Gunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3480 posts, RR: 10 Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5468 times:
I think the answer is fairly obvious...look at the WN route map; notice any glaring absences?
Traditionally, Southwest has avoided megahubs such as those listed above. There are obviously exceptions to this (DTW and the recent additions of DEN and PHL for instance), but for the most part, they've elected to use secondary airports whenever possible. I wouldn't count on seeing them in MSP anytime soon (barring the liquidation of a certain Minnesota based carrier).
AviatorTJ From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1838 posts, RR: 7 Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5463 times:
Quoting NW757MSP (Thread starter): I beleive if they did they would ring in some big money now that ATA pulled out.
airTran is picking up where ATA left off. People who now fly the route probably feel like they are riding in first class. Hopefully, our friends at airTran can keep it together and bring a little something extra to the table besides MDW, ATL, and MCO.
Quoting NW757MSP (Reply 3): And trust me people dont live off of northwest and half of they people dont even like them
Everybody in Minnesota hates NWA....until they are the cheapest fare out of town.*
VC10DC10 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1015 posts, RR: 2 Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5422 times:
Another reason Southwest isn't rushing into MSP is that the Twin Cities market already has a fair bit of low-cost service entrenched:
Frontier to Denver & points beyond
Midwest Express to Milwaukee & points beyond
AirTran to Chicago & points beyond (frequent service)
Sun Country to Lord knows where...
Plus, Northwest has historically shown itself to be an extremely fierce competitor. A famous example from the 1990s was Reno Air's flight to MSP from RNO; while it originally was profitable for them, Northwest started operating this route and put lots of capacity on it at ridiculous fares to keep Reno Air out of the Twin Cities market. Similar attempts were made, with varying degrees of success, when Sun Country started scheduled service. It's been assumed by many, I think, that Northwest will do this again if another low-cost carrier makes a major attempt to seize more of the Twin Cities market. Just my $.02.
BNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3164 posts, RR: 12 Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5388 times:
Southwest had their chance when ATA was flying to MSP. I guess it wasn't working out that well. So Airtran moved in.
Is it possible that MSP is not well located for operations for Southwest.
WN focuses on short haul and likes to have a city in reach of a few destinations. MSP doesn't really suit as MDW and OMA are the only close cities.
Cubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 21779 posts, RR: 19 Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5283 times:
Thinking specifically about the MSP-MDW market (which WN would surely serve if they start MSP), I wonder if this is a situation where the 737 is a little too big for the route. TZ's 738s (175 seats) were one of their problems, I think. NW and UA are always going to be able to offer more frequency, at least at ORD, because of the smaller planes they have. Of course, WN has made MDW-DTW work in a similar competitive situation.
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AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 6 Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5272 times:
Quoting VC10DC10 (Reply 9): Plus, Northwest has historically shown itself to be an extremely fierce competitor. A famous example from the 1990s was Reno Air's flight to MSP from RNO; while it originally was profitable for them, Northwest started operating this route and put lots of capacity on it at ridiculous fares to keep Reno Air out of the Twin Cities market.
And NW paid a fine for that as they lost a subsequent lawsuit filed against them by RenoAir. But you know, it's sort of hypocritical to tell the LCC's they are free to file whatever low fare wherever they want, but when a legacy carrier comes in and tries to do it, their being predatory. I guess that's why I got out of pricing - too much hypocrisy and way too much bereaucracy.
PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9 Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5253 times:
NW threatens the state of Minnesota everytime a resident or visitor to the state mentions the name "Southwest". "Big Brother will hear you!!" one NW employee told me (off the airport grounds, of course). They publically and continually threaten to pick up and move out of Minnesota completely if the airport authority even considers letting WN fly into MSP.
I have always found it ironic that both AA and NW defend their "fortress" hubs religiously (DFW and MSP), yet both face WN competition at their other hub cities without fanfare. Yes, AA uses ORD and WN uses MDW, but NW and WN both fly out of DTW.
As far as routes go, I'm sure MSP-MDW, MSP-DTW, MSP-STL, MSP-MCI, MSP-OMA, MSP-LAS, MSP-PHX, and MSP-BNA would make a good start for WN if they ever could get into Minnesota.
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ChiGB1973 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1609 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5221 times:
Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 13): NW threatens the state of Minnesota every time a resident or visitor to the state mentions the name "Southwest". "Big Brother will hear you!!" one NW employee told me (off the airport grounds, of course). They publicly and continually threaten to pick up and move out of Minnesota completely if the airport authority even considers letting WN fly into MSP
This is just ridiculous. If this were the case, WN would move to MSP today. That would be perfect for them. I just wonder, if NW says it publicly, why was it something to say "(off airport grounds, of course)?" He might as well have said it in front of NW's CEO.
N808NWatMSP From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 170 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5064 times:
Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 13): As far as routes go, I'm sure MSP-MDW, MSP-DTW, MSP-STL, MSP-MCI, MSP-OMA, MSP-LAS, MSP-PHX, and MSP-BNA would make a good start for WN if they ever could get into Minnesota.
I agree that all these routes would make a good start for WN at MSP, but many of those routes are already served by other airlines than NW.
I am all for WN flying to MSP, but not at the expense of other airlines who are already trying to fight "The Giant." I know that it might increase competition, but to what extent? Doesn't WN aim to flush out the opponents?
Ca2ohHP From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 943 posts, RR: 2 Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5010 times:
NW is a non-factor, I don't know why anyone would think WN would avoid a specific city because of some old legacy carrier. Their internal planners and analysts do heaps of research on O&D, fares, facility costs, etc...they don't sit in a boardroom and say, "oh we can't serve MSP, Northwest already flies there...lets serve an airport with zero competition."
PHL had plenty of competition from FL, AA, US, UA and others and that didn't stop WN...why would MSP be any different?
Junction From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 766 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4984 times:
Quoting Ca2ohHP (Reply 18): NW is a non-factor, I don't know why anyone would think WN would avoid a specific city because of some old legacy carrier. Their internal planners and analysts do heaps of research on O&D, fares, facility costs, etc...they don't sit in a boardroom and say, "oh we can't serve MSP, Northwest already flies there...lets serve an airport with zero competition."
PHL had plenty of competition from FL, AA, US, UA and others and that didn't stop WN...why would MSP be any different?
This brings us back to the original question. Why does WN not serve MSP? They already fly to lots of cities with just as much if not more competition then MSP. There must be a good reason, but who knows what it is?
Acidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1860 posts, RR: 10 Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4938 times:
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NW is ruthlessly protective of it's home market, MSP. They have the market well saturated with direct flights to a lot of places (at one point, you could fly direct from MSP to 46 states! It's now only like 43, but that's still a lot...) and have international coverage. WN is NOT going to get me to NRT, or AMS or LGW. With this level of saturation, it is questionable if there is really any room for anyone else.
MSP is a very commercial market, with lots of Fortune 500 companies based here or with large operations here. Airline service feeds commerce. This is not an industrial-type city, where good rail or sea access is more important in facilitating business. At the end of the day, even in down times, the business traveler wants a plethora of non-stop flights offered by a large network carrier, where they earn frequent flyer miles, have the possibility to be upgraded to F seats and have access to airline lounges and clubs. It never hurts to have reliable international service either.
Business travelers do not flock to low-cost carriers. They may have during the latest economic downturns, but not by their own choice. Business travelers want to be treated as business travelers. Even in times when network carriers are in rough shape and aren't offering as good of service as they have in the past, low-cost carriers aren't set up to offer business travelers exactly what they want. Jim-Bob, who is going to see his Uncle Jed in Phoenix may feel at home on a low-cost carrier, as he maybe flies once every 5 yrs., but William Robert, who basically lives on a plane half the year needs to be afforded all the services, benefits and luxuries of a network carrier.
As the economy rebounds, as it is starting to do, business travelers will demand that their employers pay for network carrier service. When companies start to make more money again, and need to do what it takes to keep their employees happy (especially those who travel a lot for business), they will shell out the money.
Is NW perfect? Not by any means. But they have invested a lot in developing the MSP hub, have been headquartered here for many many years (even though it is cheaper to relocate somewhere else), which in turn has helped develop the commercial market of this region as a whole. At least one survey determined that although ticket costs from the MSP market are slightly higher than the national average, we benefit from much higher-than-average number of direct, non-stop flights to and from this market, which tremendously benefits commerce in the region.
Is this to say that WN is a bad airline? NO! They are very good at what they do. Needless to say, they please their customers and take care of their employees, which has helped them be a profitable and growing company for quite a long time. But is their kind of service the right kind of fit for the MSP market? Probably not. If they thought so, they would be here by now.
Acidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1860 posts, RR: 10 Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4910 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW FORUM MODERATOR
Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 22):
Any airline is free to pick up and leave any airport at anytime. And an airport is not accountable to any one airline, nor should it be.
Yes they can. But also keep in mind how much money the state of Minnesota has put into NW in one way or another. There was the whole bailout loan thing in the early 90's. MSP airport is basically built for NW and it's operations. And NW happens to be one of the largest civilian employers in Minnesota, and even put some desperately needed jobs up north (the Res Call Ctr in Hibbing, and at least for a while the Airbus MX base in Duluth). With some of the loans and other programs, I would imagine they are not totally free to just pick up and leave. The State of Minnesota, and indirectly the residents of Minnesota are somewhat of a stakeholder.
PDXLVR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 20 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4873 times:
There's no way in heck that NW would leave MSP, and I think the threat (assuming it exists) is BS. One, what city is going to be as good a hub for NW, with the facilities that a mega-hub needs? Two, moving would cost money, which NW does not have.
I left my heart in PDX
25 N908AW: Abso- -lutely. Just because they're free to doesn't mean they're sanity wouldn't be questioned if they did. They have 85+% of the market and 95% of t
26 Isitsafenow: Time for a history lesson. Back in the late 60's there was this fellow named Donald W. Nyrop. He ruled NW with an iron fist and swung alot of weight
27 Iowaman: NW still controls more than 80% of the MSP market. F9, FL, and YX are all a drop in the bucket, and SY isn't really much bigger than UA in MSP. They
28 PSU.DTW.SCE: WN doesn't try to be all things to all people. Not every airline will fly everywhere you want to go. If you are going from LAX to SEA to you fly NW? N
29 Acidradio: It is a sizeable route, but it has reached a saturation point. NW, AA and UA will always have plenty of service MSP-MDW/ORD. But add a 4th (or 5th pl
30 AviatorTJ: I'd be willing to bet that more people fly NW on a cheap ticket because they are the lowest price rather than on an expensive ticket because they hav
31 Pilottim747: The reason FL backed out of the MSP-MDW market because there was WAY to much competition on that route. ATA, AirTran, Northwest and Vanguard were all
32 Supa7E7: Blah, blah. Do you realize WN has more mainline aircraft than Northwest? WN is Northwest's daddy. If you think the MSP market is fully realized today
33 Roadrunner165: Why does everyone in Minnesota hate NWA? http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:...l=us&ct=clnk&cd=9&client=firefox-a Adam
34 Burnsie28: Weak argument, MSP has plenty of competition, including low fare carriers. I still find a lot of normal priced tickets. From what I understand you wo
35 Iowaman: I can see both ways. It could end up like DTW, where there is such a NW FF base and NW matches WN fares that WN doesn't have a huge operation out of
36 Texan: MSP is being strongly considered. Likely not announced this year, stronger possibility of an announcement next year. There are a few cities ahead of M
37 Ca2ohHP: So I guess MSP and CLT are so far off....everyone said B6 would never get gate space at CLT. You people are talking like MSP is some high-class only a
38 Roadrunner165: -opinion- How many times has Northwest screwed the state and its citizens? Did you read the report I posted? Yes I agree, they have done some good, b
39 Texan: Which is funny, since CLT has said that if WN wants to move in tomorrow the airport will find them gate space Texan
40 Goingboeing: Did you know that Southwest started out as 3 planes with no first class and no assigned seats, but did offer hourly flights between Dallas and Housto
41 AviatorTJ: I quoted the part you missed underneath here. Try as you might to prove it, but the general public does not choose its plane tickets like the people
42 Cubsrule: There's plenty of gate space, but it's all international. Why would WN pay for that? Here's the problem WN faces on this CHI-MSP route. First, it's b
43 ATAIndy: Yes, because MSP is not located in the Southwestern United States. That was a joke everybody, just a joke. Excuse, me. If everybody hates NW then how
44 Goingboeing: WN could EASILY offer better frequency. They offer half-hourly flights between Dallas and Houston...They offer hourly flights between Kansas City and
45 Cubsrule: Problem is they are not competing against RJs... it's mainline. I also stand by my assertion that FL is the biggest threat to WN on the route.[Edited
46 Congaboy: Not knowing for sure, may I speculate that WN is not at MSP yet because: 1/ The cost model is out of bounds on the high side...I would imagine the MAC