HOUR it takes to reach ORD and hop on a nonstop flight anywhere in the world. I did it multiple times when I lived there. Just the way life goes sometimes.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: 9w748capt
Posted 2013-04-14 05:25:21 and read 7747 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Who here honestly thinks that commavia and others should seriously stop throwing the 50-seater card out here, because that argument is irrelevant these days in age? Airlines are able to turn a much better profit with aircraft like the A319/20 and 737, along with the 717 entering DL service, the E-jet series, and the entry of the C-series and the MRJ at the end of the decade. You all honestly think that these aircraft, while larger than the CRJ 50-seater, can't turn a profit by operating out of smaller airports and hubs? That's why these planes are being designed in the first place- for a better customer experience.

Haha - I think you just answered your own question? If airlines are able to turn a much better profit with the A320/737/Ejet than CRJ (your words not mine), then should they not focus their operations on cities/hubs where flights with these aircraft are sustainable? Should they continue to operate CRJ hubs like CVG even when economics have made them obsolete and unprofitable? And if they had made the decision that large hubs at places like CVG and MEM were only sustainable by extensively using the 50 seater, should they consciously make the decision to fly planes that are too large for the market they're serving knowing full well that they'll lose money? Does that honestly sound like a good idea to you? And while I can agree that the customer experience worlds better on a mainline jet than a CRJ, how do you think the customer experience would be if airlines flew those planes at a loss, just to say for sh!ts and giggles that they still have their hub at CVG, just with airplanes that they can't make a profit with?

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 05:39:24 and read 7729 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
but what does it have to do with MKE?
MKE was a small hub in a relatively small city, and it was being fought over by two airlines, and that artificially increased the amount of capacity being flowed through the hub.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Who here honestly thinks that CLT, DTW, LAX, ATL, and NYC are in good enough "geography" for the most efficient aviation industry possible?

Me!

CLT is the second best hub for serving the Atlantic Southeast, right in the heart of a growing region (demographically and economically).

DTW is in a perfect location to not only handle connections in/out of the northeast, but also between the east coast and Asia and between the Midwest and Europe.

LAX isn't a megahub, so not sure why it was included with this list, but LAX is geographically effective not because of its geography for connections, but because of its geography for local O&D. Los Angeles is one of the largest population centers on earth - that alone justifies its capacity.

ATL speaks for itself - not only is its geography perfect for connections to/from the Atlantic Southeast, and up and own the east coast, but it's also in a great location for connections to/from Europe and Latin America.

NYC - see LAX, except that NYC does actually have one megahub, EWR, and also that NYC actually is in a fine location for connections to/from the northeast, and to/from Europe.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Who here honestly thinks that a tripartite aviation industry is actually good for the health of the business industry in the USA?

Me!

Over the long-run, nobody - including business or leisure travelers - benefit from an airline industry that is constantly unstable and constantly bereft of financial turmoil, bankruptcies, etc.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Businesses and travelers want more options with the lowest price, best service possible.

Okay well ... you've just kind of highlighted the fundamental disconnect in the desires of all air travelers - business and leisure - that has plagued this entire industry since deregulation. "Lowest price" and "best service possible" are hard to pull off simultaneously - so which one is it? That is the fundamental question - what is the balance struck between "lowest price" and "best service?" For much of the last decade, due to excessive capacity, poor management and airline bankruptcies, it's been all about "lowest price." But that produced a weak and inefficient airline industry. A more balanced offering between "lowest price" and "best service" (again, see the investments AA, DL, etc. are making in their onboard product) is in the long-term interests of U.S. business travlers.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Who here honestly thinks that the "megahubs" are the most efficient way to travel in the USA this day in age?

Me!

The argument you keep making is the one that people have been making for decades since deregulation - and it still hasn't worked out yet.

Airlines fight over such narrow margins that if it really was more efficient to deemphasize large hubs and instead focus on small hubs and point-to-point, they would be doing it. But the economic reality is that this is horribly inefficient. The number of markets that can be connected on a nonstop basis with a fixed amount of assets (airplanes, etc.) is tiny compared to the number that can be connected with that same amount of fixed assets through one enormous connecting complex, and that's assuming that there was even sufficient demand to warrant those nonstop point-to-point flights in the first place.

You seem to be disputing the economics of huge airline hubs, but that memo came out 30 years ago - they work.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
No one I know wants to connect in LAX, NYC, or ORD for any reason simply because those airports are too crowded with O&D traffic.

Okay, well good for the people you know. But the reality is that millions of people every day connect in hubs because the markets they are flying between simply cannot justify a nonstop flight economically.

Again, this is deregulation airline industry economics 101 - settled stuff for 30 years. Airline after airline has tried to in some way blow up, get around, undermine or overturn this model - and it has not worked yet. Even Southwest - long the darling of the point-to-point model - has gradually but steadily moved more towards a hub and spoke model because, again, an efficient, national system requires it.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Every single contact I refer to, every friend I have from both Japan and in the USA, and my family members always choose to fly from smaller hubs rather than the "megahubs" because it is much more efficient.

Sure, again, it was nice while it lasted. Small hubs are quieter, less chaotic, more convenient, faster to walk between gates, etc. But they just do not work. Given the rising cost (fuel, labor, aircraft depreciation, etc.) of operating an airline these days, the economic returns of those smaller hubs simply no longer rise over the threshold of what is required. Thus why there are virtually none of them left.

Look at the number of small hubs in the U.S. in 1983, and compare that to the number in 2013. The numbers speak for themselves. If there was really supposedly so much money to be made in small hubs, somebody would be making so much money in them right now.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Who here honestly thinks that commavia and others should seriously stop throwing the 50-seater card out here, because that argument is irrelevant these days in age?

Well, much as you seem to want to wish away arguments that you don't like, I think the dynamic of 50-seater retirements is very relevant here since many of the smaller hubs in question rely (or relied, past tense) on 50-seaters. That only further reinforced the economic inefficiency of the hub. Why fly 3 50-seat RJs per day MEM-PNS, when you could simply just add another MD80 ATL-PNS, or even just upgauge an existing flight? Again: it's called efficiency.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
You all honestly think that these aircraft, while larger than the CRJ 50-seater, can't turn a profit by operating out of smaller airports and hubs? That's why these planes are being designed in the first place- for a better customer experience.

Who ever said that? I never said that large RJs couldn't make money in small or mid-size markets.

On the contrary, I think what we're seeing is that those 70-90-seaters are the savior of capacity, and in particular First Class capacity, in these smaller markets that can no longer support mainline.

The point I was making was that you can't build a hub around these regional jets. You have to have a solid enough market that it can support a sufficient amount of mainline - RJs alone will not do it. Put another way: in this day and age, if a market is only big enough to support a hub built on RJs, then it's not big enough to support a true hub.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
This is why big cities like PHX and RDU have a flight to LHR, and a demand for a flight to NRT, and even why CVG, PIT, and other cities have DL service to CDG or AMS. BA and AA know that service to LHR from bigger (but not huge) cities in the US is extremely profitable (The BA flight to PHX recently became 1x daily and is consistently full) and DL knows that operating to Europe from these smaller cities (non-hub cities even) can turn a profit over having to connect in a huge, crowded, inefficient O&D hub like NYC.

As I said earlier, markets certainly can be served on a nonstop basis, overflying hubs, if the local market is sufficiently strong, but only then - otherwise it's through a hub.

Thus why places like PHX and RDU have flights to LHR - it's not because of the presence of a hub (at least not in the U.S.), but rather because of a megahub at the other end, and because they are strong local markets.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
but you all seem to fail to realize what the real picture is.

Thank you so much for explaining to me what the "real picture" is.   

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
but that gives no excuse to hide behind your tenure and rr here when faced with the real truth

Hiding? "Real truth?" Oh boy. I'm right here!

[Edited 2013-04-14 05:42:14]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MIflyer12
Posted 2013-04-14 07:33:20 and read 7551 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Summarize all of this- Cities in the midwest are essentially screwed by all these mergers.

It's not a midwest thing or necessarily a merger - it's a 3rd-tier hub thing, and the rationalization has been going on for about two decades, in fits and spurts.

The AA hub at SJC didn't work, in spite of location in a high income and high population growth area. Proximity to SFO killed it.

MEM isn't the midwest, but it was killed by competition from DFW/ORD/IAH and its duplication of the ATL mega-hub destinations.

BNA and RDU didn't work for AA; they're too close to CLT and ATL (and ORD).

The economics of geography mean the phenomenon isn't limited to the U.S.A. MXP has been drawn down; the Sabena hub at BRU evaporated and was replaced only to a small extent; Malev is gone...

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-14 08:13:31 and read 7367 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Really? My first priority as a pax is this: Am I going to get there in due time and comfortably?

Where do you think the money comes from to improve service, new a/c, etc? The airlines HAVE to turn a profit, can't you see that?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
When JAS and JAL merged in the early 2000s, the Japanese aviation industry essentially became a duopoly.

You said it yourself:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
The USA is NOT Europe, Japan, or what have you

So, which argument would you like to use?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
TO Summarize all of this- Cities in the midwest are essentially screwed by all these mergers.

Even though three of the biggest hubs in the country are in the midwest?




Hubs, from the beginning, served a purpose.....it enable the airlines to provide service to small and medium sized cities, profitably, by using a larger city as a connecting point to provide that service. If the concept hadn't been used, I wonder how many of those cities would even have airline service, today. Every route can't be a non-stop.........simply not enough room in the sky for all the a/c that would be required to do that. The only way to do it would be with LESS service and I don't think you're going to see that. Just as an example, how many pax do you think, on any given day, on one flight, go from BIL to ATL? I would think there wouldn't be enough to profitably run a flight, so, you have a hub. Collect those ATL pax from different flights and put them on a SLC-ATL flight, which is probably jammed full of paying pax, who will reverse the process in ATL and connect from there.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 08:35:55 and read 7267 times.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 20):
It's not a midwest thing or necessarily a merger - it's a 3rd-tier hub thing, and the rationalization has been going on for about two decades, in fits and spurts.

  

Precisely.

This has nothing to do with the the Midwest. There have been numerous smaller hubs all over the U.S., and indeed, all over the advanced world, that have shrunk or ceased to exist in the last 20-30 years just by virtue of economic reality.

The only component of this dynamic that could arguably be pinpointed specifically to the U.S. Midwest in the last few decades is the general decline in the relative demographic and economic power of that region over that time period. At the time of deregulation, an enormous amount of the population and manufacturing output of the U.S. was centered in the Upper Midwest belt stretching from western Pennsylvania to Missouri. In the last few decades, that demographic and economic center of gravity for the U.S. has shifted south and west. To be sure, the Midwest is still a huge place with lots of people and lots of commerce, but it makes up a somewhat smaller share of the overall pie than it did in, say, 1980.

Thus why the Upper Midwest and former industrial heartland region has - by my count - gone from having, over the years, well over a dozen hubs or connecting centers (ORD, DTW, MSP, CLE, CMH, DAY, CVG, PIT, IND, MKE, STL, etc.) in some form or fashion operated by as many as nine different airlines (AA, CO, DL, NW, TW, WN, UA, US, YX) down to the present set up of six large megahubs (ORD x2, MDW, DTW, MSP, CLE) operated by four different airlines (AA, DL, WN, UA).

But again, all that being said, the trend of fewer, larger hubs was going to be coming to the Midwest one way or another anyway. The region's demographic and economic changes have, if anything, only sped up that evolution.

Quoting mayor (Reply 21):
Where do you think the money comes from to improve service, new a/c, etc? The airlines HAVE to turn a profit, can't you see that?

  

Exactly. Airlines aren't charities. They have to make money somehow.

And the lessons of history for now over three decades has shown time and time again that, particularly as costs rise, hubs are more efficient than building networks around point-to-point flying. Small and mid-size markets are better served by hubs which at least provide enormous connectivity to lots of places with 1-stop as opposed to nonstop connectivity to a relatively small number of places otherwise.

Thankfully, now that airlines are starting to actually make money again, they are now able to invest in things that improve the customer experience and address some of the legitimate complaints about service people have had in recent years. They can pay and motivate employees better. They can install onboard entertainment and connectivity systems. They can upgrade seating, cabin interiors, and in some cases food service. And they can invest in information technology systems to smooth customer booking and schedule disruptions.

All of that is good, not bad, but all of that is impossible without the economies of scale produced by hubs.

Now back into hiding ...

  

[Edited 2013-04-14 08:36:48]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: steex
Posted 2013-04-14 09:02:20 and read 7129 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 22):
The only component of this dynamic that could arguably be pinpointed specifically to the U.S. Midwest in the last few decades is the general decline in the relative demographic and economic power of that region over that time period.

I wholeheartedly agree with your points, but I would add that hub service in the Midwest was simply a balloon waiting to pop. Because it is in the center of the country and has long been identified as a great place to build a connecting hub to serve the domestic market, it held onto oversized hubs much longer than other areas. MKE just held on a lot longer than the likes of DAY, CMH, PIT, etc. because it had a hometown carrier that kept itself alive, whereas most of those other airports had hubs from airlines with more diverse operations that made the low-O&D connecting centers easier to cut.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: EricR
Posted 2013-04-14 09:26:55 and read 7018 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 22):
Thus why the Upper Midwest and former industrial heartland region has - by my count - gone from having, over the years, well over a dozen hubs or connecting centers (ORD, DTW, MSP, CLE, CMH, DAY, CVG, PIT, IND, MKE, STL, etc.) in some form or fashion operated by as many as nine different airlines (AA, CO, DL, NW, TW, WN, UA, US, YX) down to the present set up of six large megahubs (ORD x2, MDW, DTW, MSP, CLE) operated by four different airlines (AA, DL, WN, UA)..



I think it is also important to point out that even the new entrants into the industry such as B6, VX, NK have opted for hubs in major metropolitan airports over smaller second tier hubs for a reason. Second tier hubs are relics of the past that airlines have moved away from (even though certain people have not). There are significantly more operational and financial efficiencies gained for airlines focusing on a fewer, but larger hubs. Furthermore, this approach reinforces or strengthens existing hubs as they are developed into secure fortress hubs.

The sole exception being LCLF carriers that purposely opt for alternative hubs with lower costs so they can pass the cost savings on to their customers in the form of lower fares. However, LCLF carriers do not find these types of hubs in former legacy hub locations, but rather in places such as TTN, AZA, SFB, BLI, etc.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: 777fan
Posted 2013-04-14 09:57:16 and read 7086 times.

Quoting steex (Reply 23):
MKE just held on a lot longer than the likes of DAY, CMH, PIT, etc. because it had a hometown carrier that kept itself alive

PIT arguably is an exception; they had a viable hometown carrier in US that built a sizable hub only to bolt after costs ran out of control. Like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee is in the midst of a renaissance, of sorts, but no doubt lacks the prestige, or economic pull of its neighbors ORD and MSP.

Quoting commavia (Reply 22):
This has nothing to do with the the Midwest. There have been numerous smaller hubs all over the U.S., and indeed, all over the advanced world, that have shrunk or ceased to exist in the last 20-30 years just by virtue of economic reality.

No doubt, and it's a shame for aficionados, spotters, and fans of yesteryear; unless your hometown airport is located in a megapolis, or a major carrier's hub (SEA, LAX, SFO, PHX, DFW, IAH, DEN, ORD, MSP, MIA, ATL, CLT, Baltimore-DC, DTW, PHL, BOS, New York-metroplex), you're probably relegated to mostly WN or major carrier-linked RJ service. I used to love pulling up to the ORD departure drop off area as a kid (early to mid 80s) and run down the list of signs outside of the concourse doors, as it was a who's-who of who's not today: Ozark, Northwest Orient, Republic, Piedmont, TWA, Air Wisconsin, Pan Am, Eastern, Western...the list goes on a on and you could rest assured there was some carrier offering a nonstop flight to practically every city in the continental U.S. at the time (on some exotic equipment, no less).

It took 30+ years, a major terrorist attack, fuel spikes, bankruptcies, some major demographic shifts and several economic roller coasters, but I suspect the commercial aviation industry has finally 'right-sized' itself for the long haul.

777fan

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: steex
Posted 2013-04-14 10:05:38 and read 7022 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 25):
PIT arguably is an exception; they had a viable hometown carrier in US that built a sizable hub only to bolt after costs ran out of control. Like Pittsburgh, Milwaukee is in the midst of a renaissance, of sorts, but no doubt lacks the prestige, or economic pull of its neighbors ORD and MSP.

While US was a hometown carrier to PIT, US already had other major hubs to absorb the closure of PIT. My point was more that YX had very little beyond MKE (the operation at MCI was always smaller), and the closure of MKE for YX would've ostensibly meant the closure of YX itself.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 10:06:58 and read 7092 times.

Quoting steex (Reply 23):
I wholeheartedly agree with your points, but I would add that hub service in the Midwest was simply a balloon waiting to pop. Because it is in the center of the country and has long been identified as a great place to build a connecting hub to serve the domestic market, it held onto oversized hubs much longer than other areas.

Very true.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 25):
No doubt, and it's a shame for aficionados, spotters, and fans of yesteryear

Agreed. I, too, miss some of the names that I grew up with that are now gone. But then again, we still have plenty of variety in this country when it comes to airlines, it's just that some of them are different. We have gone (or are going) from a system with six nationwide carriers (AA, CO, DL, NW, UA, US) and lots of regional players to a more consolidated system with four nationwide carriers (AA, DL, UA, WN) plus fewer, larger regional and/or specialized players (AS, B6, F9, NK, G4). Perhaps slightly less variety than we once had, but plenty of variety nonetheles.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 25):
unless your hometown airport is located in a megapolis, or a major carrier's hub (SEA, LAX, SFO, PHX, DFW, IAH, DEN, ORD, MSP, MIA, ATL, CLT, Baltimore-DC, DTW, PHL, BOS, New York-metroplex)

Well yes, except it's not if your airport is in a major metro area or a major carrier's hub. That's the key - that is not "or" anymore - it's now "and." They've largely become one in the same as the airlines have consolidated their large hubs precisely in the largest metro areas.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 25):
It took 30+ years, a major terrorist attack, fuel spikes, bankruptcies, some major demographic shifts and several economic roller coasters, but I suspect the commercial aviation industry has finally 'right-sized' itself for the long haul.

  

There are very few industries as large and dynamic as the airline industry that sustain as many large competitors as the airline industry did, nor for as long. Most industries long ago consolidated into a more economically optimal, efficient structure with a dynamic oligopoly among a relatively smaller number (usually 3-4) of major national competitors. Because of the highly regulated nature of the supposedly-"deregulated" airline industry, among other factors, this phenomenon just took longer with the airlines.

But the airlines have now largely gotten there - i.e., where they should have been heading all along.

[Edited 2013-04-14 10:08:26]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: RDUDDJI
Posted 2013-04-14 10:35:30 and read 6963 times.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 20):

BNA and RDU didn't work for AA; they're too close to CLT and ATL (and ORD).

False. BNA and RDU were shuttered when AA got the MIA hub and no longer needed BNA for East-West flow and RDU for North-South flow from FL. Had nothing to do with ATL or CLT. RDU actually has a higher O&D market than CLT. I'm not as familiar with BNA, but I know it is also very close (might be higher than CLT or RDU too).

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 10:40:18 and read 6936 times.

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 28):
Had nothing to do with ATL or CLT.

It did, indeed, have something to do with ATL and CLT. Hubs don't operate in isolation - they constantly interact with the other hubs near them.

In the case of RDU, the reality was that the Atlantic Southeast region was big enough to support 2 full-fledged network airline hubs, not 3. AA at RDU and US at CLT were playing for second place behind ATL, which was then and will always be the economic, demographic, cultural and political hub of the region. CLT won, RDU lost.

[Edited 2013-04-14 10:41:08]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MasseyBrown
Posted 2013-04-14 11:47:27 and read 6702 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
airlines are finally focusing on making sustainable profits, and that can only be done through efficiency, and that efficiency comes from maximizing the enormous economies of scale that only huge hubs can bring.

You are certainly correct, qualified by "for now." The cyclic tendency is for huge oligopolies (what else to call the four US majors?) to grow beyond profit-maximizing economies of scale to a state of ineffective competition and diseconomies of scale, where additional business comes only at reduced unit profitability until eventually capital investment in inefficient. Eventually some a new idea will come along and blow them away.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mke717spotter
Posted 2013-04-14 12:07:35 and read 6637 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 12):
And one more story to add to Tim Hoeksema's "As the Cookie Crumbled" saga, as he hangs out in the lagoon pool on the spread in Florida. Just couldn't quite keep it together; never mind loyal employees, etc. The loss of YX was the beginning of the end. I paid more for service and comfort. Now I pay more for less.

When YX cut back on the luxury, they saved money but at the same time lost their identity. When that happened there was no reason to chose them over cheaper airlines, and not even the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies were enough of a draw. There were indeed some bad decisions made by YX, mostly concerning fleet choice, but I think that the end result of a YX/FL merger probably would have been the same as it is now, FL merged with WN. I fly WN quite a bit and I think we in MKE should be glad to have them. Their product might not equal first class on a mainline carrier, but as a business model they have defined their niche and do it better (when measured by revenue and profits) than any other domestic carrier.

[Edited 2013-04-14 12:08:50]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-04-14 12:29:02 and read 6530 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 22):
Thankfully, now that airlines are starting to actually make money again, they are now able to invest in things that improve the customer experience and address some of the legitimate complaints about service people have had in recent years. They can pay and motivate employees better. They can install onboard entertainment and connectivity systems. They can upgrade seating, cabin interiors, and in some cases food service. And they can invest in information technology systems to smooth customer booking and schedule disruptions.

In theory you are right, but in reality customers will not see much of an improvement even though the airlines will be more profitable. Why? Consolidation means less choice, less flexibility and as the airlines gain a greater stranglehold they'll become even more indifferent to their customers.

Example: DL used to offer PNS-DFW and PNS-MCO (and PNS-MEM after the NW merger). Now, all those are gone. Everyone goes to ATL. So when things go bad in ATL, those in PNS are screwed. DL can't reroute anyone around ATL. All the fancy investment does nothing when you leave customers now stuck for hours and sometimes days. Not to mention, the connecting experience in ATL (and other megahubs) isn't great. The gate areas are overcrowded, the gate agents are mostly clueless and the lines to do anything (eat, go to the bathroom, etc) are long. Those fancy SkyClubs are so crowded that they're only marginally better than the terminal.

Not to mention this consolidation further undermines our already stressed ATC system. Putting more and more eggs in fewer and fewer baskets isn't going to make ATC work more efficiently. Not to mention the FAA has wasted billions on improving hubs only to have airlines turn around and shut them down. While I understand why the airlines shut the hubs down, it's a lot of government wasted trying to make airlines happy.

So while you are correct that consolidation will be good for the airlines bottom line, I don't think customers will see much benefit. The same has largely played out in other industries as well. You earlier mentioned banks, defense companies, telecom and I doubt anyone would hold those companies up as examples of good consolidation. The banking industry is a mess with abysmal customer service from the big banks. Fortunately, consumers still have many smaller banks and credit unions. The defense business has become so bloated they can't produce anything without 200-300% cost overruns.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 14:13:49 and read 6191 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 32):
but in reality customers will not see much of an improvement

Well I suppose it's all in what you value. Personally, I value airlines - or really any companies I'm buying a good or service from - to be making money. It means they have more money to invest, and I can have a bit more stability in my purchasing decisions. Besides, again, I look at the investments U.S. carriers are now making and I am genuinely excited that - for the first time in years - airlines are beginning to compete on something other than price.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 32):
Consolidation means less choice, less flexibility and as the airlines gain a greater stranglehold they'll become even more indifferent to their customers.

I just don't see how you figure. Again - take a look at what the cabins of Delta's 767s or AA's new A321s or 777s look like. That doesn't look to me like airlines indifferent to their customers. Quite the opposite - it looks to me like airlines finally being able to deploy free cash flow into their product again.

Either way, U.S. consumers enjoyed excessive choice and competition for years, to the point that it largely contributed to much of the industry going bankrupt. I, personally, do not view that in my interests as a paying customer. There has to be more balance. If all the benefits of economic efficiency accrue solely to consumers, and not also to producers, that is only sustainable in the short-term, and will not help customers in the long-term.

The only reason people got to enjoy that excessive choice and competition for as long as they did is because regulation, bankruptcy laws and stupid money meant that airlines were artificially kept going for longer, and weren't allowed to consolidate as they naturally would in other industries.

Besides - there is still lots of choice in this country for air travel. There are now (or soon will be) four huge, nationwide airline networks that serve virtually every single major and even mid-sized market in the country and connect it with any other. That has enormous value to consumers in and of itself.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-14 14:20:44 and read 6169 times.

Quoting FL787 (Reply 11):
. And I would consider the higher fuel costs that helped kill YX and the MKE hub to be an enormous structural change in the industry.

YX was in trouble long before fuel costs started increasing.

Quoting commavia (Reply 19):
MKE was a small hub in a relatively small city, and it was being fought over by two airlines, and that artificially increased the amount of capacity being flowed through the hub.

YX was in trouble long before FL came to town (and remember that they had successfully fought off NW in 2003 and 2004).

Quoting FL787 (Reply 11):
I don't see the analogy. A hub with over 100 A32x departures isn't going to have the same economies of scale problems as a hub with 88 seat 717s and RJs.

It's an imperfect analogy, but it's the closest one there is.

Quoting EricR (Reply 24):
I think it is also important to point out that even the new entrants into the industry such as B6, VX, NK have opted for hubs in major metropolitan airports over smaller second tier hubs for a reason. Second tier hubs are relics of the past that airlines have moved away from (even though certain people have not). There are significantly more operational and financial efficiencies gained for airlines focusing on a fewer, but larger hubs. Furthermore, this approach reinforces or strengthens existing hubs as they are developed into secure fortress hubs.

Yet, WN operates smaller second tier hubs in places like BNA and STL, and even arguably MCI, SAT and AUS.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 14:23:32 and read 6148 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 34):
YX was in trouble long before FL came to town (and remember that they had successfully fought off NW in 2003 and 2004).

Thus my point. MKE made less and less sense as a hub as time went on - even before AirTran came along. But the article specifically compared today's traffic levels to several years ago at the peak of the market share battle that artificially inflated MKE's numbers.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 34):
Yet, WN operates smaller second tier hubs in places like BNA and STL, and even arguably MCI, SAT and AUS.

... alongside huge hubs in PHX, LAS, MDW, BWI, DEN, etc.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: EricR
Posted 2013-04-14 14:40:12 and read 6105 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 34):
Yet, WN operates smaller second tier hubs in places like BNA and STL, and even arguably MCI, SAT and AUS..



That is because WN does not operate a hub and spoke network, but rather uses a quasi P2P type structure which makes it unique to any other carrier.

[Edited 2013-04-14 14:46:10]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-14 14:50:25 and read 6062 times.

Quoting EricR (Reply 36):
That is because WN does not operate a hub and spoke network, but rather uses a quasi P2P type structure which makes it unique to any other carrier.

I agree. It shows, though, that at least in some networks, smaller hubs can have value.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2013-04-14 15:00:28 and read 6044 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE versus several years ago is not consolidation. The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE is that MKE should never have had that much capacity in the first place. Several carriers got overzealous adding capacity to try and buy market share, and bought into the hype about MKE being "Chicago's third airport."

This

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
Well, it depends. Fares will surely rise - but they will anyway. But, on the other hand, airlines seem to now be consistently earning money for the first time in decades. And to me, that's a good thing for consumers in the long-run, not a bad thing. Just look at the amount of investment AA, DL, etc. are making in their onboard product.

this
spot on post.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
As much as I hate seeing this happen, it is a product of such mergers.

No its a product of stupidity. 500 flights a day on 50 seats RJs isn't going to work. Sorry. Your beloved CVG died long before the merger

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
We are relegated to connections far out of our way or to jam-packed airports in order to get where we need to be. Often times, standby- lists are 3 or 4 pages long (this is my direct observation and the observations of many who travel out of CVG, MKE, and PIT, according to what's been told to me).

So don't fly. Start an airline. You are so much smarter than the people running the airlines now, so get on it boss

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):

The issue is not the "pricing" or "yields" but rather how the airline can turn a profit while still operating out of their already-successful hubs, which leaves midwestern cities in the dust.

uh. duh. Simple math. Why operate 200 flights a day at CVG and DTW when Delta can fly 350 from DTW? It decreases cost.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
This is partially why the creation of a 5th so-called "legacy" may be the best bet, to focus on midwestern interests.

So do it. Have fun when it fails. Get Leo Mullen to help. He loved CVG and 50 RJs.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
When the economy picks up, there's gonna be a demand again, you know. And what can possibly help businesses do their business is better service at airports.

uh profitable airlines?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
A number of business people told me at an ACG event in Cincinnati last month that they have contemplated moving out of the region to Charlotte or Minneapolis because they needed those flights from the DL hub in order to profitably operate. They don't have time for long layovers or extreme hours. Business travel revolves around 1 thing- get there, get done, get home, ASAP.

your post has my bull crap detector going off.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
This is why mergers aren't doing anything for anyone else really.

lol. I hope that where ever you work you get screwed as bad as airline employees have over the last 15 years. Then lets see how you feel with no time off, a ton of outsourcing, high heath care cost and working till you die. Oh and 50% pay cut.
Something tells me you will learn quickly why profits are important.

Quoting commavia (Reply 7):
Well, as "someone else" - namely, a paying traveler - I would much rather have a stable, sustainably profitable airline industry that is built around a few large competitors than one that keeps operating non-viable small hubs for no logical economic reason. It's remarkable to me that in so many other industries - from communications, to banks, to national defense equipment - the world seems to go round and round just fine with just a few (3-4 or less) large national competitors, and yet for some reason some constantly complain about such oligopolistic market efficiency being applied to the airline industry.

and you don't think employees don't love Delta making nearly 2 Billion and getting at least 1 pay raise every year? Profitable airlines mean better products and happy crews.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
1) Who here honestly thinks that CLT, DTW, LAX, ATL, and NYC are in good enough "geography" for the most efficient aviation industry possible?

anyone who can look at a map. cute how you leave out other hubs though. (nearly 1,000 flights at ORD for UA/AA plus what 300 or so from WN at MDW, 500 flights for Delta at MSP etc.etc.)

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
2) Who here honestly thinks that a tripartite aviation industry is actually good for the health of the business industry in the USA? Businesses and travelers want more options with the lowest price, best service possible.

anyone who has taken an ECON1101 class? pick, billions in bailouts again or profitable airlines.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
3) Who here honestly thinks that the "megahubs" are the most efficient way to travel in the USA this day in age?

again, Economics and simple math. Why have two of everything at CVG/DTW when Delta can have 50% less and a single hub at DTW.
or in other words. DTW cost you 50 bucks, DTW/CVG cost you 100. You really expect Delta to pay the 100?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
4) Who here honestly thinks that commavia and others should seriously stop throwing the 50-seater card out here, because that argument is irrelevant these days in age?

it is? IIRC DL/AA/UA have nearly 1000 50 seaters and they can just start replacing them however they want. It takes capital and possibly more outsourcing employees wont allow.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
You all honestly think that these aircraft, while larger than the CRJ 50-seater, can't turn a profit by operating out of smaller airports and hubs? That's why these planes are being designed in the first place- for a better customer experience.

Um no. people don't tend to piss away money. Do you honestly think you are smarter than the people running our airlines? Remind me what company you have ran that has made 3B the last three years?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
As much as people claim there isn't a "demand," there is always a demand for businesses to fly somewhere to expand their business. Let's stop talking about the recession-the more we talk about it, the longer it's going to last....which is why businesses and airlines need to be able to expand, especially at smaller airports.

what an amazingly stupid post. "close your eyes! its not there. It'll just go away"  
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Really? My first priority as a pax is this: Am I going to get there in due time and comfortably?

and my first priority as someone running a company is to make money. You want them not to do that because in your crazy mind you think CVG should have all kinds of flights like it did 20 years ago. You seem to forget that fuel was all .50 cent a gallon.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
The CVG flight was delayed upon departure because DL didn't staff enough ground crew at CVG.

prove this. Hard numbers

Quoting MSJYOP28Apilot (Reply 16):
You arent forced to fly anyone or anywhere. Not only do you have a choice who you can fly, you can choose to drive or not travel at all. You choose to not fly the competition. You are not forced to fly Delta through MSP. That is a personal choice you make.

this. you picked the flight. fly or drive with another carrier

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 17):
Do businesses and travelers want to pay artificially low fares that aren't sustainable for the industry and then make up the difference when their tax dollars are used toward government bailouts?

this.

Quoting mayor (Reply 21):
Where do you think the money comes from to improve service, new a/c, etc? The airlines HAVE to turn a profit, can't you see that?

no he cant. I think he thinks its a public service. Airlines aren't. (but at the end of the day its a political thing. I wont go there though)

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: capitalflyer
Posted 2013-04-14 16:59:00 and read 5774 times.

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 17):
LOL at ORD being too crowded

ORD is a clusterf***. Connections on UA are a pain in the butt, forcing you often to take a crappy bus to switch terminals. If ORD wasn't overcrowded, UA could operate efficiently from T1.

Why else also would they be adding so many runways if the city didn't realize that it was at capacity with no room to grow? The frequent delays for traffic, not to mention if there is a drizzle good luck getting out, are a symptom of overcrowding.

DTW is a far superior hub, despite Detroit's dire straits economically.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 34):
Yet, WN operates smaller second tier hubs in places like BNA and STL, and even arguably MCI, SAT and AUS.

This is why WN kicks UA's butt in on time. It isn't crippled by weather since all its east-west traffic doesn't bottleneck in one place.

BUT, WN also doesn't fly to places like SBN, CVG, SPI..., hell they don't even fly to all 50 states. So WN is a whole different animal (ha ha F9) when looking at hubs as they don't try to fly to small communities.



In addition, MKE is behind places like CMH and IND in terms of GDP, so yes likely MKE was due for correction in terms of air service. That plus a big part of the service was on struggling airlines like YX/F9. So if they suffer, then MKE suffers. Indeed this is the risk with being a hub, that if your hub airline takes a nosedive your air service goes with it.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: EricR
Posted 2013-04-14 16:59:06 and read 5757 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 37):
I agree. It shows, though, that at least in some networks, smaller hubs can have value..




There is an exception to every rule and WN is the exception if you consider cities with 70 or less flights a day on the same level as former hubs in STL, PIT, etc.

This works when you have a southwest type route structure AND low costs. However, as WN's costs have risen over the past several years, I've noticed a pullback back on some of their P2P flying in favor of routing over their larger hubs/focus cities. I think we will see this continue and accelerate as WN copes with a cost structure that is much more on par with its rivals.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-04-14 17:38:52 and read 5666 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 33):
I just don't see how you figure. Again - take a look at what the cabins of Delta's 767s or AA's new A321s or 777s look like. That doesn't look to me like airlines indifferent to their customers.

But that's just fancy window dressing that won't make up for unhappy employees, long connection times, fewer flights, higher fares and more delays. Despite some recent pay raises, the legacy employees as a group are still abysmal in customer service...whether it be DL, UA or AA.

Not to mention that those fancy cabins will be enjoyed by fewer customers as the airlines continue to shrink to profitability. If you look at the Big 4 carriers plans, none of them have any plans to significantly grow and most will likely continue shrinking in the years to come. As they push higher fares and more customers cut down on flying.

Quoting commavia (Reply 33):
Either way, U.S. consumers enjoyed excessive choice and competition for years, to the point that it largely contributed to much of the industry going bankrupt.

But what drove most of the legacy carriers into bankruptcy wasn't too much competition, it was just bloated costs.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 17:51:27 and read 5639 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
fancy window dressing

Pretty fancy indeed.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
that won't make up for unhappy employees, long connection times, fewer flights, higher fares and more delays.

In the long-run, I think it will.

Airlines aren't just investing in new cabins. They're investing in airport facilities, infrastructure, larger/better small jets, better IT systems, etc. All of that will - in time - improve the overall customer experience.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
Despite some recent pay raises, the legacy employees as a group are still abysmal in customer service...whether it be DL, UA or AA.

Customer service and employee morale and attitudes will continue to improve as the financial health of the industry improves - and their paychecks go up.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
Not to mention that those fancy cabins will be enjoyed by fewer customers as the airlines continue to shrink to profitability. If you look at the Big 4 carriers plans, none of them have any plans to significantly grow and most will likely continue shrinking in the years to come. As they push higher fares and more customers cut down on flying.

As it should be for a profit-seeking enterprise - airlines were catering to too many customers, driven by too low of fares.

That's a large part of the reason they were loosing so much money. In the pursuit of delivering consistent returns to shareholders, revenue needs to go up, and such is the most basic law of economics - supply and demand - that when the price of a good goes up, all else being equal, quantity demanded will go down.

Again - if a profitable industry is the goal - that's not a bad thing.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
But what drove most of the legacy carriers into bankruptcy wasn't too much competition, it was just bloated costs.

It was both.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-14 18:05:43 and read 5607 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 42):
Customer service and employee morale and attitudes will continue to improve as the financial health of the industry improves - and their paychecks go up.

Certainly, I haven't seen Delta's customer service get any better over the past two-three years as their financial situation has improved pretty much continually. Have you?

Quoting EricR (Reply 40):
However, as WN's costs have risen over the past several years, I've noticed a pullback back on some of their P2P flying in favor of routing over their larger hubs/focus cities. I think we will see this continue and accelerate as WN copes with a cost structure that is much more on par with its rivals.

Some point to point cities have gotten smaller; others have stayed fairly static in size while adding destinations (e.g. MCI and BNA) and others have gotten larger (e.g. STL). If larger costs kill point to point, how do we explain what is going on in those places?

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-14 18:06:57 and read 5600 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
But that's just fancy window dressing that won't make up for unhappy employees, long connection times, fewer flights, higher fares and more delays. Despite some recent pay raises, the legacy employees as a group are still abysmal in customer service...whether it be DL, UA or AA.

I guess that's $3billion in "fancy window dressing", then. As far as recent pay raises, at DL there was that PLUS at least two years worth of profit sharing, maybe more. I doubt if they're as unhappy as you say. As far as "long connection times" is concerned, I'm not sure what you mean. Too long? Too short? Or are things just not right, down there in the panhandle of Florida? I think many on here agree that fares are too low.....certainly not as high as they should be OR are you one of those that say that fares should be rock bottom, profitablility be damned?

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
Not to mention that those fancy cabins will be enjoyed by fewer customers as the airlines continue to shrink to profitability. If you look at the Big 4 carriers plans, none of them have any plans to significantly grow and most will likely continue shrinking in the years to come. As they push higher fares and more customers cut down on flying.

Don't know how you can say this. The airlines are certainly ordering more a/c and not just to maintain capacity, either, although it's the airline analysts that keep complaining that there's too much capacity out there.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-14 18:14:29 and read 5587 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 44):
As far as "long connection times" is concerned, I'm not sure what you mean. Too long? Too short?

I don't want to speak for him, but at least ex-BNA, DL is selling a lot of 2-3 hour connections, many more than 5 or 10 years ago.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 38):
Simple math. Why operate 200 flights a day at CVG and DTW when Delta can fly 350 from DTW? It decreases cost.

The math is quite a bit more nuanced than that for a couple of reasons. First, once a hub gets to be a certain size, adding flights doesn't really reduce costs that much. Had DL and US merged, would collapsinig CLT in to ATL have markedly reduced costs? Probably not.

Also, revenue tends to be a bit better with two hubs since there is the possibility of capturing two local markets.

No one is suggesting that UA should consolidate IAD and EWR.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-14 18:20:29 and read 5569 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):
Certainly, I haven't seen Delta's customer service get any better over the past two-three years as their financial situation has improved pretty much continually. Have you?

I'm not the right one to ask. I haven't flown Delta enough, or consistently, to fairly compare. But I'll say this - the pictures and reports I've seen about, for example, Delta's new longhaul J product and its new premium transcon product are impressive.

As for an airline I do fly regularly and consistently and have for years - AA - the answer is decidedly "yes" from my perspective. AA in the last few years has done several things to improve the customer experience from where it was, say, 5-6 years ago. I have found the F food better, the onboard technology markedly better, and the customer-facing IT (AA.com, self-service kiosks, etc.) consistently improving. And that's before we even get to the nearly 500 new jets AA is taking delivery of that look incredible and have gotten extremely positive reviews (that I have seen).

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):
If larger costs kill point to point, how do we explain what is going on in those places?

It's explained by the fact that Southwest's point-to-point network is growing slower than the growth in its hub network. In the last decade a very large portion of Southwest's growth has been in its hub markets - PHX, LAS, MDW, BWI, DEN.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 45):
No one is suggesting that UA should consolidate IAD and EWR.

That's because the WAS and NYC markets are sufficiently large in their own right that they can exist on their own and justify their own existence as hubs coexisting within a single airline system. CVG and DTW were not the same - CVG was simply not large enough to justify its own existence alongside DTW. Same story with STL/ORD, PIT/PHL, MEM/ATL, etc.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-14 18:31:17 and read 5538 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 46):
I'm not the right one to ask. I haven't flown Delta enough, or consistently, to fairly compare. But I'll say this - the pictures and reports I've seen about, for example, Delta's new longhaul J product and its new premium transcon product are impressive.

The hard product has gotten better, no question. The soft product is about the same, or maybe a bit worse. Customer service on the ground, especially at ATL, is atrocious.

You seem to be conflating hard product--which is getting better most places--with soft product--which you contend gets better with better financial results. I agree with you on the first point, but I don't see the evidence on the second.

Quoting commavia (Reply 46):
It's explained by the fact that Southwest's point-to-point network is growing slower than the growth in its hub network. In the last decade a very large portion of Southwest's growth has been in its hub markets - PHX, LAS, MDW, BWI, DEN.

Isn't that a given when most of the growth is coming from new stations? Should ICT open with STL/BNA/MCI/SAT or DAL/MDW/DEN/BWI?

Quoting commavia (Reply 46):
That's because the WAS and NYC markets are sufficiently large in their own right that they can exist on their own and justify their own existence as hubs coexisting within a single airline system. CVG and DTW were not the same - CVG was simply not large enough to justify its own existence alongside DTW. Same story with STL/ORD, PIT/PHL, MEM/ATL, etc.

You are proving my point, I think. There's more to it than "the larger the hub, the better." After all, at one point in the early 2000s, STL, CVG and CLT were around the same size.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: RDUDDJI
Posted 2013-04-14 19:35:35 and read 5446 times.

Mergers have resulted in dehubbing for many airports. Nary a merger goes by that some hub isn't affected sooner or later.

Quoting commavia (Reply 29):

It did, indeed, have something to do with ATL and CLT. Hubs don't operate in isolation - they constantly interact with the other hubs near them.

Perhaps a small "contributing" factor, but miniscule in comparison to the acquisition of the MIA hub. In fact, one could argue that CO at GSO was a larger influence (and it was at the time), but nonetheless MIA negated the need for the two low revenue connecting hubs. AA (wisely) realized the $ was in MIA, not in having two low rev connecting hubs.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-14 19:57:17 and read 5418 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Thread starter):

It's not really shocking or merger-related IMO, most on here recognized what was happening in MKE with FL and F9/YX was a bubble and that a correction was inevitable. There were only a handful claiming the growth would continue.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Thread starter):
Seems like we are headed towards a GRB type airport with everything connecting through a hub. Not good...

MKE (or any other airport for that matter) will almost definitely receive non-stop service to any market it can profitably support, but that probably won't include service to the likes of SAT, SDF or OMA.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
Mergers tend to serve the midwestern market quite poorly

Only because the region was massively over-hubbed. Consolidation will necessarily most affect markets that are the most over-saturated.


Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
But in all realities, It has done nothing but abandon a large portion of the population of the US.

No one has been abandoned (with the probable exception of those who won't pay more than $150 for a r/t ticket). Numerous Midwestern cities support point-to-point service to cities they can sustain profitably (CUN, BOS, LGA, DCA, LAX...etc).

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):

When the economy picks up, there's gonna be a demand again, you know. And what can possibly help businesses do their business is better service at airports.

...but there have to be enough businesses who take the flight often enough to support the flight, airlines aren't a charity. Additionally, mega-hubs aren't a necessity for booming business growth, look at AUS, RDU, CMH and OKC, none of them are hubs with hundreds of flights to dozens of cities, yet they're all some of the fastest growing cities in the US.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 5):
A number of business people told me at an ACG event in Cincinnati last month that they have contemplated moving out of the region to Charlotte or Minneapolis because they needed those flights from the DL hub in order to profitably operate.

I sincerely doubt that is the case, any business whose profitability depends on DL operating a single daily non-stop to GSO is one I would run from when it comes to investing, these were probably some of the same businesses complaining about CVG's astronomical fares and flying their employees out of DAY, LEX and SDF even when the DL hub was massive. Referring back to my above post, I think you're placing too much value on flights, hubs can be important economic drivers to be sure, but if having all those flights were as valuable and necessary to business as you're trying to say, then all businesses in the US would be solely based in hub cities, which is definitely not the case.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
Businesses can't thrive when the airlines have a stranglehold on their money.

Again, someone should tell all those companies in Omaha, Raleigh and Austin that their businesses aren't supposed to thrive then since they don't have hubs and all the flights they could need.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
Quoting commavia (Reply 33):
Either way, U.S. consumers enjoyed excessive choice and competition for years, to the point that it largely contributed to much of the industry going bankrupt.

But what drove most of the legacy carriers into bankruptcy wasn't too much competition, it was just bloated costs.

...and fuel prices, and flyers not wanting to actually pay the premium necessary for the services they were demanding.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mtnwest1979
Posted 2013-04-14 19:58:41 and read 5431 times.

[quote=capitalflyer,reply=39] WN also doesn't fly to places like SBN, CVG, SPI..., hell they don't even fly to all 50 states.

So, neither does any airline. Even then, there probably isn't a lot of $ for the taking in WY or VT.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-14 20:15:55 and read 5386 times.

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 50):
So, neither does any airline.

DL comes damn close, IIRC.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Deltal1011man
Posted 2013-04-14 20:54:57 and read 5336 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
unhappy employees

lol are you kidding me? I can tell you (and they still have a long way to go) its better now than it has ever been. (at least in my shorter window of employment)

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
the legacy employees as a group are still abysmal in customer service...whether it be DL, UA or AA.

what? the latest DOT number prove that Delta has made a huge push. Its not number 1 yet be a huge push none the less.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
Not to mention that those fancy cabins will be enjoyed by fewer customers as the airlines continue to shrink to profitability. If you look at the Big 4 carriers plans, none of them have any plans to significantly grow and most will likely continue shrinking in the years to come. As they push higher fares and more customers cut down on flying.

not completely true. Delta is going to have a growth at mainline. That will make employees happy. (both domestically and it sounds like some west coast growth to Asia is coming)

Plus they are a far amount under the scope of pilots JV agreement. Something is going to have to happen to fix that issue.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 41):
But what drove most of the legacy carriers into bankruptcy wasn't too much competition, it was just bloated costs.

Ah but how do you cover cost? you change the price to do so. If capacity stays the same airlines will be right back in BK. (cost are going up. BK contracts are ending and airlines are making money. Thus cost are going to go up. Plus most carriers are starting to hit a major point in fleet replacement which drives up cost. Oh and this time fuel is 4.00 a gallon.)

Quoting commavia (Reply 42):

Customer service and employee morale and attitudes will continue to improve as the financial health of the industry improves - and their paychecks go up.

this. The only way QOL will get better is if

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 43):

Certainly, I haven't seen Delta's customer service get any better over the past two-three years as their financial situation has improved pretty much continually. Have you?

over two years? no. Thats a small sample. Leo Mullen days to now? you bet your ass.

but i never had a problem on Delta. Not once. (but All you have to do is your job and I'm happy. I don't need a 18 year old smoking hot FA to kiss my ass like some people seem to want.) Statistically things are getting better at Delta.
Of course then also deals with part of the fact that people get up set when employees don't do what they are told by the PAX.....who cares if it gets them fired. (not saying thats you, but 9 times out of 10 when some isn't happy its because the employee couldn't do anything for them(ie gate checking the 100lb carry on) or they expect an employee to break a FAR or company rule. (good example. Warming your the food you got at the airport in the ovens. AFAIK That is a Delta policy. Yet I constantly hear DYKWIAs starting s**t over it)

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 45):

The math is quite a bit more nuanced than that for a couple of reasons. First, once a hub gets to be a certain size, adding flights doesn't really reduce costs that much. Had DL and US merged, would collapsinig CLT in to ATL have markedly reduced costs? Probably not.

yes. It will always reduce cost. The issue is if the market can support a hub(as i will hit below)
Gate space, Office space, (generally) hangar space and then employee cost will go down. Plus yields will go up due to the loss of capacity.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 45):
No one is suggesting that UA should consolidate IAD and EWR.

Ah but thats not even in the same ball park as DTW/CVG. WAS,NYC,LAX,CHI are some of the largest markets in the US(and world) They are going to be able to support a hub pretty much no matter what. You have seen some capacity adjusting between them, and likely will see more once they are truly one airline.
CVG just doesn't have to market to support a hub and its cost with a hub at DTW right down the road. Hell it didn't have the market to support a hub once Delta started pushing traffic over JFK.
Also another good example, MSP has the highest margins in the Delta system, why? location and market size. ATL prints Delta money. Why? location and market. MEM or even CLT would never be able to support a 1,000-1,200 flight a day hub like Atlanta can.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 47):
The soft product is about the same, or maybe a bit worse. Customer service on the ground, especially at ATL, is atrocious.

again I have never once had a problem. Outside of when we have bad weather I don't think i have even taken a delay or had an issue at all with Delta in ATL in 10 years of flying pretty regularly. For one of you that seems to have a problem with ATL I can find 10 that have never had an issue. (and clearly its not that bad because Delta keeping pushing people here, has been growing slightly and as i said its the most profitable hub in the system.)

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 50):
So, neither does any airline. Even then, there probably isn't a lot of $ for the taking in WY or VT.

I think Delta is at 48 or 49 states

Quoting mayor (Reply 51):
DL comes damn close, IIRC.

like i said it think its 48 or 49.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-14 21:03:21 and read 5316 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 52):

like i said it think its 48 or 49.

I don't think Delaware is covered........anywhere else?

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-15 05:30:09 and read 5148 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 52):
yes. It will always reduce cost.

If utilization is high enough that growth cannot occur with the existing people and facilities, how does it reduce cost? I'd argue that a number of hubs (ATL is one) are in that category right now.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 52):
again I have never once had a problem. Outside of when we have bad weather I don't think i have even taken a delay or had an issue at all with Delta in ATL in 10 years of flying pretty regularly.

Multiple gate changes are a problem. Non-English speaking agents who can't adequately communicate the projected length of a delay is a problem. I have both experiences regularly at ATL.

It is hard for me to believe that you fly regularly if you have never taken a non-w/x delay. Stuff happens (on all airlines, not just Delta).

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: southwest737500
Posted 2013-04-15 05:40:09 and read 5136 times.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 52):

With all the expansion planes for CLT we coils handle an ATL DL size

We have a new RWY new terminal, terminal extension Etc....

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-04-15 06:08:47 and read 5087 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 42):
They're investing in airport facilities, infrastructure, larger/better small jets, better IT systems, etc. All of that will - in time - improve the overall customer experience.

None of that does any good when your flight cancels and you have no other options since there are so few flights. The first time DL/AA/UA strand someone for 6 hours in the airport because the flight is cancelled and they have no other options, all the fancy IT in the world won't make that customer happy. Sure, that doesn't happen all the time, but in only has to happen once to leave you with a lot of tick off customers.

Not to mention all the nickel and diming with fees ticks customers off to no end. Again, any goodwill the airlines might gain from fancy IT will be lost when you zap them with baggage fees, change ticket fees, seat selection fees, frequent flyer redemption fees, etc.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 52):
I can tell you (and they still have a long way to go) its better now than it has ever been.

I'm certainly not seeing it. The gate agents in ATL haven't improved, in fact I'd argue they've gotten worse as DL often expects one agent to do far too much and DL's gate automation isn't very helpful.

Not to mention that much of the legacy carrier improvement is "paper" improvement driven by padding block times. When a 45 minute flight from PNS-ATL is blocked for 1:15, you know something is pretty messed up.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 52):
. For one of you that seems to have a problem with ATL I can find 10 that have never had an issue.

I haven't met anyone that flies through ATL regularly that hasn't had a problem at least once. I saw it just two weeks ago down in Florida. ATL is overloaded and running a metering program (as usual). The DAB-ATL flight takes a delay because of this...now about a third of the 757 has busted connections in ATL and is in for a rough night trying to be re-accommodated on flights that are full.

Don't get me wrong, for the legacy carriers, consolidation is good. It will create a more stable industry. However, for consumers, this type of consolidation is rarely a win.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-04-15 06:15:29 and read 5099 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
1) Who here honestly thinks that CLT, DTW, LAX, ATL, and NYC are in good enough "geography" for the most efficient aviation industry possible?

All but CLT are DL hubs. Why did you ignore DEN, PHX, DFW, SFO, IAD, ORD, and MIA? With population growth being towards the South and West, hubs need to shift out of the midwest to better serve customer needs. The epicenter of US population has moved and thus so have the hubs. Travel is much more across the Pacific, which has grown LAX and SFO.

This is a MKE thread. MKE became less competitive with the DTW consolidation. At that point, DTW had the connections and cost structure to make it tough for a small hub to gain enough connections to be competitive. So MKE dropped down to O&D traffic. That's just the way it is.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
You all honestly think that these aircraft, while larger than the CRJ 50-seater, can't turn a profit by operating out of smaller airports and hubs?

Those aircraft require 30% to 50% minimum O&D traffic to be profitable. Any P2P routes will be served. If not by the big 3, than WN, B6, F9, or even Spirit.
Cities get the flights they need. If there is money for a P2P flight, it will happen. The reality is that reduced yields have forced airlines to consolidate to high O&D hubs. The majors tried to save the little hubs with RJs, but there is no longer the revenue premium due to passengers willingness to drive a few hours to a more economical airport.

I'll take the example of ATL. I know several people who will not pay to fly to the Carolinas as flights into ATL or other major hubs are that much cheaper it is worth the drive. Why? Because ATL is competitive mega hub.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
This is why big cities like PHX and RDU have a flight to LHR, and a demand for a flight to NRT, and even why CVG, PIT, and other cities have DL service to CDG or AMS.

You point to good P2P demands. What has been shut down is the flights from the smaller hubs with less than 30% O&D traffic. Those aren't sustainable and with larger aircraft gauge it forces a consolidation to the mega hubs.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 38):
500 flights a day on 50 seats RJs isn't going to work. Sorry. Your beloved CVG died long before the merger

  

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 54):
If utilization is high enough that growth cannot occur with the existing people and facilities

Then either figure out how to increase utilization or expand. Consolidation is happening partially due to the need to cut costs. CASM must be reduced and that is done via new larger aircraft. But if facilities are bad... hub at DEN. or the new DFW terminal D!   

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-15 08:23:53 and read 4990 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 57):
This is a MKE thread.

I was wondering when it was going to get back to that.  
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 56):
None of that does any good when your flight cancels and you have no other options since there are so few flights. The first time DL/AA/UA strand someone for 6 hours in the airport because the flight is cancelled and they have no other options, all the fancy IT in the world won't make that customer happy. Sure, that doesn't happen all the time, but in only has to happen once to leave you with a lot of tick off customers.

So, what is your solution for the poor people of PNS? More flights? Bigger a/c? More flights with bigger a/c? Hourly flights with 10 pax on each one isn't going to work, in my opinion. Analysts cry that there's too much capacity, so the airline reduces that and then people complain that there's not enough. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It might be better for you to suffer with the schedule you have right now rather than expect more flights which might make DL unprofitable. After all, you probably aren't the only one from a spoke city that has this complaint, such as it is.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PlaneAdmirer
Posted 2013-04-15 08:39:58 and read 4956 times.

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 17):
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 34):
Quoting IllinoisMan (Thread starter):
Good article and very realistic, I'm afraid. I use ORD quite a bit in order to get direct flights, and would like to do the same out of MKE but that appears to be less and less possible...Seems like we are headed towards a GRB type airport with everything connecting through a hub. Not good...

I suppose I could go back through all the threads on F9 at MKE where you disparaged them and their management, but who has that much time? Well, you got your wish, F9 is gone from MKE and now making money, thankfully. Enjoy your drive to ORD.

I seem to recall that the local paper was pretty hostile to F9 as well. Maybe they just want a new airline at MKE so that they can write obnoxious stories about it.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MSPNWA
Posted 2013-04-15 09:16:20 and read 4910 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 1):
The reason capacity and traffic are down substantially at MKE versus several years ago is not consolidation.

I'm sorry, but this is a laughable conclusion. The state of the airline economy has a lot to do with it, yes. Maybe it's mostly the reason. But to say that consolidation and the resulting lack of competition didn't play a significant factor at MKE - and other secondary hubs - is ridiculous.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
1) Who here honestly thinks that CLT, DTW, LAX, ATL, and NYC are in good enough "geography" for the most efficient aviation industry possible?

Hopefully no one.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
2) Who here honestly thinks that a tripartite aviation industry is actually good for the health of the business industry in the USA? Businesses and travelers want more options with the lowest price, best service possible.

Again, hopefully no one. The airlines are healthier now. Awesome. It has came at the price of the consumer and employee.

Here's the real sticking point in all this. Transportation is not a "want" industry. It's primarily a "need" industry. And that's why record profits aren't automatically a good thing.

Quoting commavia (Reply 22):
Thankfully, now that airlines are starting to actually make money again, they are now able to invest in things that improve the customer experience and address some of the legitimate complaints about service people have had in recent years. They can pay and motivate employees better. They can install onboard entertainment and connectivity systems. They can upgrade seating, cabin interiors, and in some cases food service. And they can invest in information technology systems to smooth customer booking and schedule disruptions.

All of that is good, not bad, but all of that is impossible without the economies of scale produced by hubs.

If you're a big-wig flying international, yes, the hard product has improved. But if you're not, you've been a victim of the decreased products and service the airline industry gives you so they can help their bottom line. The flying experience in general has been in a long, gradual decline. Only with high profits have airlines dared to give back some ground in that area.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: ChiGB1973
Posted 2013-04-15 09:21:53 and read 4884 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 58):
So, what is your solution for the poor people of PNS? More flights? Bigger a/c? More flights with bigger a/c? Hourly flights with 10 pax on each one isn't going to work, in my opinion. Analysts cry that there's too much capacity, so the airline reduces that and then people complain that there's not enough. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

DL does have hourly flights, maybe every 1hr 20 minutes in the am starting at 6am till about 2 or so flying mostly mainline. There is a market here. I prefer UA, so I'm in more of a fix. UA does serve more destinations out PNS than any other carrier: TPA, MCO, ORD, and IAH, AA DFW/MIA, US CLT/DCA, FL to ATL, and DL with lots to ATL.

http://www.flypensacola.com/_files/c...-7,%202013%20Flight%20Schedule.pdf

http://www.flypensacola.com/

I'm looking forward to WN taking over from FL. I have several friends at WN, always enjoyed flying them, and hope they bring a few more destinations and maybe a little bit of a price reduction around here.

There are solutions for the good people of PNS, but that will take years and much more industry to replace the military losses that have started and will continue. There is some help in Airbus building in Mobile. Fingers crossed that some of the suppliers opt to manufacture on this side of the state line. I say solution, but that will only get a few more flights, maybe another destination or two, but PNS will always be a spoke city. Same for MKE, to finally get back to the topic at hand.

PNS became an international airport last year, took the UPS A-306 from BFM, and is doing a lot of building around the airport. Hope this all helps, but it's going to take a lot more to increase service here.

M

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-15 09:28:56 and read 4879 times.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 60):
I'm sorry, but this is a laughable conclusion. The state of the airline economy has a lot to do with it, yes. Maybe it's mostly the reason. But to say that consolidation and the resulting lack of competition didn't play a significant factor at MKE - and other secondary hubs - is ridiculous.

Not laughable, or ridiculous, at all. The article specifically compared traffic now to traffic several years ago, at the height of the AirTran-Midwest/Frontier market share war. There was so much capacity being artificially dumped into MKE that was never going to be sustainably profitable. Thus the huge drop, and thus the point I was making.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 60):
It has came at the price of the consumer

Again, airlines are investing in all sorts of things to improve the customer experience. And that's only possible if they're profitable.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 60):
and employee.

Hmmm ... ask airline employees which they prefer - profitable, stable employers or constantly-teetering-near-bankruptcy employers.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 60):
And that's why record profits aren't automatically a good thing.

Well, again, what's the alternative? Record losses? We tried that for a decade. It wasn't good for the consumer. I guess that's really the difference here - some seem to regard prices so low they bankrupt the producer to ultimately be in the interests of the consumer. I strongly disagree.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-04-15 09:33:42 and read 4852 times.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 60):
But to say that consolidation and the resulting lack of competition didn't play a significant factor at MKE - and other secondary hubs - is ridiculous

If you look at the capacity over the years, the merged carriers have really been roughly flat. What happened to MKE was YX disappearing, and WN/FL not backfilling it. That's it.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-15 09:43:24 and read 4831 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 63):
If you look at the capacity over the years, the merged carriers have really been roughly flat. What happened to MKE was YX disappearing, and WN/FL not backfilling it. That's it.

Are you sure? Gauge on MKE-DTW/MSP/MEM/CVG is down quite a bit from, say, 2007, and at least MEM and CVG have lost some frequency too.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-04-15 09:55:05 and read 4793 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 64):
Are you sure? Gauge on MKE-DTW/MSP/MEM/CVG is down quite a bit from, say, 2007, and at least MEM and CVG have lost some frequency too.

Since 2007 all the majors are down low single digit percentages in terms of seats, except US which is up, but set against the disappearing F9/YX which is down probably 95%, they're really inconsequential.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: JBo
Posted 2013-04-15 10:09:59 and read 4789 times.

My two cents on the MKE issue:

- The only reason MKE was ever a hub in the first place is because of YX. MKE simply is not a viable hub city to any other carrier.

- As other's have said, YX's struggles date back long before FL tried to take them over. After 2001, the economy and the industry changed and Hoeksema lacked the vision to adapt the airline to the industry's changes without losing its identity and the airline started to falter. Unfortunately, instead of handing the reins to someone who DID have the vision to keep YX successful, Hoeksema's pride kept him at the helm and he more or less went down with the ship.

- The only reason any other airline built up a hub/focus city presence in MKE is because of YX. Northwest built up a presence first to compete with YX and then later to partner with YX. FL built up their presence in MKE to compete with YX after they didn't get what they wanted. With YX/F9 now all but gone, DL (nee NW) doesn't maintain as much of a presence as they did before. FL, on the other hand, might have maintained their hub if not for the WN merger and the proximity of MDW.

- There is no overly feasible reason for any other airline to start a hub in MKE as most airlines are not currently in a position for that sort of growth.

- MKE is "right-sizing" itself to a medium-large sized spoke city. Some airlines may use MKE for more connecting traffic in the future, but for the time being with the industry consolidating and downsizing, it just isn't feasible for MKE to see the level of service it had when YX was at its prime.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-15 10:14:06 and read 4766 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 56):
None of that does any good when your flight cancels and you have no other options since there are so few flights.

Well, you mislead me. I didn't bother to check your info before I made my other reply. It seems that there are 8 flights a day, all mainline, ATL-PNS. Hardly seems like "so few flights".  

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: AADC10
Posted 2013-04-15 10:27:53 and read 4755 times.

MKE grew when ORD was clogged with RJs. As fuel prices and mergers are killing off the RJs, ORD added a runway greatly reducing delays. As many others have pointed out MKE was overserved and it is shrinking to a sustainable level. It is difficult to sustain a hub at MKE with a no longer slot restricted ORD a 90 minute drive away.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 20):
The AA hub at SJC didn't work, in spite of location in a high income and high population growth area. Proximity to SFO killed it.

WN killed AA's hub more than SFO. UA stood their ground a lost a ton of money battling WN in California while AA entered and retreated twice.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: MKE22
Posted 2013-04-15 11:12:48 and read 4652 times.

Quoting JBo (Reply 66):
The only reason MKE was ever a hub in the first place is because of YX. MKE simply is not a viable hub city to any other carrier.

I disagree, but that is another topic for another day. We could talk about all the theoretical possibilities with X airline or Y airline, but it isn't happening now. The only reason I dislike FL going away is because of everything offered by FL at MKE and their potential growth.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 68):
MKE grew when ORD was clogged with RJs. As fuel prices and mergers are killing off the RJs, ORD added a runway greatly reducing delays.

Not to mention the recongfig of ORD as a whole. Looking at the final plans, ORD will be able to handle a LOT of traffic well into the future. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:O%...rnational_Airport_(USGS)_Final.png

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-04-15 12:09:04 and read 4602 times.

Quoting JBo (Reply 66):
- MKE is "right-sizing" itself to a medium-large sized spoke city.

IMHO that sums up MKE. It has reverted back to a spoke; while sad a hub there wasn't viable, that is just how it is do to MKE's relative O&D traffic and yield.

If MKE was really being gouged, you would see WN expanding. Or DL... Or someone else. Airlines pursue profit. If MKE represented unusually good profit, aircraft would see the airport to make their airline that profit.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-04-15 12:15:25 and read 4580 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
This is why big cities like PHX and RDU have a flight to LHR, and a demand for a flight to NRT, and even why CVG, PIT, and other cities have DL service to CDG or AMS.

Yes, a single daily flight, but that doesn't equate to a hub. The O&D is there to sustain a link to a megahub across the pond, but not to duplicate a massive domestic/transborder operation. Aka, just because there is demand for semi-daily flight from PDX to AMS and NRT, doesn't mean PDX should be restored to full-fledged hub status when you have SLC next door.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
BA and AA know that service to LHR from bigger (but not huge) cities in the US is extremely profitable

Is it? Where is your proof on this.

Ever consider the role corporate contracts play into the mid-size markets? Remember, way back when, Delta announced it would operate a RDU-CDG flight in tandem with launching PIT-CDG? That was delayed, pushed back again, and has yet to get off the ground (been 5 years now). The reason? No way it could compete with AA RDU-LHR without the RTP subsidies from local businesses.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
(The BA flight to PHX recently became 1x daily and is consistently full)

That's great that it's full. That doesn't mean that the flight kills it yields-wise. Notice how, in better economic times, Lufthansa couldn't compete with BA on PHX-Europe. The market demanded a single transatlantic service from Phoenix and there you have it, Lufthansa felt the heat and BA commands the monopoly.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
When JAS and JAL merged in the early 2000s, the Japanese aviation industry essentially became a duopoly. Prices went haywire, and service began to lag, until it began to hurt the airline itself (JL's bankruptcy), which sparked a huge boom in LCCs here in Japan.

Domestic, yes, Japan has seen a huge growth in LCCs, but its yet to be proven whether or not that is successful and profitable.

Internationally, LCC traffic only compensates for 5% of the traffic to/from Japan.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 13):
I'm sorry for the lengthy post, but you all seem to fail to realize what the real picture is. I've only been here on Airliners for a year, and my "rr" isn't as high as some, but that gives no excuse to hide behind your tenure and rr here when faced with the real truth- The real victim here is the customers. Customers are what make an airline actually work.

You're entitled to an opinion, but I encourage you to learn to separate facts from emotional bias. We went through this repeatedly on the AA-US merger forums because it was difficult for you to hear the logical reasoning behind why PHX will likely get pulled down. Again, you're free to express your opinion, but avoid covering your ears when its your turn to listen to what others have to say.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: knope2001
Posted 2013-04-15 14:28:48 and read 4499 times.

Getting back to the issue of MKE in particular, the large majority of what was gained...and subsequently lost...in the two peak years was connecting traffic.

Here's 2002 to 2012 using 2002 as a base line. For reference, AirTran started in Milwaukee in mid 2002, the Northwest mini-hub started in 2003.

These are three independent columns, with 2002=100. For every 100 total passengers served in 2002, there were 170 total passengers served in 2011 and 134 served in 2012

year …........... total pax …….. conx ... local enplanements
2002 ………… 100 ………… 100 ………… 100
2003 ………… 110 ………… 116 ………… 109
2004 ………… 119 ………… 148 ………… 116
2005 ………… 130 ………… 212 ………… 121
2006 ………… 131 ………… 207 ………… 122
2007 ………… 138 ………… 223 ………… 129
2008 ………… 142 ………… 255 ………… 130
2009 ………… 142 ………… 272 ………… 128
2010 ………… 176 ………… 367 ………… 155
2011 ………… 170 ………… 348 ………… 150
2012 ………… 134 ………… 172 ………… 131

Note that becuase these are independent columns, it does *not* mean that there were 172 connecting passengers for every 131 local passengers in 2012. You can't compare between columns...just within columns.

Total passengers served in 2012 were the lowest since 2006, but that is mostly due decreased connecting volumn. It's the connecting numbers that inflated the most during the MKE arms race. The true bubble years of 2010 and 2011 saw massive growth mostly in the number of connections, though local boardings were inflated to a lesser extent. When you look at just local enplanements, excluding the two bubble years they're still at an all-time high.

I suspect we may see local numbers dip a bit more in 2013, but considering that we have less fare and flight competition, and we lost seveal regional O+D markets to the highways (or to O'Hare) things are not nearly as grim as they might first seem. Milwaukee is fortunate to have nonstop, mainline year-round sevice to both coasts, where many of our counterparts in the midwest have more RJ/large RJ flights east and much less service to the west. Hopefully we're able to hold on to that.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-04-15 14:33:30 and read 4499 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 67):
Well, you mislead me. I didn't bother to check your info before I made my other reply. It seems that there are 8 flights a day, all mainline, ATL-PNS. Hardly seems like "so few flights".

Yes and when those flights all have 85+ percent LF's (as they do in spring/summer), DL has no way of accomodating people when a flight gets hosed. I'd also note that DL used to have 8 flights to ATL (all mainline), plus flights to DFW/MCO and occassionally CVG. So, yes far fewer flights.

Also, you're missing the point which comes back to the original topic of MKE. As airlines kill secondary hubs, it forces all passengers through a small number of highly congested hubs with few other options. Sure, it's great DL has 8 flights, but 8 flights to ATL doesn't help much when thunderstorms, ice storms, etc and everything is delayed for hours. DL has no ability to reroute PNS passengers around ATL.

Now I'll certainly admit that MKE was overserved during the FL/YX/WN battles. And MKE overall is probably a bit small to have a hub, so I don't blame airlines for dumping the secondary hubs. It's makes economic sense for them. However, for consumers it is bad news.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: JBo
Posted 2013-04-15 14:36:40 and read 4497 times.

Quoting MKE22 (Reply 69):
I disagree, but that is another topic for another day. We could talk about all the theoretical possibilities with X airline or Y airline, but it isn't happening now. The only reason I dislike FL going away is because of everything offered by FL at MKE and their potential growth.

As much as I don't want to come to FL's defense, if the WN merger hadn't happened I think they would likely still have a strong presence in MKE; I think the drawdown of MKE has more to do with the merger and less with the drawdown of F9.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: knope2001
Posted 2013-04-15 14:47:03 and read 4494 times.

Quoting JBo (Reply 74):
As much as I don't want to come to FL's defense, if the WN merger hadn't happened I think they would likely still have a strong presence in MKE; I think the drawdown of MKE has more to do with the merger and less with the drawdown of F9.

The arms race in MKE could certainly not be sustained, and assuming the Midwest/Republic/Frontier scenario followed a relatively similar path as it actually did, AirTran would have been left as the primary carrier at MKE. The way in which consolidation actually does account for some of Milwaukee's decrease is that were AirTran independent, Milwaukee would have likely remained an important key to their network, and the code-sharing regional flights operated by Skywest would probably have stayed. With Southwest's purchase, Milwaukee is not a key part of their system and they are not going to be flying anything under 143 seats too much longer...certainly nothing like a 50-seat plane. So without the Southwest takeover of AirTran, MKE's service would likely include some additional flights and markets. Of course Southwest was already coming to MKE, and if they skimmed off too much of MKE and AIrTran wasn't able to make MKE work well, perhaps they'd pull back a great deal in time anyway. Hard to know. But Southwest's purchase definitely killed the 50-seat RJ markets out of MKE that AirTran operated.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-15 19:52:29 and read 4308 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 73):
Yes and when those flights all have 85+ percent LF's (as they do in spring/summer),

And they still might not be profitable.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 73):
I'd also note that DL used to have 8 flights to ATL (all mainline),

And, as I mentioned, they still do.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 73):
Also, you're missing the point which comes back to the original topic of MKE. As airlines kill secondary hubs, it forces all passengers through a small number of highly congested hubs with few other options. Sure, it's great DL has 8 flights, but 8 flights to ATL doesn't help much when thunderstorms, ice storms, etc and everything is delayed for hours. DL has no ability to reroute PNS passengers around ATL.

The only hub that DL has "killed" was CVG and it wasn't because of the merger, either. Am I the only one that remembers that when DL made CVG a hub it was as a reliever hub for ATL and in the buildup there it was sort of an artificial market and surely most of it was connecting traffic?



No airline is going to start a route from another city to PNS (or wherever), just to give them an option if something goes wrong in ATL. Besides, it isn't like ATL is the only hub that has wx problems.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-15 20:40:31 and read 4270 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 76):

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 73):
Also, you're missing the point which comes back to the original topic of MKE. As airlines kill secondary hubs, it forces all passengers through a small number of highly congested hubs with few other options. Sure, it's great DL has 8 flights, but 8 flights to ATL doesn't help much when thunderstorms, ice storms, etc and everything is delayed for hours. DL has no ability to reroute PNS passengers around ATL.

The only hub that DL has "killed" was CVG and it wasn't because of the merger, either. Am I the only one that remembers that when DL made CVG a hub it was as a reliever hub for ATL and in the buildup there it was sort of an artificial market and surely most of it was connecting traffic?

The merger definitely was the driving factor in "killing" CVG as a large-scale hub. You're correct that CVG was originally developed as a reliever for ATL, but it was also DL's answer to the hubs in ORD and DTW. DL did scale back CVG before the merger, but it was still a large hub with a respectable bank of international flights, remember as well that DL also chose to close DFW over CVG. Before the NW merger CVG still played a critical role in the network and even after the first cut and the closure of DFW, CVG still had 400-500 flights, so it was the acquisition of DTW which completely eliminated CVG's network value to DL and really doomed it to death by 1000 cuts.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-15 21:07:21 and read 4243 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 77):
remember as well that DL also chose to close DFW over CVG.

Actually, it was between SLC and DFW........CVG was the second largest hub on the system, so it wasn't even considered for closing, at that time.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-15 21:17:48 and read 4218 times.

Quoting mayor (Reply 78):
Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 77):
remember as well that DL also chose to close DFW over CVG.

Actually, it was between SLC and DFW........CVG was the second largest hub on the system, so it wasn't even considered for closing, at that time.

I've heard that as well, but in any case you're making my point that, at the time, CVG was essential to the network, but after the merger...well, it became non-essential, so it really was the merger that sunk CVG as a major hub.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-15 21:25:51 and read 4209 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 79):
Quoting mayor (Reply 78):Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 77):
remember as well that DL also chose to close DFW over CVG.

Actually, it was between SLC and DFW........CVG was the second largest hub on the system, so it wasn't even considered for closing, at that time.
I've heard that as well,

Well, that's what they told us when I was working at SLC.......that it was between us and DFW to see which remained as a hub.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IllinoisMan
Posted 2013-04-15 21:27:40 and read 4216 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 22):
Thankfully, now that airlines are starting to actually make money again, they are now able to invest in things that improve the customer experience and address some of the legitimate complaints about service people have had in recent years.

I would laugh if this wasn't such a grossly inaccurate statement. Commavia, have you seen any of the recent national news reports that complaints about major airlines are up 20% over last year? Its a new high, and of all the airlines, UA, a "big carrier," was rated the worst. Anyone who has flown recently knows that flying is an experience to be endured, not enjoyed. Planes are dirty and flight attendants make customer service an oxymoron. The experience of so-called business/first class on US carriers is much the same. The abuse is just more expensive. It is unfortunate that most US fliers have not flown international airlines, like those in Europe and Asia. If they had, they would not tolerate how the "big US carriers" treat people.

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 31):
When YX cut back on the luxury, they saved money but at the same time lost their identity. When that happened there was no reason to chose them over cheaper airlines, and not even the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies were enough of a draw.

It will be a long time before we see the service excellence and customer care like that of YX; a business that benefited the area with service, jobs, and tax revenue. America wants cheap; that's why WN and NK are succeeding, profitable, and why others have switched to match that model by eliminating perks.

Quoting mke717spotter (Reply 31):
I fly WN quite a bit and I think we in MKE should be glad to have them. Their product might not equal first class on a mainline carrier, but as a business model they have defined their niche and do it better (when measured by revenue and profits) than any other domestic carrier.

Well, I guess if you think that flying in a cattle car with no reserved seats makes a great airline, then WN is for you. WN appears to be a profitable business because it targets people who fly occasionally for vacations and are willing to trade price for comfort and service.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 49):
MKE (or any other airport for that matter) will almost definitely receive non-stop service to any market it can profitably support, but that probably won't include service to the likes of SAT, SDF or OMA.

I fly regularly to New York City for work and back in the day I was a loyal YX flyer (and stockholder), but now I fly DL. I assume DL is charging less on the MKE flights because they can't fill them. For example, I was quoted $500 to MSN but only $280 to MKE and when I flew into MKE on Thursday, and the row behind me had four empty seats. I don't think this bodes well for the future of MKE's air service.

Quoting PlaneAdmirer (Reply 59):
I suppose I could go back through all the threads on F9 at MKE where you disparaged them and their management, but who has that much time? Well, you got your wish, F9 is gone from MKE and now making money, thankfully.

MKE lost out twice after first ignoring the FL offer and then selling out to NW/TPG. Well, actually they lost three times - if you figure in the shafting passengers got from F9 when they swept MKE under the rug.

Quoting JBo (Reply 66):
After 2001, the economy and the industry changed and Hoeksema lacked the vision to adapt the airline to the industry's changes without losing its identity and the airline started to falter. Unfortunately, instead of handing the reins to someone who DID have the vision to keep YX successful, Hoeksema's pride kept him at the helm and he more or less went down with the ship.

I wouldn't give Hoeksema any break. It was his ego which prevented him from selling YX to FL, which was MKE's best chance to remain a leader in air transportation. Instead, he peddled it to NW and some financiers from Texas. Remember that NW immediately wrote off the investment as worthless but did get somewhat what it wanted out of the deal - it prevented FL from growing in the Midwest. Thanks again, Tim. Thanks for nothing!

Quoting JBo (Reply 74):
As much as I don't want to come to FL's defense, if the WN merger hadn't happened I think they would likely still have a strong presence in MKE; I think the drawdown of MKE has more to do with the merger and less with the drawdown of F9.

I agree. If FL and YX had merged then another merger with WN would have made less sense and been less palatable to the regulators. FL was proposing to make MKE a major hub and committed to investing in this area, but the political influence of a few who put personal profit ahead of the community resulted in a toxic situation that successfully fought off the take over. Milwaukee will now be permanently stuck in a lower tier status concerning the airport.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: jpetekyxmd80
Posted 2013-04-15 21:33:09 and read 4193 times.

All things have done is return to equilibrium. No more, no less. The dual hub thing was fun while it lasted, but it's decline inevitable. Mergers did wipe out the last remaining chance for a 'true' hub with AirTran, which I really do wish we'd have gotten a chance to see develop independently... but in the big scheme of things there is no less service now than there was in the early-mid 2000s.

[Edited 2013-04-15 21:33:57]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-15 22:22:24 and read 4135 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
I would laugh if this wasn't such a grossly inaccurate statement. Commavia, have you seen any of the recent national news reports that complaints about major airlines are up 20% over last year?


There's a lot of integration going on at the moment, I've studied the DOT data on customer complaints and they skyrocket in the midst of integration. However, once a carrier seemingly irons out its integration issues, the complaints plummet to where they were in the 90's. Take DL for example, complaints shot up by hundreds of percentage points when they were in the middle of the merger with NW, but for the past year or so they've been precipitously declining and are now pretty much around where DL's complaint levels were in the 90's, the same can be said of US.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
WN appears to be a profitable business

They don't just appear to be profitable, they are profitable.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
because it targets people who fly occasionally for vacations and are willing to trade price for comfort and service.


This definitely is no longer the case, business travelers are an increasingly large contributor to WN's revenue stream.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
when I flew into MKE on Thursday, and the row behind me had four empty seats. I don't think this bodes well for the future of MKE's air service.

Milwaukee has WN, UA and DL all servicing the MKE-NYC market, so again the market will support whatever it can support. Additionally, DL is operating 4-5 daily flights into LGA during the summer from MKE, a significant commitment I doubt they'd be making if it were bleeding money for them.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-04-16 03:23:19 and read 4047 times.

Commavia....your arguments still haven't been presented in a way which convinces me, or any businessman I've been in contact with the last few days.

I even emailed this thread (with a focus on your replies. the email simply read "see this, and look at this user's comments, tell me your thoughts.) and everyone that I've gotten replies from in this email simply stated that your thoughts are utopian, unrealistic to the future of the industry, and too rooted in the idea of "big hub first."

If Airlines really want to stay alive, they'll start listening to their customers. Customers are what drives airlines. Not megahubs.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 60):

Thank you for this! Your analysis is spoton!

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 83):


Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
I would laugh if this wasn't such a grossly inaccurate statement. Commavia, have you seen any of the recent national news reports that complaints about major airlines are up 20% over last year?

His statement doesn't surprise me one bit  

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-16 04:11:57 and read 4040 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):
Commavia....your arguments still haven't been presented in a way which convinces me, or any businessman I've been in contact with the last few days.

Unless you, or those "businessmen," work in revenue management or network planning at a major U.S. airline, I honestly could not care less.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):
I even emailed this thread (with a focus on your replies. the email simply read "see this, and look at this user's comments, tell me your thoughts.) and everyone that I've gotten replies from in this email simply stated that your thoughts are utopian, unrealistic to the future of the industry, and too rooted in the idea of "big hub first."

Please feel free to email this thread to the CEOs of heads of revenue management or network planning at any of the major U.S. carriers and ask for their "thoughts" on the efficacy of large hubs versus small, and then please get back to us on whose replies in this thread they view as "unrealistic" and "Utopian."

If people want to continue making arguments that were proven false 20 years ago, that's fine by me. But again - the numbers speak for themselves. It seems breathtaking to me that anyone could be arguing that the trend away from smaller hubs towards larger ones isn't simply rooted in unavoidable economic logic, and then with a straight face call me the one who is "Utopian." But here we are. I see no need to continue trying to convince "businessmen" of reality.

   is right.

[Edited 2013-04-16 05:03:48]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Polot
Posted 2013-04-16 04:29:22 and read 4004 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):

If Airlines really want to stay alive, they'll start listening to their customers. Customers are what drives airlines. Not megahubs.

Question. If consolidation is the cause of these cut hubs in medium size cities, why did they decide to cut these hubs specifically and not cut from large hubs or evenly across the board?

Asking a random person about their opinion doesn't really say all that. I (and everyone I know) would love it if my local airport had more destinations to choose from, but I would also love it if I won a $500 million lottery. Sometimes what we want just isn't feasible or going to happen.

[Edited 2013-04-16 04:56:20]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-04-16 04:46:32 and read 3996 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
I agree. If FL and YX had merged then another merger with WN would have made less sense and been less palatable to the regulators.

But you would still have "lost" Midwest. Sensibly, since they wanted to stay in business, Airtran was not about to embrace the Midwest business model.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):
I even emailed this thread (with a focus on your replies. the email simply read "see this, and look at this user's comments, tell me your thoughts.)

What a curious thing to do.

Quoting commavia (Reply 85):
It seems breathtaking to me that anyone could be arguing that the trend away from smaller hubs towards larger ones isn't simply rooted in unavoidable economic logic, and then with a straight face call me the one who is "Utopian."

  

The plethora of mini-hubs helped drive the airlines into the financial chaos of the last decade. The price of fuel was not the sole culprit, and most of the legacy bankruptcies happened long before oil hit $100 and long before the GFC.

United was famously "hemorrhaging money" back in 2000.



mariner

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-16 05:07:55 and read 3977 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
WN appears to be a profitable business because it targets people who fly occasionally for vacations and are willing to trade price for comfort and service.

How, exactly, is WN less comfortable than, for instance, DL? The extra inch or two of pitch is extremely noticeable when flying the two back to back. WN's service might even be a little better, and WN's frequent flier program blows Skypesos out of the water.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
It was his ego which prevented him from selling YX to FL, which was MKE's best chance to remain a leader in air transportation.

Maybe, but this is sort of a backhanded compliment. With plans involving multiple daily flights to places like YUL and HPN, the FL mega-hub at MKE was no more than Joe Leonard's pipe dream.

Quoting mariner (Reply 87):
United was famously "hemorrhaging money" back in 2000.

  

And yet, their hub structure has changed very little from 2000 to today.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2013-04-16 05:30:19 and read 3930 times.

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 72):
year …........... total pax …….. conx ... local enplanements
2002 ………… 100 ………… 100 ………… 100
2003 ………… 110 ………… 116 ………… 109
2004 ………… 119 ………… 148 ………… 116
2005 ………… 130 ………… 212 ………… 121
2006 ………… 131 ………… 207 ………… 122
2007 ………… 138 ………… 223 ………… 129
2008 ………… 142 ………… 255 ………… 130
2009 ………… 142 ………… 272 ………… 128
2010 ………… 176 ………… 367 ………… 155
2011 ………… 170 ………… 348 ………… 150
2012 ………… 134 ………… 172 ………… 131

Now those normalized numbers are a good place to start. I find it interesting how 2012 saw a drop, but that is a consequence of fewer direct flights in a saturated market. The overall all dip isn't that bad. Once the greater Milwaukee economy gets back on its feet, we'll see the right side column increase. That is what it takes now, economic growth to stimulate air travel.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: jpetekyxmd80
Posted 2013-04-16 06:23:42 and read 3885 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):
Commavia....your arguments still haven't been presented in a way which convinces me, or any businessman I've been in contact with the last few days.

People like you, who want cheap, nonstop air service to everywhere they want to go from wherever they are? So? Let's not give them out a Nobel laureate in airline economics just yet for being supposed 'businessmen'. I'm sure the majority of people who have some sort of 'business' job or background know precisely dick about the airline industry.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-16 08:43:59 and read 3798 times.

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 90):
Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):Commavia....your arguments still haven't been presented in a way which convinces me, or any businessman I've been in contact with the last few days.

People like you, who want cheap, nonstop air service to everywhere they want to go from wherever they are? So? Let's not give them out a Nobel laureate in airline economics just yet for being supposed 'businessmen'. I'm sure the majority of people who have some sort of 'business' job or background know precisely dick about the airline industry.

  


Airlines are like no other business in the world and for him to ask those "businessmen" their opinions is laughable. Applying normal business principles to an opinion on how airlines run is a waste of time because those principles just don't apply. Perhaps that's why they tend towards bankruptcy more easily than other businesses. The adage that the best way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire has more than a little truth to it.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: knope2001
Posted 2013-04-16 10:06:38 and read 3736 times.

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 72):
When you look at just local enplanements, excluding the two bubble years they're still at an all-time high.

FYI, I forgot to mention those stats came from monthly and annual direct airport reports, in case anyone was curious.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 89):
Quoting knope2001 (Reply 72):
year …........... total pax …….. conx ... local enplanements
2002 ………… 100 ………… 100 ………… 100
2003 ………… 110 ………… 116 ………… 109
2004 ………… 119 ………… 148 ………… 116
2005 ………… 130 ………… 212 ………… 121
2006 ………… 131 ………… 207 ………… 122
2007 ………… 138 ………… 223 ………… 129
2008 ………… 142 ………… 255 ………… 130
2009 ………… 142 ………… 272 ………… 128
2010 ………… 176 ………… 367 ………… 155
2011 ………… 170 ………… 348 ………… 150
2012 ………… 134 ………… 172 ………… 131

Now those normalized numbers are a good place to start. I find it interesting how 2012 saw a drop, but that is a consequence of fewer direct flights in a saturated market. The overall all dip isn't that bad. Once the greater Milwaukee economy gets back on its feet, we'll see the right side column increase. That is what it takes now, economic growth to stimulate air travel.

I do think it's to be expected that local boardings in MKE would soften a good amount based on air fare and flight rationalization, plus reduced regional service. The overcapacity and corresponding fare cutting stimulated more travel in the Milwaukee market, and pulled significant traffic from competing airports including Chicago, Madison and the Fox Valley. Off peak fares to the east coast were as low as $39 and were not uncommon at $69. Off peak fares to the west coast were as low as $69 and were not uncommon at $99. Those kind of fares encouraged more travel than would otherwise take place, and drew people to MKE from other areas. Now that MKE fares are higher, some of that inflated flying demand is driving or traveleing less, and fewer people from adjacent airport markets are making the decison to use MKE instead. The loss of regional flights is also pushing people to the highways in markets like Nashville, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Columbus, too, not because of fares but because of travel times now that connections are needed. All of these factors have a somewhat predictable downward pressure on local boardings, both in the past year or so and for the near future. I do think local numbers will continue to soften in the near future as these effects play out, but I think it's a good sign they have remained as strong as they are in spite of all this.

Some of the buoyancy in MKE's local traffic numbers comes from increased usage by people from northern Illinois. As reporting several weeks ago, Illinois license plates at Milwaukee airport parking lots increased 42% over the past five years.

https://www.mitchellairport.com/airport-information/news-releases/

That does not tell us exactly how many Illinois plates there are, nor estimate the average number of travelers per car. However it was reported separately that in 2008 the number of cars with Illinois license plates was up by 18,000 over 2007.

http://www.mitchellairport.com/blog/...-a-record-year-at-mitchell-airport

We still don't know the total cars with IL plates. But just to get a Vvery rough idea of the volume, let's combine those two facts. The 42% growith of IL plates from 2007 thru 2012 includes that one-year growth of 18,000 more cars in 2007. If we assume that same level of growth for all 5 years (and it might well have been more considering the real bubble years were 2010 and 2011) that's 90,000 more Illinois cars in 2012 versus 2007. For an increase of 90,000 IL cars over 5 years to be 42%, that means 214,000 Illniois plates in 2007 and 304,000 Illinois plates in 2012.

At a ballpark guess of 1.5 passengers per car, that would be 456,000 annual MKE enplanements coming from Illinois. At 2.0 passengrs per car that would be 608,000 annual MKE enplanements comning from Illinois.

Not included in these numbers are Chicago metro passengers who live in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, nor are the thousands of passengers taking Amtrak to MKE. The Amtrak numbers not not huge, as the large majority of 164,000 people using the Amtrak MKE Airport station are using it as a south-suburban train station. But thousands of people come from IL every year to fly out of MKE via train, too.

For comparison, Rockford enplaned about 115,000 passengers in 2012, and many of those undoubtedly came from areas outside of greater Chciago, including Janesville/Beloit, Freeport, and metro Rockford itself. Gary boarded about 14,000 in 2012.

Again, exact number of people from Chicagoland who use MKE is not cleanly available. However that Illinois license plates are up 42% over 5 years ago suggests the number is growing significantly.

This growth from the south is certainly not going to support 7x dialy malinline flights MKE-DCA in the dead of winter...what was actually offered a few years back during the bubble. And in general it's good to be wary of anything hyped a lot. But growth from greater Chicagoland is helping soften the blow from the changes at MKE.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-16 10:19:22 and read 3710 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):
everyone that I've gotten replies from in this email simply stated that your thoughts are utopian, unrealistic to the future of the industry, and too rooted in the idea of "big hub first."

People ultimately vote with their feet. If the convenience of small hubs truly have the value proposition you're saying they do, then high-yield connecting pax (i.e. business travelers) would have chosen them over the larger hubs, consequently this would have made these hubs profitable. You do hear a lot on here how much some preferred connecting in CVG, PIT or MEM due to their convenience, but obviously there weren't enough of them to make such hubs profitable at the flight levels they were seeing at their peak.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-16 16:58:39 and read 3606 times.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 93):
People ultimately vote with their feet. If the convenience of small hubs truly have the value proposition you're saying they do, then high-yield connecting pax (i.e. business travelers) would have chosen them over the larger hubs, consequently this would have made these hubs profitable. You do hear a lot on here how much some preferred connecting in CVG, PIT or MEM due to their convenience, but obviously there weren't enough of them to make such hubs profitable at the flight levels they were seeing at their peak.

  

Exactly - this is the key.

Again - the numbers peak for themselves.

If small hubs made so much sense for airlines economics, and not just for customer comfort and convenience, we would see more, not less, of them. And yet in the last 20 years virtually every one of them in the U.S. has disappeared. The illogical non-arguments of A.net experts and "businessmen" notwithstanding, I think that tells us everything we need to know.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-04-17 08:04:47 and read 3469 times.

Ok Ok I've heard enough at this point, but it never ever answered my question:
You all may work for your big airlines, but you all forget one thing which may come back to haunt ALL of you working in the aviation industry:
Why is it such a mess to travel these days? Why should we spend all day flying somewhere, when we used to be able to get there in a couple hours?
Why don't airlines coordinate better with the schedules of their customers? For example: when a contact of mine wanted to get to seattle from CVG for a business meeting, his only choices were a long connection at DTW and an arrival time in SEA at 3PM, or an arrival at 7PM.... I'm certain this businessman would like a morning arrival into SEA so he can get back home ASAP. Remember- for your customers, time is key.
Why do airlines feel the need to overcrowd at certain hubs at certain times? Personal example- the last 5 times I connected in ATL, and the last 3 or 4 times my dad connected in CLT, the plane was delayed getting to the gate (sitting at the tarmac) for a very long time because of a lack of space. I missed my connection twice and once my dad had to cancel his trip. There are many other examples of this happening. For our time schedule there was NO other options but to connect at these megahubs. Your customers would have loved a more efficient transfer.
Why is it that these airlines overcrowd the worst possible airplane for the route? Example- An MD88 is used on a flight to FLL from CVG. When my dad flies this flight, the standby list is over 3 pages long on the monitor. These customers can't get where they need to get. And this flight to FLL was actually mostly filled with businessmen too, according to my dad.

Seriously, commavia. You may be providing the views from your position in the company, or your arrogance which comes from your position in Airliners....wherever it comes from, I don't give a crap. It does NOT represent the customer views. Customers NEED more choices, especially from places which used to offer these choices. These customers built their business travel strategy around this. Because of the recession, it is very difficult for a firm to alter a policy which requires the most money allocations.

I quote my business contacts because, as you argued in other threads, the people who provide the highest yields are business men and women. Their travel revolved around the following concepts:
Time is money.
Efficiency is key.
Get there, get done, get out, get home.
Get the best possible product for the most comfortable flight. A comfortable negotiator is the best negotiator.
Going along with the last line, a happy flier is a competitive and efficient negotiator.

Seriously, commavia. When I ask you to answer a question, answer it. Don't flaunt around like that.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: FRNT787
Posted 2013-04-17 08:27:47 and read 3436 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 81):
MKE lost out twice after first ignoring the FL offer and then selling out to NW/TPG. Well, actually they lost three times - if you figure in the shafting passengers got from F9 when they swept MKE under the rug.

Frontier and Republic lost $150 million trying to make MKE work. It didn't. At what point would you, as a CEO, have shut down an unprofitable hub? $500 million? $1 Billion? They gave it quite the fighting chance IMO.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: michman
Posted 2013-04-17 08:36:51 and read 3423 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
You all may work for your big airlines

I don't work for any airline, thanks.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why is it such a mess to travel these days? Why should we spend all day flying somewhere, when we used to be able to get there in a couple hours?

And why do you think a given market like MKE or CVG somehow deserves non-stop flights to a large number of destinations in perpetuity.

The legacy airlines have been heavily impacted by --

1) The dramatic rise in the price of fuel
2) The rise of the LCC/ULCC's and their cherry-picking of many of the more lucrative point-to-point routes
3) The lingering effects of the Great Recession

It's absurd to somehow pretend that these never happened and did not affect the legacy business models to a significant degree.

You seem to have no concept of the immense challenges of running an airline in today's environment. Airlines must constantly re-evaluate their routes, markets, competition, pricing, capacity, and hubs to remain healthy and sustainable. But all you attempt to do is reduce things down to what's most convenient to you personally, or your family and friends. Sorry, but airlines can't always cater everyones wants and desires.

[Edited 2013-04-17 09:25:02]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: steex
Posted 2013-04-17 08:39:24 and read 3414 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why is it such a mess to travel these days? Why should we spend all day flying somewhere, when we used to be able to get there in a couple hours?

Routes where enough people are willing to pay enough money still have non-stop service that will get you there in a couple hours (if that's how long it takes). Routes that were unsustainable do not have service anymore, and if you need to fly one of those routes, then you get to "spend all day flying somewhere."

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why don't airlines coordinate better with the schedules of their customers? For example: when a contact of mine wanted to get to seattle from CVG for a business meeting, his only choices were a long connection at DTW and an arrival time in SEA at 3PM, or an arrival at 7PM.... I'm certain this businessman would like a morning arrival into SEA so he can get back home ASAP. Remember- for your customers, time is key.

The schedules can't be set up for everyone, and it's awfully difficult to get to the the west coast early in the morning from the eastern time zone if a connection is required. Delta offers a connecting itinerary that leaves CVG at 6:35 AM and arrives in SEA at 10:45 AM with a layover in DTW. A comparable option is also available via MSP, and there are more than a dozen other assorted connecting options throughout the day. And, of course, those are just on DL - if someone is so displeased with Delta's schedules, he could look at the numerous other carriers able to take him from CVG to SEA. So were the options you list truly his only options, or was he unwilling to pay more for other options and/or didn't want to fly on a different carrier?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why do airlines feel the need to overcrowd at certain hubs at certain times? Personal example- the last 5 times I connected in ATL, and the last 3 or 4 times my dad connected in CLT, the plane was delayed getting to the gate (sitting at the tarmac) for a very long time because of a lack of space. I missed my connection twice and once my dad had to cancel his trip. There are many other examples of this happening. For our time schedule there was NO other options but to connect at these megahubs. Your customers would have loved a more efficient transfer.

Their customers previously had the option of a more efficient transfer, but they certainly wouldn't pay a premium for it. And by definition, the places that make for free-and-easy transfers because they aren't cluttered up with O&D traffic, also don't have the higher yielding O&D traffic to subsidize all those transfers.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
It does NOT represent the customer views. Customers NEED more choices, especially from places which used to offer these choices. These customers built their business travel strategy around this. Because of the recession, it is very difficult for a firm to alter a policy which requires the most money allocations.

Customers also want the exact thing that suits them perfectly whether it's a commercially viable venture or not, so it's a tricky situation to figure out if what a customer "needs" should actually be provided. As I mentioned above, there are nineteen different DL connecting options between CVG and SEA on a given day (and dozens of options on other carriers), but your "contact" claims there is a dearth of service between the cities with only two possible itineraries. How can that be? Should the airlines really be clamoring to "fix" their schedules so they can offer more bottom dollar tickets on more routes and erase their profits?

Sure, some airports are in a worse position than they used to be because of hub closures. I live in STL, I understand completely, and I wish we still had multiple dailies to SFO and SEA for times when I do business there. But I also understand those flights were propped up by an albatross of a connecting hub being operated by TWA. Now, we've got one flight to SFO and 1-2 to SEA, but probably also about 75 different connecting options. I personally prefer to fly on Delta, so I'm a frequent visitor to ATL/DTW/MSP/SLC and find them pretty efficient at what they do - the crowds don't bother me. Sometimes time is more important than FF miles, though, and in that case I find myself on other carriers (WN especially).

The fact that STL doesn't have the service it used to have isn't a slap in the face to customers, it isn't the airlines disgracing St. Louis, it isn't AA no longer valuing me as a human being, or any number of other emotional reactions. It's an unfortunate fact that our market can support a reasonable level of service (WN's operation is still great) but not the huge TWA hub it used to have. It's a market reality that STL didn't provide enough O&D for AA to continue to serve all those routes just to keep them propped up by connecting traffic that it had to choose to direct to STL. Some people here begrudge them that, but I am not among them.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PlaneAdmirer
Posted 2013-04-17 08:45:58 and read 3400 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why is it such a mess to travel these days? Why should we spend all day flying somewhere, when we used to be able to get there in a couple hours?
Why don't airlines coordinate better with the schedules of their customers? For example: when a contact of mine wanted to get to seattle from CVG for a business meeting, his only choices were a long connection at DTW and an arrival time in SEA at 3PM, or an arrival at 7PM.... I'm certain this businessman would like a morning arrival into SEA so he can get back home ASAP. Remember- for your customers, time is key.

Fly private if time is that valuable. If you go to McDonalds, do you expect USDA prime? If there isn't enough demand and traffic for a better flight time and non-stop from SEA to CVG or back, in your example, should the airline just fly it anyway and lose money?

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-17 09:05:17 and read 3361 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
An MD88 is used on a flight to FLL from CVG. When my dad flies this flight, the standby list is over 3 pages long on the monitor. These customers can't get where they need to get.

Unless it happens day after day after day, a long standby list doesn't tell us very much.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
These customers built their business travel strategy around this. Because of the recession, it is very difficult for a firm to alter a policy which requires the most money allocations.

Business travelers, at least rational ones, understand that connections and sub-optimal flight times are sometimes required, even from huge airports. I have a trip to Spokane coming up. Guess what? I can't get there nonstop (nor can my friends in New York, Chicago, Atlanta or Cincinnati). I'd love to have a nonstop, but I understand the business case isn't there.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-04-17 09:35:33 and read 3324 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 84):
If Airlines really want to stay alive, they'll start listening to their customers. Customers are what drives airlines. Not megahubs.

Right. Which is why the airline that listens the most to its customers in the US (Virgin America) is also the one that has failed to produce a profit sans for one quarter since its inception.

And let's take the one who could care less about what the customer thinks (Spirit) who is driving a consistently profitable business.

It's a brutal reality, but you're losing sight of the fact that airlines are businesses, not nonprofit, charitable organizations. You're failing to grasp this and kicking a can down a long, abandoned road.

Everyone here has called you out on wanting the best of the best for dirt cheap. The state of the economy and the industry has gotten you dirt cheap. Just read ANY article out there on how much the cost of air travel has decreased SIGNIFICANTLY over the decades relative to inflation and disposable income.

What's going to come at the price of that? Quality and reliability. So suck it up, because you can't have it both ways.

You'll notice that everyone is hurting, universally. Not just in the US. CX's profits were down 82% last year. SQ has fallen on hard times. Kingfisher went bust. Qantas had to tie-up with its enemy. Lufthansa has basically accepted the inevitable fate that its long-haul flights cannot subsidize its short-haul network.

Not to mention, these network carriers are working hard and fast to transition bits and pieces of their loss-making networks to low-cost subsidiary carriers in the form of Scoot, Germanwings, etc.

Do you think that long-time Lufthansa customers are going to want to say "Yes" to being charged for water when they fly on Germanwings now? Do you think Lufthansa would be better off "listening to their customers" in having them drive business decisions? Why not provide free Dom on flights between DUS and VIE to YCL passengers!!!!

Every major US carrier has merged, or will merge.

The survival tactics of these airlines were not driven by customer demands, but rather by the need to consolidate else liquidate.

Quoting commavia (Reply 85):
f people want to continue making arguments that were proven false 20 years ago, that's fine by me. But again - the numbers speak for themselves. It seems breathtaking to me that anyone could be arguing that the trend away from smaller hubs towards larger ones isn't simply rooted in unavoidable economic logic, and then with a straight face call me the one who is "Utopian." But here we are. I see no need to continue trying to convince "businessmen" of reality.

  . don't even feel the need to respond to PHX787's attacks. why waste breath trying to "convince" those who prefer to kick and scream until they hear what they WANT to hear vs. listen to objective facts and rationally process the information on their own.

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 90):
People like you, who want cheap, nonstop air service to everywhere they want to go from wherever they are? So? Let's not give them out a Nobel laureate in airline economics just yet for being supposed 'businessmen'. I'm sure the majority of people who have some sort of 'business' job or background know precisely dick about the airline industry.

  

Quoting michman (Reply 97):
It's absurd to somehow pretend that these never happened and did not affect the legacy business models to a significant degree.

You seem to have no concept of the immense challenges of running an airline in today's environment. Airlines must constantly re-evaluate their routes, markets, competition, pricing, capacity, and hubs to remain healthy and sustainable. But all you attempt to do is reduce things down to what's most convenient to you personally. Your posts are like broken records. Ridiculous.

  

[Edited 2013-04-17 09:42:32]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-04-17 10:08:28 and read 3295 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why is it such a mess to travel these days?

According to who?

Given the fares I typically pay - in a one-airline-dominated hub city no less - I keep my expectations realistic, and I'm rarely disappointed. Sure, I don't get free food anymore on 3-hour domestic flights, but then again, I and everyone else complained about them when I got them for free, anyway. Sure, they charge money now to check a bag, but I rarely check and if I do I have a credit card that gets me one free. Sure, flights are more full now than they were in the heady 65% LF days of 1998, but then again, costs have risen dramatically and airlines have to make more productive use of their fixed assets - that's fine. Sure, security is a hassle, but I don't hold that against the airline, and I do what I can to avoid as much of the long lines and annoyances as I can. And most importantly, air travel continues to be stunningly safe and getting safer. By actual count, I have been on nearly 800 flights in my life, and each time I get home safe with my life.

Given all of that - and given the fact that despite being in a hub city I can still often fly domestically for less than $400 round-trip, all-in, I'm not complaining. I see air travel not as a "mess," but truly as among the last of the great bargains.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why don't airlines coordinate better with the schedules of their customers?

Define "better schedules" and define "their customers."

Airlines schedule everything around trying to maximize convenience for the most possible paying customers.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
For example: when a contact of mine wanted to get to seattle from CVG for a business meeting, his only choices were a long connection at DTW and an arrival time in SEA at 3PM, or an arrival at 7PM.... I'm certain this businessman would like a morning arrival into SEA so he can get back home ASAP. Remember- for your customers, time is key.

Well then I encourage your contact to find 100 of his closest friends who all happen to want to fly on the same route on the same day at the same time as him, and let an airline know when he does. I'm sure they'd be more than happy to charter a flight for them. Until then, airlines have to optimize schedules for the most possible customers, not just one randomly who wants to go somewhere on a certain day at a certain time. If there were enough people in the same boat as him, don't you think the airline would schedule a flight to cater to their needs??? It's as if you think airlines intentionally want to avoid making money. Incredible.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Why do airlines feel the need to overcrowd at certain hubs at certain times?

One word: efficiency.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
You may be providing the views from your position in the company

I do not now, nor have I ever, been employed by an airline.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
or your arrogance which comes from your position in Airliners

My "position in Airliners?" I have a "position?" Wow - I had no idea. {sarcastic]

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
Seriously, commavia. When I ask you to answer a question, answer it. Don't flaunt around like that.

I just have to laugh ...

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: 9w748capt
Posted 2013-04-17 10:34:21 and read 3262 times.

Quoting steex (Reply 98):
Delta offers a connecting itinerary that leaves CVG at 6:35 AM and arrives in SEA at 10:45 AM with a layover in DTW. A comparable option is also available via MSP, and there are more than a dozen other assorted connecting options throughout the day.

Its pretty clear PHX787 just says things to stir things up without doing an iota of research. Simply typing "cvg sea flights" into google reveals a plethora of options to get to SEA before 11 AM. Is anyone really surprised by this?

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 100):
Unless it happens day after day after day, a long standby list doesn't tell us very much.

Exactly. Could just be a group or multiple groups who got done early and wanted to hop on an earlier flight. Or pax from an IRROP. Or nonrevers. Mind boggling how he draws absurd conclusions without having any basis for them

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 101):
Kingfisher went bust.

You sure about that?  
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 101):
 . don't even feel the need to respond to PHX787's attacks. why waste breath trying to "convince" those who prefer to kick and scream until they hear what they WANT to hear vs. listen to objective facts and rationally process the information on their own.

Completely agree. Commavia, youve taken the high road so many times and explained everything rationally multiple times not just in this thread but many others. Have to give it up to you for having that kind of patience. No need to waste time on someone who isn't going to listen anyway.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: jpetekyxmd80
Posted 2013-04-17 11:20:11 and read 3234 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):

Why do airlines feel the need to overcrowd at certain hubs at certain times?

You do realize that is the concept of a hub, right? Having 'banks' of flights to result in maximum efficiency and options for customers. Unfortunately, on the fringes of these banks can make for some tight connections at large airports which can be very congested. But the heart of that matter is the effort to provide a maximum number of connection opportunities in a timely and efficient manner. It doesn't always end up playing out that way, but that is the rationale.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
but you all forget one thing which may come back to haunt ALL of you working in the aviation industry:

What is that even supposed to mean?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):
For example: when a contact of mine wanted to get to seattle from CVG for a business meeting, his only choices were a long connection at DTW and an arrival time in SEA at 3PM, or an arrival at 7PM.... I'm certain this businessman would like a morning arrival into SEA so he can get back home ASAP. Remember- for your customers, time is key.

I am certain those were NOT his only choices, unless he booked extremely late in a very odd circumstance or something. He had other choices, he could've gotten there in the morning, he just didn't want to pay for that. You say time is money.... Money is also money.

I realize your views are very CVG-centric, and that certainly is a city that has recovered lost service from the DL hub very poorly, but were things so great for the customer when DL was big and dominating? It was 'cool' to have a hub like that, with lots of passengers an nonstop service, but wasn't CVG still perennially one of the highest priced cities for air travel with complete DL control and predatory pricing when need be?

CVG is an unfortunate instance of its citizens getting a sort of 'shaft' air travel wise, but lets not pretend that it is the basis for some kind of populist microcosm for public outrage. In the big scheme of things, CVG, and some of the worse off former hubs still make up a small percentage of travelers in this country.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 95):

Why is it that these airlines overcrowd the worst possible airplane for the route? Example- An MD88 is used on a flight to FLL from CVG.

Would you rather connect in ATL instead?? So you can have a myriad of options. This seems like the exact kind of flight you should be happy to have. How on earth is the MD-80 the 'worst possible airplane for this route'??? It's a standard, 150 seat, domestic mainline jet, which is the same size as aircraft that make up the backbone of domestic fleets. Should DL order A380 for the CVG-FLL route to placate you? I can give you a long list of 'worse' aircraft for that route.

[Edited 2013-04-17 11:22:12]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IllinoisMan
Posted 2013-04-17 14:11:21 and read 3157 times.

Quoting mariner (Reply 87):
But you would still have "lost" Midwest. Sensibly, since they wanted to stay in business, Airtran was not about to embrace the Midwest business model.

Well, the YX 717s with signature seating were great, and an FL hub at MKE would've been the next best thing. They had Wifi/XM radio on EVERY flight, the lowest baggage mishandle rate in the industry, fewer passenger complaints, newer planes, and better reliability.

Quoting FRNT787 (Reply 96):

Frontier and Republic lost $150 million trying to make MKE work. It didn't. At what point would you, as a CEO, have shut down an unprofitable hub?

Most of the YX/F9 flights I had been on out of MKE were full, which was good. I think that airlines who are flying full flights that are not profitable = poor management.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mariner
Posted 2013-04-17 14:26:14 and read 3123 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 105):
Most of the YX/F9 flights I had been on out of MKE were full, which was good. I think that airlines who are flying full flights that are not profitable = poor management.

That cuts across the board. In the critical, deciding quarter - Q1, 2011 with oil at $120 a barrel - both Frontier and Airtran lost millions of dollars.

From that point, they both threw in the towel - Frontier at MKE and Airtran as a standalone airline.

mariner

[Edited 2013-04-17 14:28:38]

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: steex
Posted 2013-04-17 14:36:16 and read 3105 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 105):
Most of the YX/F9 flights I had been on out of MKE were full, which was good. I think that airlines who are flying full flights that are not profitable = poor management.

That may be true - but not necessarily from the sense of poor revenue management; it's just as likely that it's poor route/network planning. The ability to fill a flight and not be profitable doesn't mean that you also have the ability to fill that same flight and be profitable.

It's entirely plausible that the airline started out trying to sell sustainable fares, but couldn't sell enough of them to turn a profit on the route. Once they've committed to the flights, they will then try to use bargain fares to minimize the losses. This eventually results in the flight/route being cut, and has a domino effect onto other routes that relied on feed from that route. That's exactly how the downfall of a hub begins - the inability to draw enough sustainable (primarily O&D) fares to make some flights work eventually takes a toll on the whole operation.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2013-04-17 14:51:31 and read 3099 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 105):

Quoting FRNT787 (Reply 96):

Frontier and Republic lost $150 million trying to make MKE work. It didn't. At what point would you, as a CEO, have shut down an unprofitable hub?

Most of the YX/F9 flights I had been on out of MKE were full, which was good. I think that airlines who are flying full flights that are not profitable = poor management.

You're right, hence why they made a good management decision in cutting the MKE hub. I think you understand it all perfectly, you just hate the inevitable outcome.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: PHX787
Posted 2013-04-18 07:31:34 and read 2871 times.

I'm done trying to argue with you guys who fail to see a big picture here. I know the mergers were inevitable with the great recession but now we're gtting out of it, there's one thing I want you all to notice:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 100):
Unless it happens day after day after day, a long standby list doesn't tell us very much.

A friend who works at CVG confirmed that yes, this situation tends to happen day after day.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-04-18 07:52:55 and read 2861 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 109):
A friend who works at CVG confirmed that yes, this situation tends to happen day after day.

Okay. Why does Delta make more money with the long standby list than by adding capacity?

I'm not going to answer that question for you. You'd do well to think on it yourself. Just remember that Delta Air Lines is a business with shareholders, not a public utility or a charity.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: asqx
Posted 2013-04-18 08:22:38 and read 2834 times.

The only revenue passengers that can go standby on Delta (as of today, 18 APR) are Diamond, Platininum, and Gold Medallion members. Everyone else either has to have an available seat and pay to do Same Day Confirmed or wait for their original flight. I don't have the time to actually check, but I am fairly certain that that long list of standbys are non-revenue travelers, ie employees, retirees and buddy pass riders. No airline adds flights just because nonrevs are traveling en masse. Hell, if that happened Delta would be running nothing but widebodies out of Phoenix to MSP right now as over the last two weeks I have been seeing the same nonrevs for days at a time as they have been stuck here trying to go north.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2013-04-18 08:48:09 and read 2811 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 109):
I'm done trying to argue with you guys who fail to see a big picture here.

The "big picture" you mention here is a personal-reference to imagination land in your own fantasy world.

Thanks for the laugh.

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 103):
You sure about that?  

 
Quoting commavia (Reply 102):
My "position in Airliners?" I have a "position?" Wow - I had no idea. {sarcastic]

Didn't you hear about the new ranking system? Time to play King of the Mountain on ANET. The kids with hair-brained ideas will topple you with inconclusive facts and statements about hub structures and argue/propose that UA should build a hub at JAX, AA at CMH, WN at ANC, HA at BDL, AS in SJU, B6 in GUM and DL at SJC.

500 flights-per-day minimum requirement at each hub to support unsubstantiated O&D levels per anecdotal observations from airport concession workers.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 105):
Well, the YX 717s with signature seating were great, and an FL hub at MKE would've been the next best thing. They had Wifi/XM radio on EVERY flight, the lowest baggage mishandle rate in the industry, fewer passenger complaints, newer planes, and better reliability.

Again, these perks were really nice and valued at a time when customers would pay for them, but in present times, they are not sustainable.

The WiFi is going to stay, which is great because its an up-sell option available to everyone for a nominal fee.

Topic: RE: Mergers Resulting In Decreased Service At MKE
Username: mayor
Posted 2013-04-18 09:02:10 and read 2781 times.

Quoting IllinoisMan (Reply 105):
the lowest baggage mishandle rate in the industry, fewer passenger complaints

HOW many flights did they have, per day, anyway? Makes alot of difference when comparing them to a legacy that has hundreds or more, per day.


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