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OAK Vs. SFO (Landing, Parking, And Other Fees)  
User currently offlineScutfarcus From United States of America, joined May 2000, 399 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4874 times:

So I was thinking the other day about Midwest Airlines (for whom I have a certain affection) and wondering if they could save money by moving their SFO operations to OAK. Afterall, getting to San Francisco from OAK is practically the same distance/time and it's only slightly farther to get to Silicon Valley from OAK.

My assumption is that the various operational fees at OAK are much cheaper than SFO. Am I right? If so, by how much?

My second assumption is that the "ego value" of flying into SFO continues to be seen as advantageous, and that there is fear that unfamiliar passengers might misunderstand the difference and panic when told that they airline flies to Oakland and not SF.

Personally, I reckon that if it is in fact cheaper to fly to OAK, a small airline like YX really ought to consider it. If properly marketed, most people wouldn't notice the difference.

What do you think?

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25173 posts, RR: 48
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4857 times:

Don't have the current actual numbers, however have completed analysis comparing the two airports for airlines previously. Besides lower fee structure, OAK also offers other incentives including free advertising etc..

However having said this tough, the new San Francisco mayor, and airport board likewise are soliciting new business aggressively having landed Virgin America, FLYi, Icelandair & Spirit for example.
SFO has seen a damaging decline in traffic the last half decade due to SARS, local economy fall out from the dot.com bust, 9/11, and United's Ch11 filing and subsequent schedule adjustments all while the airport was spending large sums opening new facilities.

Oakland on the other hand has continued to grow steadily thanks primarily to Southwest Airlines.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSJCRRPAX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4832 times:

One of my favorite topics, Bay Area Airports. If you are depending upon tourists, and to a certain extent business people (a lot of people fly to SFO do business in the SJC area, but want to hang around a world class city, so they are kind of business-tourists) you will never get them to fly into OAK or SJC --- they want SFO, and you will never convience them that OAK is a good substitute. If your traffic is local all O&D, OAK will beat SFO hands down. OAK is closer to far more people than SFO and is way easier, no damm bridges to go over. This is also an SJC advantage, people can get to SJC from either side of the bay and not cross a bridge.

SFO on the other hand is the bay Area's International Airport. It really has a great location. For the most part the planes can come in over the bay and not disturb a million plus people like an approach to SJC would do, consequently the FF - One-World crowd will drive out of their way to use SFO. And SFO is much better for connecting traffic.

So that's my analysis, if the locals are the only ones on the plane choose SJC or OAK, else SFO is the winner.


User currently offline4everRC From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4832 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 1):
However having said this tough, the new San Francisco mayor, and airport board likewise are soliciting new business aggressively having landed Virgin America, FLYi, Icelandair & Spirit for example.

Did I miss something? When did Spirit resume fly to the Bay Area? They used to fly DTW-OAK, but I didn't know they started @ SFO.



Nobody served our republic like Republic!
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25173 posts, RR: 48
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 4827 times:

Quoting 4everRC (Reply 3):
Did I miss something? When did Spirit resume fly to the Bay Area? They used to fly DTW-OAK, but I didn't know they started @ SFO.

Starts 5/25. Airbus red-eye to DTW.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineAS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6126 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4780 times:

4everRC:
http://www.spiritair.com/welcome.aspx?pg=routemap_all

Anyone know what terminal at SFO Spirit is using? They still have no info on the website.

ASLAX



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineOakjam From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 182 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4665 times:

I personally think that OAK is doing a great job at taking the low fare carriers and having them use OAK as their destination point. Oakland is actually better situated than SFO(Millbrae Int'l). Remember SFO is not in San Francisco but actually situated in the suburbs of Millbrae, San Bruno and South San Francisco of which all three are not world class places near the Airport. Just a bunch of dumpy hotels that sprung up because of SFO. SJCRRPAX said that SJC and OAK don't work well I tend to disagree, most people don't care about what's near the Airport, they just care about how far an airport is from SFO. Of all three Airports OAK is the closest to SFO. Silicon Valley has died down from what it used to be. A lot of new job growth in the Bay Area is also in the East Bay. Dude if OAK got a second runway and a new 20 gate terminal I bet they could give SFO a run for their money. And slowly but surely Oakland will get respectability!!!

SJCRRPAX From United States, joined Dec 2005, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted Fri May 12 2006 21:33:14 UTC+2 and read 164 times:

"SFO on the other hand is the bay Area's International Airport. It really has a great location. For the most part the planes can come in over the bay and not disturb a million plus people like an approach to SJC would do, consequently the FF - One-World crowd will drive out of their way to use SFO. And SFO is much better for connecting traffic."


User currently offlineMidnights From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4627 times:

Rental cars are a little cheaper at OAK.

User currently offlineSkyexramper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4572 times:

Quoting Scutfarcus (Thread starter):
small airline like YX really ought to consider it. If properly marketed, most people wouldn't notice the difference.

Midwest serves SFO year round through MCI which is a huge booming city and I'm sure the biz travel on that route is fairly good. Also Midwest will be starting their summer non-stop runs from MKE June 1st for the vacation travelers.


User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4428 times:
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Quoting AS739X (Reply 5):
Anyone know what terminal at SFO Spirit is using? They still have no info on the website.

ASLAX...NK is using the International Terminal...same as FL.


User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4423 times:
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OAK is getting its fair share of service. Harmony is slated to begin service between OAK-YVR 2X per week with 757's. That's not much, but it's a start. OAK is a respectable gateway for Mexicana. I think MX's service to OAK is larger than SFO. I just wish ZE would increase service.

If Oasis Hong Kong Airlines really does begin service to HKG from OAK, then that could really kick OAK off as a true international gateway, but I think OAK will always be secondary to SFO.

Right now, I think OAK's biggest problem right now is running out of capacity. Once T2's expansion is done, that might (keyword) alleviate traffic at OAK temporarily. It could free up four to five gates in T1. But the likes of B6 and AQ could thwart airline growth once again until further expansion is realized.

That's my 2 cents.


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2920 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4417 times:

Quoting Oakjam (Reply 6):
Remember SFO is not in San Francisco but actually situated in the suburbs of Millbrae, San Bruno and South San Francisco of which all three are not world class places near the Airport. Just a bunch of dumpy hotels that sprung up because of SFO.

Ever see any of the hotels around OAK?  crazy 

OAK has done a fine job at positioning themselves as the LCC hub of Northern California. However security lines are outrageous and until the extra terminal space opens, it is cramped. SFO on the other hand is easier to get from curb to gate, in my opinion, and no Bay Area airport is easier to get on or off the freeway. Of course there are those who argue that the BART SFO extension is not as much of value as others, SFO is the only airport in the area with BART service form the terminals to downtown and beyond.

But assuming all things being equal, yields at SFO are often higher than OAK or SJC. So it depends on what market the airline is wanting to target.


User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4354 times:
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IMO, the only thing going against SFO are getting to the airport and weather-related delays.

Correct me if I'm wrong, does SFO have noise restrictions that prohibit aircraft like 707's and older DC-8's? I know OAK does not.

With all things aside, I still love OAK because it was my hometown airport.


User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4338 times:

Quoting Wedgetail737 (Reply 12):
Correct me if I'm wrong, does SFO have noise restrictions that prohibit aircraft like 707's and older DC-8's? I know OAK does not.

while I don't know about the older aforementioned planes you mentioned, SFO isn't flight restricted....however, SJC is....flying SJC-ORD-SJC enough times, once on my return flight ORD-SJC flight...we departed late and barely made it by the restricted hours..the captain said we might have to divert to SMF of all places..... crazy 



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4248 times:

Quoting Oakjam (Reply 6):
I personally think that OAK is doing a great job at taking the low fare carriers and having them use OAK as their destination point. Oakland is actually better situated than SFO(Millbrae Int'l). Remember SFO is not in San Francisco but actually situated in the suburbs of Millbrae, San Bruno and South San Francisco of which all three are not world class places near the Airport. Just a bunch of dumpy hotels that sprung up because of SFO. SJCRRPAX said that SJC and OAK don't work well I tend to disagree, most people don't care about what's near the Airport, they just care about how far an airport is from SFO. Of all three Airports OAK is the closest to SFO. Silicon Valley has died down from what it used to be. A lot of new job growth in the Bay Area is also in the East Bay. Dude if OAK got a second runway and a new 20 gate terminal I bet they could give SFO a run for their money. And slowly but surely Oakland will get respectability!!!

OAK needs to bulldoze terminal 1 and replace it with something decent. It was never designed to handle TSA security lines, has absolutely pitiful food choices, and getting your luggage upon arrival is the worst I've experienced at any major airport in the US.

Despite all the shortcomings, you are correct about it's location. I almost never use SFO.....

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 11):
Ever see any of the hotels around OAK?

Actually, the hotel situation has improved in the last year. Where there used to be nothing, there are at least two hotels on Hegenberger that are decent.

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 11):
OAK has done a fine job at positioning themselves as the LCC hub of Northern California. However security lines are outrageous and until the extra terminal space opens, it is cramped. SFO on the other hand is easier to get from curb to gate, in my opinion, and no Bay Area airport is easier to get on or off the freeway.

Problem is, fares to SFO tend to be higher than to OAK.


User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

As for passenger-friendly Port-of-Entry facilities, sure SFO wins hands down over OAK. OAK may be too small for the 2-3 international arrival gates they might have, when all are in use. I could imagine OAK is a mess when those 2-3 flights from Mexico arrive around 2300h.
SJC maybe a very relaxed Port-of-Entry due to the lack of international flights, but after finding out that SJC is a restricted hours airport, it won't be that attractive for those California-Mexico red-eye flights.



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4220 times:
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Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 15):
As for passenger-friendly Port-of-Entry facilities, sure SFO wins hands down over OAK. OAK may be too small for the 2-3 international arrival gates they might have, when all are in use. I could imagine OAK is a mess when those 2-3 flights from Mexico arrive around 2300h.

I agree. I remember seeing long lines at Gate 1 when both Aerocancun and Martinair were there at the same time. This was before they made Gate 3 an international gate for the Mexican carriers.

I believe Gate 1 is now the only widebody gate at OAK. Gates 4,6,8,12 and 15 all used to be widebody gates, until the Port start cramming more gates into the terminal. Gate 6 may be the only one left for domestic airlines.


User currently offlineShane From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4210 times:

I live in Oakland but often choose SFO for several reasons:

1. more flight options (I often fly UA and have lots of options)
2. more widebodies (often a 777 from ORD or DEN)
3. BART goes directly to the terminal with no bus
4. lines are often shorter
5. no Soufwurst crowds to deal with
6. UA PS service to JFK!
7. Nonstops to Europa! (does Martinair still come to OAK?)


User currently offlineGeorgetown From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 239 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4193 times:
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Well, there's two perspectives I guess.

The "resident" perspective basically tends to come down where you're going and where you live in the Bay Area. If you're on the Peninsula, say, from San Carlos north, SFO is going to be best bet. South of San Carlos, SJC is great if you can get a non-stop to where you're going. When I lived in Palo Alto I could be from my front door to the gate in about 25 minutes. Still, there's a lot more options from SFO, such as widebody/P.S. service on UA, etc etc. If you live in the East Bay, OAK is great, although again, more limited in options as compared to SFO. If you're not in the East Bay, it can be a real hassel, especially if there's a lot of traffic. While OAK is closer to the City, the bridge can tack on a lot of time.

As a visitor to the Bay Area (I've been that too) I find SFO to be the overall best - no matter where I'm going. Even if my destination is a meeting in San Jose, it's worth it to pay cab fare to stay in or near San Francisco. From talking to other business travellers, the general consensus I get is that "it would be a shame to be so close to a city like San Francisco and not spend a little time there." For tourists, I think SFO is the obvious choice: it's cheap to get to the City (esp if you take Bart/Caltrain) and a lot more convienent.

Also, until OAK opens up the new terminal, T1 can be a little slice of hell when it's crowded. So much so that I'm willing to pay a marginally higher fare to go into SFO. The same can be said of SJC in many respects, although not to the same extent. In the end, I think SFO, for all its faults, is still the overall best.



Let's go Hoyas!
User currently offlineStirling From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 3943 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4173 times:

The new International terminal at SFO is real nice...it is vastly superior to Oakland. And then there is BART straight to the terminal, but if you have to go anywhere other than the International terminal, it is quite a hike. (And out of the question if one is partially disabled like myself)

But BART and the new International Terminal aside....OAK will be ultimately more convenient for me, as SJCRRPAX said, no Bridges!
However traffic is still a nightmare coming from Modesto....The hopes are one day we'll have the choices in airline travel becoming of a city with 210,000 residents...until then it's UA/x to SFO, and soon LAX, or schlepp over to a Bay Area airport or Sacramento.

Until the Terminal 2 expansion is done at OAK, are they not technically at capacity? Are there any common use gates? I know the International gates are, but could a domestic airline use one? Like a Spirit or airTran or Midwest?



Delete this User
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4158 times:

Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
The new International terminal at SFO is real nice...it is vastly superior to Oakland. And then there is BART straight to the terminal, but if you have to go anywhere other than the International terminal, it is quite a hike. (And out of the question if one is partially disabled like myself)

its not that bad taking the airtrain between the terminals....but I agree...it can get to be a stretch..

that bloody international terminal is too big....put a roller coaster ride in there..



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4095 times:
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Quoting Stirling (Reply 19):
Until the Terminal 2 expansion is done at OAK, are they not technically at capacity? Are there any common use gates? I know the International gates are, but could a domestic airline use one? Like a Spirit or airTran or Midwest?

Well, CO uses gate 3, which is an international gate. I believe gates 8A, 13 and 15 are common-use gates. I've seen DL, B6, AQ and UA use gates 13 and 15. AA and AS uses gate 8A.


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