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Question About WN's Point To Point Network  
User currently offlineFlyboy80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1880 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3381 times:

I know that Southwest Airlines does their business a little differently than other U.S. major airlines as they fly a lot of "point to point" routes, and they claim not to have any hubs...which, by airline definition, some larger WN cities could be classified as hubs (PHX, TONS of connections). What I wonder is, it seems that every WN station (can I call them outstations if there are no hubs? lol) flies to at least four our five cities in the network, and those all connect onto, typically, another four or five cities. So my questions are: in general, are there any common cities that you see on southwest schedules. For instance at most UA stations your going to see ORD and DEN no doubt, often IAD, and SFO as well. I've heard that WN (profit conscious) will not fly to a city unless they can support ten or more flights a day, is this true? Also, does WN have any airports at that "ten flights a day" mark, or in general, a minute presence at anyone of their airports in the system? Thanks for any info, I know there are tons of Southwest experts in these forums so I'm looking forward to some good info!

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3867 posts, RR: 34
Reply 1, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Here's a study of Southwest's network from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University that may answer a lot of your questions.

Link to study

LoneStarMike

User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3333 times:

Wow great link Mike... I'm enjoying it very much. Gotta love WN history Big grin

User currently offlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2017 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3327 times:
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WN has a very large presence at PHX and OAK. They also have very large flight ops at SAN, DAL, MDW, BWI, and LAX. They don't refer to their stations as hubs because they prefer to serve the point-to-point market.

It is economics, plain and simple. They get more revenue from an OAK-PHX stand alone ticket than they do for the OAK-PHX sector of an onward connection to MSY (for example). Yet, folks in search of the cheapest fares, will try to use WN to connect, which is not always the wisest choice. Because they focus on the point-to-point market, all their operations inherently favor the local boardings with very few protections for the connecting passenger.



It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineEjmmsu From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3203 times:

WN only serves 5 Cities out of OKC. PHX, DAL, HOU, MCI, STL, although they have direct flights to many more destinations.


"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3153 times:

...some larger WN cities could be classified as hubs (PHX, TONS of connections).

Southwest at PHX is an example of what might be called an "incidental" hub rather than a hub by design. Their frequency of flights from PHX to points east, west and north inherently creates numerous connection possiblities. It is highly doubtful that Southwest in any way manipulates its flight schedules at PHX to accomodate connections, but nontheless the sheer volume of their flight operations, in and of itself, creates their incidental hub at PHX.


User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16907 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3147 times:

"Also, does WN have any airports at that "ten flights a day" mark, or in general, a minute presence at anyone of their airports in the system?"

WN only flies to one city from Houston IAH, they fly to Dallas Love Field. Im not sure how many frequencies on that route but they only fly to DAL from IAH.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4859 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3094 times:
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I think IAH has as little as 3 WN flights a day.

WN has a very large presence at PHX and OAK. They also have very large flight ops at SAN, DAL, MDW, BWI, and LAX. They don't refer to their stations as hubs because they prefer to serve the point-to-point market.

I think LAS deserves to be mentioned.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3074 times:

My lord, did anyone at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University read that report before it was posted? It is so fraught with errors, it is an embarrassment to the reputation of the university to have it posted to the internet.

Not only are there major factual errors, the errors are so bad, one situation described could not have even occurred due to the limitations of the Wright Amendment.

:: shake head ::



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineSWAFA30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

WN only flies to one city from Houston IAH, they fly to Dallas Love Field. Im not sure how many frequencies on that route but they only fly to DAL from IAH.

There are 6 daily non-stops between IAH and DAL.


WN has a very large presence at PHX and OAK. They also have very large flight ops at SAN, DAL, MDW, BWI, and LAX

Also, LAS, STL, MCI, BNA, TPA, HOU....


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3806 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2987 times:

My lord, did anyone at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University read that report before it was posted? It is so fraught with errors, it is an embarrassment to the reputation of the university to have it posted to the internet.

Keep in mind that the the person who wrote the report you chastise represents people who "grow up" to be airline managers (at least with the legacies). If you think this report is something that appears to be ineptly written, you should (well, maybe you shouldn't) see some of the totally confusing, wretchedly written, even self-contradicting prattle that managers at my airline put out nearly every day in the form of email communications(?) to employee groups. ...and they wonder why they have zero credibility with those they purport to manage.

No wonder the industry is in caught in the grip of a malaise of its own making.



User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2972 times:

Tango-Bravo:

I couldn't agree with you more. I have e-mailed the contact for the report at Embry-Riddle to submit the inaccuracies I had uncovered with this study done for a "graduate seminar", but haven't received a reply yet. We'll see if they respond, or even care.

Cheers.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2955 times:

LoneStarMike,
Thanks for the great link to the Embry-Riddle study. As a 1982 Riddle graduate myself, I'm impressed by the detail that these people put into their report.

T-B and AW,
Looking at it from an accuracy point of view, and not having gone over the study word-for-word, I'd be interested to know what inaccuracies (not saying there aren't any) you all are seeing in the report.

As for looking for a response from the authors, or if they "even care", remember that the school is on holiday until next week at the earliest, and the campus is pretty much deserted over the Christmas/New Year's holidays.

Tom at MSY



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

I'd be interested to know what inaccuracies (not saying there aren't any) you all are seeing in the report.

To be honest, I could not bear to read past "Chapter 2: Southwest Airlines: Route Network Development since 1971"

While the following is not a comprehensive item-by-item analysis of every detail in the study, there is enough here to substantiate that there are major errors in the way research was gathered and presented.

BEGIN REVIEW

Chapter 2 - Section 3.0

The study states during WN's first major route-dropping exercise circa 1983 that the LAX-SFO route was discontinued. Problem is, they never flew that route.

Chapter 2 - Section 4.0

The study states that with the addition of the 737-300 WN added a Dallas-Los Angeles flight. The report doesn't nail down a year, but eludes to it being either 1983 or 1984, but regardless, the route would be impossible under the Wright Amendment.

Chapter 2 - Section 6.0

The study states that during WN's 1991 California expansion, service was added between SFO-BUR. Blatantly wrong. In May 1991 WN expanded their operations in OAK with service to LAX (I still have the ticket receipts), and sometime before or after that date added OAK-BUR service, but WN never operated SFO-BUR service. The correct OAK-LAX service is left out of the study.

The study states service commenced in 1992 between SMF-OAK. WN never flew that route.

Confusion reigns when SFO-ELP service was discontinued and the reason for it. The study first states it was discontinued in 1992, then moves on to talk about service expansion at BWI in 1993, then adds the following paragraph, "Despite this, service between San Francisco and El Paso, in addition to Austin and Albuquerque to Bush Intercontinental, a spate of Nashville routes, and flights between Chicago Midway and Detroit City Airport, were dropped." That paragraph is really out of place and incomplete in some ways, redundant in others.

Chapter 2 - Section 7.0

The study states that transcontinental flights began in 1994 with flights between BWI-LAS operated by 737-500 aircraft. I cannot directly confirm or challenge that claim with the resources currently available to me, but my recollection is that that is untrue, and the copy of WN's timetable for October 1996 online does not show that route being operated.

Southwest Timetable September 1996

The study states WN purchased Morris Air in 1994, but also that no routes were dropped in 1994. The study also states service to Boise, Portland and Seattle began in 1995. Now take a look at Morris Air's route map as of August 1993, and tell me if those dates are the least bit accurate, and if the statement that no routes were dropped in 1994 is also accurate if Southwest acquired Morris in 1994.

Morris Air Route Map August 1993

I do not claim to be the world's authority on Morris Air or Southwest, but a graduate study on Southwest *should* be more accurate and informative on the integration of Morris Air's route network and fleet into Southwest's, in one of their most ambitious and successful expansion efforts, and quote references accurately.

The study's bibliography cites Southwest's "A Brief History" web page as a resource, and checking that site, it states that in 1994 Morris Air was merged with Southwest and seven new cities in the Pacific Northwest opened, including Seattle, Spokane, Portland, and Boise.

Southwest Airlines - A Brief History

Chapter 2 - Section 11.0

The study claims the year 2000 saw new service including SMF-RDU. HUH? Non-stop Sacramento to Raleigh/Durham?

The study also claims GEG-LAS service was discontinued in 2000 (may or may not be correct, but the service exists today on a non-stop basis).

In the narrative describing the closure of the San Francisco station, the study reports, "Southwest removed Southwest from their route system."

END REVIEW

There are a dizzying amount of disjointed, poorly written and poorly presented "facts" in this study that would take a few days to prove or disprove, and I'm not going to take upon that task. What caught my eye were some inaccuracies and things which just didn't seem right, that upon some fact-checking on my part, confirmed my suspicions. One of the responsibilities of a graduate committee and/or professors is to do the same type of fact-checking I did before approving material for presentation or as teaching materials. In my opinion, it's shameful that something this sloppy is coming out of a respected university for those purposes.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2885 times:

Several of the route maps also show a nonstop LBB-PHX flight, which never operated to my knowledge.


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

The study states that with the addition of the 737-300 WN added a Dallas-Los Angeles flight. The report doesn't nail down a year, but eludes to it being either 1983 or 1984, but regardless, the route would be impossible under the Wright Amendment.

I caught that one and didn't know what the hell was up, but I didn't catch any of the other one's you listed. You're right in saying this is poor quality for university work...  Sleepy


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2851 times:

I won't bet my life on it, but I vaguely remember a LBB-PHX route that didn't last too long...

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2837 times:

Several of the route maps also show a nonstop LBB-PHX flight, which never operated to my knowledge.

Ssides: From the route maps I've looked at, your statement appears accurate.

To add insult to injury, the route maps prepared by Embry-Riddle place the Morris Air acquisition in 1993! I wish they would make up their mind.  Nuts



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

back to the origional point here...Southwest does not operate like any other airline...their planes operate rigorous schedules...
for example...I traced 2 flights from FLL-TPA...

the 6am goes FLL-TPA-AUS-LAX-SJC (same flight #)-PHX-PHL...landing around 10:30 or 11pm!
the 7:55 goes FLL-TPA-MDW-CMH-TPA-FLL-JAX-BNA-HOU...ending its day at 11:25pm!

Their routings tend to be East-West-East and vica versa as well as South-North-South and vica versa.


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