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DL/NW Winter LF On MSP-ANC?  
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

Noticed that DL/NW have operated daily (or very near-daily) year-around 757 non-stop service MSP-ANC and return for some years (with added frequencies during the Summer months). Since Lower 48 to Alaska seems to be seen as a notoriously seasonal market...

What are DL/NW's day-to-day load factors like on their MSP-ANC non-stop flight(s) during the low-season/off-peak Winter months? Are yields as typically solid as flights to/from/within Alaska are reputed to generate?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUshermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2965 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2604 times:

When I took this flight in November of 2008 the flight from MSP was packed.
On the way back, it was a 757-300 flight and they needed 10 volunteers (including me) to get the flight out.
So, I would say that the LF is always pretty good if not great.

[Edited 2010-02-01 13:42:36]


Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22865 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 2460 times:

Eastbound loads in 2008, from DoT

January: 82
February: 79
March: 87
April: 86
May: 82
June: 79
July: 92
August: 96
September: 97
October: 90
November: 91
December: 90

It seems like they do a pretty good job matching capacity and demand even as demand ebbs and flows.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2334 times:



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Thread starter):
Since Lower 48 to Alaska seems to be seen as a notoriously seasonal market...

That is an annoyingly common misconception.
There is NOT enough lift into/ex Anchorage. Trust me- I live here.
The actual numbers have been given already, but allow me to back them up by saying the flights I've taken MSP-ANC or return have always been quite full. They're horrible flights- ancient 5500 series 757-251s, typically, with no IFE, thick layers of scum on windows and walls, and crews are hit-or-miss. MSP based cabin crew seems to be great- DTW based crews on NW are reliable horrible.

People think of Anchorage as being a summer-only tourist destination. They forget that over 300,000 people live here, and, compared to the general population, we are a very well-traveled group of individuals.
Further, the North Slope oil fields support thousands and thousands of workers, who commute every two weeks, and the VAST MAJORITY OF THEM come from the lower 48.
During the Christmas season, things get very ugly. A flight will be cancelled, and all of those people are hosed for days.
2007 was particularly bad- I had a buddy get stuck "outside" for eleven days, because his prior flight ex-BOS had been delayed, and there was NO CAPACITY on ANY CARRIER to ANC.

I am thrilled that UA is coming back- I wish it was year-round. I'm a Star Alliance FF, so their presence should be very helpful to me, especially with reward bookings.

So, sorry to rant, but I think all of my comments are related to the topic!


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2312 times:



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
That is an annoyingly common misconception.
There is NOT enough lift into/ex Anchorage. Trust me- I live here.

If anything, year round service to the lower 48 (excluding Seattle) is very slim out of Anchorage - there's Alaska flights to PDX (daily 737) and ORD (daily 737); Delta to Minneapolis (daily 757) and Salt Lake (daily 757); and US Airways to Phoenix (daily A319). Yes, there is plenty of service to SEA (12x 737 on Alaska, 2x 737 on Continental), but even there, if you want to get to most of the country outside of the West Coast, a double connect is required. The MSP and ORD flights really allow for easy connections to the rest of the country up to Anchorage.


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2920 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2295 times:

Also, think about what goes in the belly too. Indeed cargo and mail add a lot of revenue to this flight.

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2291 times:



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 4):
The MSP and ORD flights really allow for easy connections to the rest of the country up to Anchorage.

Which is great if you've got good connections on the frequent-flyer end with AS/AA or AS/DL.
But for those of us who moved here with large CO accounts, yes, a double-connect is the order of the day.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2271 times:



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):

Which is great if you've got good connections on the frequent-flyer end with AS/AA or AS/DL.
But for those of us who moved here with large CO accounts, yes, a double-connect is the order of the day.

Which, save for those coming from Houston (and a few others like you), the bulk of the traffic is going to be AS/AA/DL FFers.

Star has a very token presence in Alaska - yes the new UA flights will help, but it's going to be predominantly lower-48 customers.


User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5766 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2262 times:



Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 5):
Also, think about what goes in the belly too. Indeed cargo and mail add a lot of revenue to this flight.

Indeed- I myself have helped load 14,000 lb of salmon into the belly of certain Airbus narrowbodies... granted, salmon is seasonal as well, but other fish aren't!
They also make for some VERY STINKY cargo holds.


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2027 times:



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Thread starter):
Since Lower 48 to Alaska seems to be seen as a notoriously seasonal market...



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
That is an annoyingly common misconception.
There is NOT enough lift into/ex Anchorage.

It is (apparently) indeed a widely-held misconception that ANC is a highly seasonal market... while there is, to be sure, an upturn in traffic during the Summer months, the handful of airlines serving ANC year-around are IMHO 'guilty' of excessive capacity reductions during the the off-peak months ~October thru April...so much so that I will attest in all sincerity that I have consistently found over the past ~10 years that non-rev travel between Alaska and the continental U.S. is decidedly easier during the peak-season travel months of Summer than in the supposed off-peak Autumn/Winter/Spring months. Capacity is boosted during the Summer months to accomodate additional traffic, then reduced by a significantly greater amount than the actual drop in pax traffic during the rest of the year.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
During the Christmas season, things get very ugly. A flight will be cancelled, and all of those people are hosed for days.

Very correct again... while Alaska, ANC especially, is underserved during the Winter months, it is acutely underserved during the Christmas/New Year holiday and spring break travel periods... and if there should be any cancellations or missed connections during such times...ugly as rebook options for pax traveling within the lower 48 may be, it gets even uglier for pax traveling to/from Alaska...and can get brutally ugly barring the addition of extra sections and/or aircraft upsizes to accomodate pax stranded by irrops.

Business travel between ANC and the lower 48, which is considerable, is steady year-around ...and leisure traffic, while somewhat seasonal, is far more "two way" and much less seasonal than casual observers...and airline schedule planners... seem to assume... soon after summer traffic to ANC originating from the lower 48 drops off, winter traffic from ANC to lower 48 sun-spots picks up...and continues essentially until the next peak summer travel season arrives... plus holiday and VFR traffic within the seasonal travel patterns.


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