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Airtran In Danger Of Losing DCA Slots  
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6572 posts, RR: 24
Posted (11 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4210 times:

In January, Airtran was awarded four slots to commence service from DCA to FLL/PBI or RSW. Airtran has yet to begin service from DCA and so USAirways complained to the DOT about Airtran's (and Corporate Airlines which received 2 slots at DCA) continued failure to use the slots.

The DOT has now made a ruling in this case. Temporarily, USAirways can use the 6 slots give to Airtran and Corporate as long as they only use the slots for routes which Airtran and Corporate promised to use them. At any time, FL and Corporate can give 30 days notice and regain the slots.

However, if either Corporate or Airtran fail to initiate DCA service by October 25th, the DOT will take the slots from them and they will be put out for any airline to apply for.

Note: USAirways today announced once daily service from ILM to DCA.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

AirTran doesn't seem like they want to start up a DCA station unless they get enough slots to starts flights to ATL. With AirTran having a little more than 3 months until they lose those slots, they better decide quick, as the DOT may not give them any slots @ DCA in the future. Corporate needs those slots about as bad as I do. Corporate's slots allowed them to fly either ILM-DCA, OAJ-DCA or FAY-DCA.

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4487 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3964 times:

AirTran needs to make up their mind. I wonder if FL applied for those slots with the expectation that US would go Ch. 7 in the late winter, thus freeing up more slots for ATL service. That didn't happen, so now FL needs to decide whether three dailies to Florida are worth the cost of a station. The appropriate authority has given them notice, they should either use the slots or lose them like anyone else would.

If AirTran forgoes the slots, Spirit would be a good candidate to get them should they apply. Last week Spirit's management expressed interest in returning to DCA; that would increase LCC presence at DCA. It's not surprising that US complained; that's part of Sigel's increasingly aggressive strategy towards the carrier's airports. But US should not get the slots if they go unused by FL.


User currently offlineN951U From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3945 times:

On the other hand.... if AirTran doesn't use the slots, which they probably won't, I don't see why US Airways shouldn't get them. They are the next best suitor who has followed the rules. The recent US Airways additions at DCA have been to smaller markets, benefitting the people of these cities. I'd rather see secondary/terciary markets get DCA service than more flights to Florida.

User currently offlineJmhLUV2fly From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 559 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

Joe Leonard stated in May at the Atlanta town hall meeting
that the DCA slots were asked for in hopes that they could trade that offered slots at DCA for more gate space at IAD, thus far the trade of sorts has not gone through....
As of May 6th, Leonard stated AirTran has no immediate desire to fly into DCA.

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6572 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3690 times:

It's too bad as I was really hoping to see Airtran in DCA. For those of us that live close to DCA, schlepping out to IAD or BWI can be a real pain. Airtran also had applied for HP's slots (coming from HP's abandonment of CMH-DCA). But with the way FL is acting right now, the DOT may be hesitant to give them anymore slots.

I agree that Spirit might be a good candidate. However, Spirit had slots at DCA before which they abandoned (that's where FL's current slots came from), so again the DOT may not look kindly on them.

I guess if all else fails you can give the slots to US and/or DL. However, I think the slots should be conditioned that US/DL only use them to serve smaller markets that would not otherwise have service to DCA. ILM is a good example.

User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3603 times:

Air Tran should buy a Cessna 172 and paint it like Air Tran and give it call letters of Air Tran and just fly it in and out of DCA at the time of those slots

User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3601 times:

Pretty Sneaky HlywdCatft, Did you think of that one all by yourself  Big grin

User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

Didn't some airline do something like that before?

User currently offlineLymanm From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

I've heard FedEx does that with Caravans at busy Japanese (Haneda/Narita?) airports to keep their slots...Anyone confirm this?

buhh bye
User currently offlineGr8slvrflt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1596 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3462 times:

Many years ago Eastern had a few "slot retention flights" out of LaGuardia. I remember working LGA-PVD on a 727S with one or two passengers. The flights were not continuations of other routes and we were told they were operated merely to hold the slot until a better use could be found.

User currently offlineExusair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 684 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3263 times:

This is kind of pathetic because FL begged and pleaded to be let into DCA. They complained that they could operate from DCA and that DCA flyers were being gouged by the big bad competitors like DL and US.

Now the slots are just sitting out there. I guess FL got their rental bill for gate, ticket counter and baggage carousel space at DCA and wigged out. $250 per square foot per month.

User currently offlineFlyer732 From Namibia, joined Nov 1999, 1361 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3260 times:

I don't think FL "wigged" out of anything. Simply trying to get more slots to more cities. One flight a day to PBI and FLL doesn't really make it worth the effort to set up shop and start service.

User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2173 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3121 times:

Exusair - Uh, AirTran only received slots, they never actually leased spaced at DCA. Leonard has been very specific in his desire to operate at DCA, but not without enough flights to justify it....


User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 hours ago) and read 2960 times:

Were I AirTran, I'd be talking to Spirit or JetBlue about selling my slots.

That, or I'd be pushing to get their slot routings changed, since FL doesn't need Florida slots, but ATL slots.

I hate the idea of slots being destination-specific. It is completely counter-productive in the post-regulation, hub-and-spoke oriented market we're in now, and it's hurting the people of Washington, DC, by discouraging LCC competition.

Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineDsuairptman From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 12 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2867 times:

Intresting, I knew slots controlled departure and arrival times, but not destinations. I can't see why it should be a factor at because if an airline has space to depart and arrive, they should be able to fly where they please.

Maybe this sounds likea a conspiracy theory, but I wonder if big ol' Delta had
anything to do w/ FN being regulated to Flordia slots?

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (10 years 12 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2864 times:

I am decently sure you can't sell your slots or control of them at DCA.

For example, Midway had to give up theirs when the DOT determined that "functional control" of them had been given to US... which is true, as a USX carrier all of Midway's bookings and scheduling are done by US.

They control destinations because there's the idea that the Nation's Capital should be well represented by a variety of communities, a notion I agree with to a fault.


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