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Has Anyone Ever Operated An Airplane Like A Bus?  
User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2896 posts, RR: 9
Posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14529 times:
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Imagine a fleet of 767's or A330's (or any appropriate ac) that left every 4 or 6 hours and (for example) went from Boston to NYC to DC to Miami to Caracas to Rio then Sao Paulo then to Buenos Aires and back up the other side...Santiago, Lima to LA and SF etc, etc, and back to Boston! Passengers charged per leg. Hop on and off as you wish - circle the America's in both directions, same for each continent. I wouldn't see business travel and the ac configured like a UA Hawaii plane. Great tourist idea perhaps.... and for budget minded pax. Question has anyone attempted such a thing? A bit like Pan Am 001 around the world.


The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRUHFlyer From Saudi Arabia, joined Mar 2007, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 14482 times:

This was actually the case years ago between RUH and JED on SV. No reservations needed just go to the airport and hope on. I guess it was a flight every hour or 30 minutes I don't recall exactly.

User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2351 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 14399 times:
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You can do that inter-island in Hawaii. I'm sure it's changed a bit recently with the changes in security, but when I did it for a couple of weeks in the early eighties, I purchased a book of tickets, and just showed up at the airport and waited for the shuttle heading towards the island I was going to. The airline at the time, Mid Pacific, IIRC, ran a loop through four (I think) islands, with planes heading in both directions.

User currently offlineVC10er From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 2896 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 14394 times:
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I'd take 6 months off work and hop on and take my time seeing many cities around the continent, spending longer times in the places I love.


The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
User currently offlineCoopdogyo From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 189 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 14381 times:

Eastern Airlines at one point offered hourly service between several NE cities. It was then sold to Donald Trump and became the Trump Shuttle I believe that it operated like a bus service with flights leaving every hour and no reservation required. This is not quite like what you suggested but it is close.

[Edited 2010-01-28 23:01:59 by coopdogyo]

User currently offlineMacSid From Malaysia, joined Jun 2009, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 14231 times:

If memory serves me right, MH and SQ have jointly operated a "shuttle" service beween SIN and KUL on exactly this basis for the last 20 years, if not longer.

Also, do BA not have something similar operating LHR-GLA, LHR-EDI and LHR-MAN? I recall a setup of this sort back in the late 80s and early 90s when I was at uni in GLA, but am not sure that it still operates in this way.


User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1651 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 14154 times:

Early WN was like this. Dallas to Houston, Houston to Dallas with flights every 30 minutes and no reservation required. In fact, you didn't even need a ticket because you could pay on board during the flight.

User currently offlineTobias2702 From Germany, joined Sep 2008, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 14100 times:

Aren't these high-frequency flights of IB between MAD and BCN or AZ between LIN and FCO such flights that do not require previous booking? I heard somewhere that LH operated such sort of domestic shuttle flights directly competing train prices in the 1960s using Super Connies - who can confirm or reject?

Tobias



PA, AF, UK, BA, AB, DL, LH, FR, BD, A3, EZY, DY //// A319/320/346, B733/735/73G/738/744/763, AT4, 146, CR2, DH4
User currently offlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1644 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 14012 times:

In the early days of me being in Taipei, there were frequent flights between TSA and KHH. You simply arrived at the airport, walked up to the checkin counter and bought your ticket. If you already had a ticket, you could "redeem" it at any of the domestic airlines and get on their flight.

I remember counting a flight arriving from KHH every FOUR minutes during one hour on a Sunday afternoon.

Since the high-speed rail has opened, flights between TSA and KHH have been decimated -- today there are very few flights between the two cities. While you can still arrive at the airport and buy a ticket, chances of getting a seat are slim now.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13961 times:



Quoting MacSid (Reply 5):
Also, do BA not have something similar operating LHR-GLA, LHR-EDI and LHR-MAN? I recall a setup of this sort back in the late 80s and early 90s when I was at uni in GLA, but am not sure that it still operates in this way.

You are correct. It was called the super shuttle And you turned up at the gate to pay. First come first served just like a bus.


User currently offlineAcabgd From Serbia, joined Jul 2005, 663 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13881 times:

Many examples given here from previous years. So why does this not work today anywhere?


CSud,D9,MD8x,D10,Trid,BAC1,A30,31,319,320,321,33,346,B71,72,73,74,75,76,77,L10,S20,A42,A72,T13,T15,F50,F70,F100,B146
User currently offlineAquariusHKG From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2010, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13820 times:



Quoting Acabgd (Reply 10):
Many examples given here from previous years. So why does this not work today anywhere?

Mostly due to security issues, also the rise of High Speed trains made a lot of the service uncompetitive


User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 13782 times:



Quoting LHR380 (Reply 9):
It was called the super shuttle

And stupidly they'd lay on an extra aircraft for just one passenger if needs be.



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineAffirmative From France, joined Jul 2009, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 13710 times:

If you do a search for Sir Freddie Laker you'll find his venture. It was successful enough to make BA and others shiver and start same style operations. IIRC they flew between LGA and FLL. And you just showed up at the counter in LGA and bought your ticket and off you went..


I love the smell of Jet-A1 in the morning...
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9376 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 13605 times:



Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 7):
I heard somewhere that LH operated such sort of domestic shuttle flights directly competing train prices in the 1960s using Super Connies - who can confirm or reject?

I can confirm that. LH operated a shuttle service between HAM and FRA. Similar bto that what easternn had in the US

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 12):
And stupidly they'd lay on an extra aircraft for just one passenger if needs be.

not stupid at all. This was part of the game. EA operated every hour with a guaranteed seat between DCA/LGA/BOS.

I used that service many times to BOS and to DCA as well. You simply went to the LGA shuttle terminal, registered with name and adress, walked on to the gate and usually straight on board. payment was on board, inmsteda f service a drink mthe F/A went woith a card and the credit card machine and collected the fare, which was in the early 70s between 20,00 and 25,00 US$ one way. All in. IIRC that was usually a DC9 on the main run and the back up was a Lockheed Electra. I remember a flight on the latter which was almost full, and that was the back up. Later they used 727s.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2865 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 13548 times:



Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Passengers charged per leg. Hop on and off as you wish - circle the America's in both directions, same for each continent. I wouldn't see business travel and the ac configured like a UA Hawaii plane. Great tourist idea perhaps.... and for budget minded pax. Question has anyone attempted such a thing?

Sounds quite a bit like those multi-stop WN flights, where people can fly between rather obscure city pairs but the vast majority get on and off at the points inbetween. A similar international operation would be virtually impossible owing to 5th freedom/cabotage restrictions and the longer distances involved - at a certain point, people prefer to get off planes and stretch their legs, rather than remain confined to the plane for and between multiple segments.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4000 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 13540 times:
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Quoting PanHAM (Reply 14):
not stupid at all. This was part of the game. EA operated every hour with a guaranteed seat between DCA/LGA/BOS.

At the time, someone declared (I think the IATA) that to be allowed to call flights between two cities a Shuttle, a carrier ought to accommodate everyone who'd show up, period. If that meant putting on an extra flight or two, so be it.

I don't think it was an "official" decision, more like something that someone came up and was adopted everywhere.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9376 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 13497 times:

Well, there have been international flights, when the max range of a 742 or D10 was rather limited compared to what we have in the air these days, which made multiple stops between 2 points. I boarded a Garuda 742 at SIN, that flight came from JKT, next stop ws BKK, then AUH then either ROM or ZRH and the final was FRA. So, between SIN and FRA it had 3 stops. I did not do it but I suppose stop-over privilges could have been available at least at BKK and AUH. Also, I am not familiar with fare calculations any more, but there was a nice system of maximum miles between 2 city pairs, whch gave you some opportunities to stop over en route.


E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2790 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 13207 times:



Quoting Tobias2702 (Reply 7):
Aren't these high-frequency flights of IB between MAD and BCN or AZ between LIN and FCO such flights that do not require previous booking?

I don't know about AZ, but IB does indeed run the "Puente Aereo" between MAD and BCN without reservations. At some point, they had flights every 15 minutes at rush hours. Now, with the competition of the AVE HSR system, frequencies have dropped.



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineRFields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 13167 times:



Quoting Acabgd (Reply 10):
Many examples given here from previous years. So why does this not work today anywhere?

That type routing is how airlines in large countries developed. There are quite a few similar flight still operated in Brazil by smaller airlines.

The main reason those type flight do not work is that most people dislike the time sitting on the ground at the stops.

For example -

ATL-MGM-MEI-JAN-MLU-SHV-DAL - and reverse was a route for Delta for years.

If I wanted to go from one of those interior cities to the next it was great. But if I wanted to go from ATL or DAL to any but the first city it was a real pain. Passengers spent more time on the ground at the stops than they did flying. Flying ATL-SHV took close to 4 1/2 hours. That is a 1 hour 30 min flight on an RJ today. It is under 2 hours on a turboprop.

BOS-LGA-DCA-MIA-CCS-GIG-GRU-EZE is 5,876 miles and probably 13 flying hours. Add 6 to 9 hours ground time. At 18-22 hours you need two crews for the flight. You are mixing 3 legs less than 200 nm/ 30 min flights with 3 legs in the 800-1200 range / 2 to 2 1/2 hour flights and one leg near 2,500 nm / 5 hours.

Are people going to book MIA-GRU knowing it will take 11 to 12 hours for the flight to arrive? What is the time of a direct flight today? 8 or 8 1/2 hours?

If possible people will pay for a non-stop to save 3 or 4 extra hours sitting on a plane.


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12452 times:



Quoting LHR380 (Reply 9):
You are correct. It was called the super shuttle And you turned up at the gate to pay. First come first served just like a bus.



Quoting Myt332 (Reply 12):
And stupidly they'd lay on an extra aircraft for just one passenger if needs be.

The Super Shuttle aircraft departed every (or most?) hour on the hour. If you turned up at least 10 minutes before the flight you were guaranteed a seat. So it is true that if the aircraft was full they would put on an extra aircraft and that could carry just the one passenger. But stupid? Well I for one do not think so.

First if two aircraft operated the x o'clock flight and one was full and the other carried just one passenger the combined load factor on the two aircraft was over 50 per cent.

Second the standby aircraft were HS Tridents that had been 100 per cent amoritized and would otherwise have been retired and broken up. So the extra costs were the fuel for one flight and the standby flight and cabin crews and excluded any equipment cost.

I believe BA's Super Shuttle closed when the Tridents used were retired.


User currently offlineEGPH From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 11526 times:

I propose this thread is locked and shredded immediately before the looney CEO of an airline based at DUB (and now many other EU airports) sees it and gets ideas.    

On a serious note, I thought the IB MAD-BCN "Puente Aereo" was run like a bus service with customers being able to either prebook or simply turn up at the airport and use the self service check-ins to purchase a ticket!


User currently offlineMacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 11229 times:
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IIRC, NZ did something very similar to this between AKL, WLG, and CHC. No booking was required and you could pay for your ticket after you boarded. Think it was a 737 but I have no idea which model.


Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10426 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 10449 times:



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
ATL-MGM-MEI-JAN-MLU-SHV-DAL - and reverse was a route for Delta for years.

We were still running that same basic route when I worked there in the early 80s.


When I worked at ORD, we had a flight that went LIT-STL-ORD-DTW-CLE-BTV-MHT-PWM-BGR.....all on a baby 9.


In SLC, we had a flight that went DCA-ATL-BHM-DFW-DEN-SLC-RNO.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineMauiman31 From United States of America, joined exactly 7 years ago today! , 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9973 times:
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Before 2001 -- the DL, EA, US, - East Corridor Shuttles - LGA-BOS-DCA -- were very easy. If you had your ticket or boarding pass for any flight that day. . . you could just walk up to the gate counter, switch and get on any flight if there was room. No questions asked. . .

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 6):
Early WN was like this. Dallas to Houston, Houston to Dallas with flights every 30 minutes and no reservation required. In fact, you didn't even need a ticket because you could pay on board during the flight.


Remember those also . . . so much fun for leisure and wonderful for business folks. And the FA's wore hot pants and vinyl boots. . . ah, the 70's . . .


25 Spacecadet : I remember flying Hughes Airwest in a DC-9-30 when I was a kid, making four stops on the way from SFO to somewhere in the Pacific Northwest - maybe Po
26 Scrumpy492003 : Greyhound Canada tried it a number of years ago, I don't think it made many trips - it was held up for a long time by Buearocracy - before it went und
27 TXJim : I was part of that scene in the 90s. One always headed for the counter with the next flight out regardless of what the ticket showed. I also remember
28 Buck3y3nut : Correct me if I'm wrong here; however when I visited Spain, IB had a commuter shuttle service from MAD to BCN departing every hour. But I think it sti
29 AirCatalonia : At rush hours there was always a plane boarding. You would just check in and hop on, no need for timetables. Now things have changed, but I think it
30 Okie : You can add OKC to DAL to that list. All before massive security was required. I think the same plane just circulated between OKC and DAL all day lon
31 Alhena : from 1959 to 1999 a pool of airlines (initially Varig, Cruzeiro do Sul and VASP) operated the 'Ponte Aérea' (air-bridge) shuttle service between São
32 Post contains images Alhena : Some images from the Ponte Electra's: The electra's had to make a left turn and then a right turn to evade the sugar-loaf mountain right after start.
33 Rdwootty : Really like a bus rather than frequent point to point services. YES Channel Airways in the UK operated HS748's on the following route. You paid, in ca
34 Viscount724 : The problem with that type of operation is that no carrier would have local traffic rights on all the sectors due to 5th freedom restrictions in the
35 Q120 : People Express ran exactly like a bus service. You were able to board and pay on the aircraft before take-off. The airline was a big success but this
36 Post contains images BNAFlyer : Based on various comments I read on a.net and various news sources, I think quite a few people would prefer the bus than Ryanair.
37 AFORMSGUY : Piedmont Airlines Flight 201 April 25, 1971 FH-227 Dep Wilmington, NC 6:26am Arr New Bern, NC 6:52am Dep New Bern, NC 7:00am Arr Goldsboro, NC 7:23am
38 Tomassjc : PSA was the closest thing to the bus in the 70's...pre deregulation. Flight Attendants collected your cash register receipt ticket prior to take off.
39 ThirtyEcho : For many years, Southwest operated on a 10 minute turnaround and they really held to that schedule. Kick 'em off, kick 'em on....and it worked.
40 Heathrow : If you think about it, FR, WS, WN...these airlines are almost like a bus... but I think Greyhound Canada one this one.
41 Anonms : Doesn't QX run a shuttle between PDX and SEA?
42 WrenchBender : Way back when I was a young lad the Canadian Forces ran their 707's on a cross Canada schedule that was very similar to a bus route Comox-Vancouver-Ed
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