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SWA Now Owns MCI-STL Market  
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2244 times:

This is a post for those who want to know what happens on routes that SWA "owns". With the pullout of AA from the MCI-STL market, the only airline offering nonstop service between the cities is SWA. Currently an unrestricted one way fare is $72. Many have said that on routes that SWA "owns", they would raise the airfares just like the majors who "own" the fortress hub cities do. Prior to SWA entering the market, TWA "owned" the route and charged $250 for an unrestricted one way ticket. Let's watch and see if Southwest brings back the days of the $250 one way fare. My guess is - they won't, but I post this here as a benchmark of what they currently charge. So, if SWA is just like the other guys and will rape an pillage the local folks, how much of an increase do you see them making on the MCI-STL route after AA has left the market? I'll be generous here - I'd predict that if they do raise the unrestricted fare, it won't exceed $90 one way.

Anybody care to offer their thoughts as to what will happen to the fares on this route?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2217 times:

WN's probably not going to raise the STL-MCI fare significantly because most people will simply drive if it's too expensive to fly.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2194 times:

PROSA, I second that. It would seem there competition is now the car.

But this will be interesting to watch.

Did anyone ever think they would see the day when this market would be only operated by SWA? Not me!


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2158 times:

Thank you Prosa - Herb said many years ago that Southwest's biggest competitor was the car, especially on the short hauls. My point of this thread was that many people have said that if SWA doesn't have any competition on a route, they would do the same thing that the other carriers do. The prices before Southwest's entry into the MCI-STL market was $250 for a one way trip. At a reimbursement rate of 33 cents per mile, it would cost $82.50 to drive it (not factoring in the 4 hours of employee productivity time). So that's why I think they won't raise the one way fare to any more than $90.

Given that, here's a rundown of select routes (all fares unrestricted one way, except where noted):

DL - ATL-BNA - 241 miles - $456.50
NW - MSP-DSM - 244 miles - $379
UA - ORD-IND - 181 miles - $272.50 (non refundable, penalty for changes)
AA - ORD-IND - 181 miles - $435
CO - CLE-CVG - 259 miles - $460.50

So if Southwest were to do what the other airlines do, they should be raising their fares on this newly "captive" market to somthing between $300 and $500 for a one way ticket. My guess is that they won't, hence illustrating what "low fare airline" really means.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2131 times:

I myself who loves to fly have been driving more and more, for several reasons, last minute prices, hassle factor at the airport, and the fact that now having to get to the airport early, security and such, the time savings is not that great.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

LUV2Fly - here's the deal though...I used to work out of an MCI and STL office, and I often flew out in the morning and came home at night (not at all uncommon on this route). If I were to drive it, I'd have to leave KC by 4:00 a.m. to get to St. Louis by 8:00 a.m., and if business finished at 5:00, then it would be at least 9:00 by the time I got home. That makes for a pretty long day. If I don't want a long drive home, then it's an overnight in STL and that's pretty much a waste of time.

User currently offlineModernArt From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

I started to make a post on this very topic yesterday.

If you recall, and I'm sure Goingboeing will, the Wall Street Journal did an article about 4-5 years ago on routes like the MCI-STL. Where WN comes in an exposes the the blatant gouging that the "cartel" carriers are famous for.

And the last one standing is....Southwest. Nice. Although, I predict WN will gradually push their walkup fare up - to say $91 like routes of comparable distance SAT-HOU or DAL-HOU. Still bearable below $100 for the casual traveler.


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2001 times:

Southwest owns MHT-BWI. And an unrestricted fare is still $79 one-way.
-UN
(Cheaper than jetBlue on BTV-JFK where unrestricted is $106)



What now?
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1975 times:

Goingboeing

Like always I totally agree with you, I guess I should have stated that my traveling for pleasure is becoming less and less for the factors I mentioned. For business I still travel a whole lot tho I like it less and less, again for the factors I mentioned.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineClrd2go From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1940 times:


Re Southwest MHT-BWI..I just booked my wife and I for Sept 6..$68 roundtrip
for each of us.


Jim



What a long strange trip it's been
User currently offlinePROSA From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5644 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1935 times:

Full-fare carriers have been able to get away with charging very high walk-up fares because some business travelers have to fly on very short notice and therefore have no choice but to pay those amounts. I believe that assumption is becoming less and less true. Due to increased use of videoconferencing and other things, fewer businesses are requiring their employees to make last-minute trips. Most conferences and other face-to-face encounters are planned out some time in advance.


"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
User currently offlineWMUPilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 1473 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1922 times:

UA - ORD-IND - 181 miles - $272.50 (non refundable, penalty for changes)
AA - ORD-IND - 181 miles - $435


What about TZ - MDW - IND - $107



JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
User currently offlineDadoftyler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

...or what about SWA, MDW-IND, $71. Refundable, no strings, no fees.

point: Southwest!


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1881 times:

Yeah, I was actually trying to find cities not served by Southwest, but that were similar distance (250-300 miles) as MCI-STL, and that were served by a "mainline" airline and not an "express" type carrier. I originally thought DSM, but that's a lot farther distance, so IND was the one I picked. Point being, on routes where other airlines "own" the market, the one way fare is considerably more than a one way fare in a market that SWA "owns".

User currently offlineScottb From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6826 posts, RR: 32
Reply 14, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

There's also Southwest MDW-IND for $65 unrestricted.

With AA abandoning MCI-STL, as well as OKC-STL, TUL-STL, LIT-STL, and ABQ-STL, I can see WN increasing its fares modestly on the shorter flights as well, but certainly not to the levels charged by the network carriers for their monopoly routes. BHM-MSY on Southwest, for example, is $95 walkup and they have 97% of the market. Compare that to CLT-WAS (a similar distance) on US Airways where the walkup fare is over $450.

It will be interesting to see Southwest's response to AA's dramatic pull-down of service at STL; given that AA is reducing mainline departures to 53, WN will operate the largest number of mainline flights at STL after November 1. It seems likely that mainline will continue to serve ORD, DFW, MIA, BOS, LGA/EWR, DCA, PHL(?), PHX, LAS, LAX, SNA, SFO, SAN, SEA, FLL, MCO, and TPA. With ORD and DFW accounting for roughly 20-25 of those 53 departures (since AA will need to route more passengers via the remaining hubs), 3 to 4 daily to the major business centers like LAX, SFO, BOS, LGA/EWR, DCA, and 1-2 daily to the rest.


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