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SWA Looks To Build Flight Connection Opportunities  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25148 posts, RR: 46
Posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8738 times:

While still primarily a p2p carrier, the carrier smartly looking to schedule in a manner that increases revenues and allows connecting opportunities instead of having people opt for other airlines, or risky self connections.

Quote:
Southwest adjusts schedule in bid to seek more connecting fliers
February 21, 2010

If Southwest Airlines Co. put up a stone tablet engraved with its operating philosophy, the top item might be: "We are a point-to-point airline." Since its beginning in 1971, the Dallas-based carrier has made it clear that it focuses on carrying passengers nonstop from one city to another. But that's changing. At least, a little bit.

Southwest is now lining up flights at a number of its big airports so that they arrive at about the same time and depart shortly afterward about the same time. The goal: to get more people making connections to other Southwest flights.

On an average day, Southwest operates about 3,200 flights. only about 400 to 425 flights are arranged specifically for connections, primarily at Phoenix, Baltimore, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Denver and Chicago.

Full story
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...s.ART0.State.Edition1.3cf2728.html


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1540 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8714 times:

And they've decided to call their unique creation the "hub-and-spoke" system...

[Edited 2010-02-21 13:09:36]


717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22923 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8634 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
the carrier smartly looking to schedule in a manner that increases revenues and allows connecting opportunities instead of having people opt for other airlines, or risky self connections.

One other thing that they've done is opening some of the more common self-connections for sale; for instance. for years they had a lot of self-connections on STL-BNA. A year or so ago, they began selling the connections, and they are now opening the route nonstop when AA leaves in April.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineatrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8603 times:

I remember reading about this earlier in the year, WN mentioned they were tweaking their flight's only by minutes at some examples to allow an easier time to connect.

The focus was still on P2P but if they saw an opportunity to change the times a bit to allow connections they would do so. The flight itself is based on OD from the route but if a tweaking can occur WN would do so.

This says it best ""They're not a hub-and-spoke carrier," agreed aviation consultant Stuart Klaskin. "They're a carrier that's got a lot of connecting opportunities at focus cities.""

So WN can expand on that opportunity to allow more paxs to come in.

Quoting FL787 (Reply 1):
And they've decided to call their unique creation the "hub-and-spoke" system...

To be correct WN themselves did not say that, the media states "this system is designed like the hub n spoke system"

However WN states in the article "But Jordan and other Southwest officials express emotions akin to horror at any suggestion that their scheduling change makes them anything like that of the hub-and-spoke airlines.'

So no...WN did not call it the Hub N Spoke model, Media did.

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently onlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1540 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8540 times:

Quoting atrude777 (Reply 3):

I know I should have put a smiley, I was being sarcastic. I really don't see the difference between Legacy connecting hubs and WN connecting focus cities though.



717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offlineGentFromAlaska From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3119 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8517 times:

Quoting FL787 (Reply 1):
And they've decided to call their unique creation the "hub-and-spoke"

I sort of like P2F or Point 2 Focus

Reading between the lines PHX, LAS, DEN, DAL, BNA, MDW and BWI (did I forget any) as focus cities should see more flights.



Man can be taken from Alaska. Alaska can never be taken from the man.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25148 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8431 times:

Quoting FL787 (Reply 4):
I really don't see the difference between Legacy connecting hubs and WN connecting focus cities though.

Actually there is a huge difference.
Legacy hubs have schedules that are built specifically outwards from connecting bank time periods to allow dozens to hundreds of connecting opportunities. Such schedules can create large inefficiencies in scheduling with downtimes at spokes for crews and aircraft.
What SWA is instead doing is still keeping their operating principles of keeping planes moving, but when practical tweak things a few minutes here or there and openly begin selling connection opportunities. Planes and crews are still as efficient as ever, just the way the schedule has been marketed is changing a bit by taking advantage of natural connection opportunities and encouraging their sale.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently onlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1540 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 8378 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Actually there is a huge difference.

Ok, I stand corrected operationally but the passenger won't know the difference between a legacy hub and a WN focus city. Besides noticing more legroom on WN of course.  

I guess FL in ATL shouldn't be considered a legacy hub then, because it sounds more like a WN focus city.



717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7600 times:

Can the adjusting of flight times help relieve the congestion that airports like LAS experience? I was wondering if this could help relieve congestion at SAN. The gate area is very small for the volume of passengers. Could LAX be considered a focus city? This facility is also very congested.

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22923 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7399 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Legacy hubs have schedules that are built specifically outwards from connecting bank time periods to allow dozens to hundreds of connecting opportunities.

By that definition, DL/ATL is not a "legacy hub," for it has no banks.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25148 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7323 times:

Delta realigned the ATL from 12 connecting banks to a rolling-hub format in 2005 under the "Operation Clockwork" banner.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...iondaily&id=news/DALSCHED01315.xml

Here is a paper on the hub transformation.
http://www.atwonline.com/resources/whitePapers/track.cfm?wpID=18



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2864 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6974 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 5):
Reading between the lines PHX, LAS, DEN, DAL, BNA, MDW and BWI (did I forget any) as focus cities should see more flights.

I think they are trying to optimize the flights they have, not add more. I'm actually VERY surprised to see LAS, PHX, MDW, and BWI handling most of the airline's connections - I thought these operations catered much more to the very high O&D of Arizona, Vegas, Chicago, and the Washington area. I would have thought that the much smaller, geographically convenient cities that see relatively high levels of service (BNA, SLC, MCI, etc.) would have been selected to handle most of the connections. I guess its safe to say that PHX, LAS, DEN, MDW, BWI, DEN, and STL are the closest thing to traditional "hubs" that WN has. I would say that all six airports could expect see more service if connecting opportunities are increased, which could finally make those long, thin, low O&D (but potentially popular, given onward connectivity) routes like DEN-BUR, MDW-SNA, and STL-SLC work.

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 8):
Can the adjusting of flight times help relieve the congestion that airports like LAS experience?

It's interesting that (as of July 16, 2009) LAS saw 217 daily flights through just 19 gates, compared to 215 daily flights at MDW through 29 gates, 173 daily flights through 24 gates at PHX, and 157 daily flights through 20 gates at BWI. When I flew through LAS a few years ago on US, there wasn't any congestion at all in the early evening ~6-9pm (I know WN primarily uses 1-C, but they also use 1-B along with US). Given all the US cutbacks, WN could probably get several more gates if it really needed to. But, with the Las Vegas economy still in shambles, I don't think we'll see any expansion from LAS anytime soon.

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 8):
I was wondering if this could help relieve congestion at SAN. The gate area is very small for the volume of passengers.

Remember, SAN has very little space to work with for being such a major airport. I believe another terminal is under construction, but SAN will always be crowded until the city gets a new airport...

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 8):
Could LAX be considered a focus city? This facility is also very congested.

No, LAX is geographically ill-suited to handle connections, especially for an operation limited to the continental U.S. I would venture to guess that more than 90% of WN LAX pax are O&D. LAX could theoretically function as a connecting complex between the Northwest (SEA, PDX, GEG, BOI, RNO, SMF, SFO, OAK, SJC) and desert Southwest (LAS, PHX, TUS, ABQ, ELP, HOU, etc.) but LAS and PHX already handle that connecting traffic. Besides, WN can't expand at LAX until they are willing to pay for US to move or a terminal expansion. Either way, LAX will always be one of WN's most important stations...



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22923 posts, RR: 20
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6907 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
Delta realigned the ATL from 12 connecting banks to a rolling-hub format in 2005 under the "Operation Clockwork" banner.

You've seemingly proven my point...

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 11):
I guess its safe to say that PHX, LAS, DEN, MDW, BWI, DEN, and STL are the closest thing to traditional "hubs" that WN has.

STL isn't a hub; it's just the best place to get midwesterners in and out of DAL.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineshaq From Panama, joined Jun 2007, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6837 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
Delta realigned the ATL from 12 connecting banks to a rolling-hub format in 2005 under the "Operation Clockwork" banner.

Lots of airlines have being doing these , first DL , then other , IIRC , CO have an rolling hub system, but , can someone explain me , what are the key differences between rolling hub and bank hub ?

WN will be rollin' or banking ?



Studying hard, for flying right!
User currently offlineJetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2779 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6720 times:

Quoting shaq (Reply 13):
Lots of airlines have being doing these , first DL , then other , IIRC , CO have an rolling hub system, but , can someone explain me , what are the key differences between rolling hub and bank hub ?

A rolling hub does not have dead times between flight banks, flights are always coming in at just about the same density throughout the entire day.

A bank might have a period of an hour or two where flights come in from everywhere, passengers and crews connect, and then leave the hub. Then there will be a relative dead time before the next bank. Most that use the bank system will have a morning arrival bank, followed by a morning departure bank, then a noon/mid-day arrival bank, midday departure bank, and then maybe an early evening arrival bank followed by the departure bank, and then a late evening arrival and then departure bank. The process starts over the next day.

Not to say a rolling hub doesn't have times that are denser than others, but the traffic is always flowing and connections are always happening.



No info
User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2864 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6638 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 12):
STL isn't a hub; it's just the best place to get midwesterners in and out of DAL.

There's a lot more to STL than just access to DAL - they just got n/s service to MSP and BOS, two cities that see very little WN service right now and need access to major "hubs" so that pax can catch connecting flights throughout the network. STL also serves several other small stations like RSW, LIT, and CLE, and six more cities (LAX, SEA, SAN, RDU, BNA, MSY) will be served nonstop very soon. I'd say STL is very much emerging as a WN "hub" as AA draws down their once almighty hub operation to a mere spoke.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25148 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6638 times:

Quoting shaq (Reply 13):
Lots of airlines have being doing these , first DL , then other , IIRC , CO have an rolling hub system, but , can someone explain me , what are the key differences between rolling hub and bank hub ?

Actually I believe AA was first with de-hubing DFW.

Differences, for whom?
For the passenger it can mean longer average connection times, and sometimes reduced connection opportunities.
For the airline it can mean reduced gate and staffing needs and higher aircraft and crew utilization.

I think for the majors, the jury is still out as to which system is most beneficial at the end of the day especially at non-congested airport. The the rolling hub certainly has some financial and operational benefits, but I know one airline atleast that found average per passenger revenue drop and somewhat weaker connection flow as Itineraries have longer elapse times and lower display prominence in GDS systems.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22923 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6514 times:

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 15):
There's a lot more to STL than just access to DAL

What other purpose does it serve that MDW does not?

STL is a great city for WN, but it's not going to have 200 or probably even 150 or 120 daily flights in five years. It's not in the same league as MDW, BWI, or PHX.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offline0NEWAIR0 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 939 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 6367 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 5):
I sort of like P2F or Point 2 Focus

Sounds a lot like S2H ...Spoke 2 Hub.   



"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5220 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5559 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 16):
Actually I believe AA was first with de-hubing DFW.

Actually, AA depeaked ORD before it depeaked DFW, as a means of trying to reduce delays.

As for WN, years ago, I was Charlie Rose interview Herb Kelleher. Herb said that one of the advantages of a hub-and-spoke system is that it can offer a very large number of destinations to passengers departing one city on one flight.

The disadvantage is that it requires a lot of resources to be in place, when a bank of airplanes arrive, and if weather becomes a factor, it throws off the schedule for a large chunk of the day.

Southwest, as a point-to-point carrier, tried to figure out where most people in a specific city wanted to fly, then create a schedule that got people to those cities, preferably with 0 or 1 stop. What has changed is that the the 737NG has far greater range than earlier 737s, so WN can fly to more destinations non-stop that used to require 1 or 2 stops.


User currently onlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5451 times:

The very first paragraph of the article is wrong. Southwest does not have as an operating principle that it will carry people nonstop. What it does do is carry people *on the same plane*. While many of these folks fly nonstop from A to B, a larger number than at other carriers fly Southwest "direct" (i.e. on the same plane with one or more stops). So often on a Southwest flight will you see a lot of people staying on at an interim city while others get off. Southwest's system is set up to cater to this.

I have done it myself.

The large number of direct passengers from A to C, combined with the open seating policy, results in Southwest's famous "spinners", an occasional phenomenon and an actual noun used by Southwest crews. Spinners are people who get on an aircraft on which they have a reserved set from B to C, but for whatever reason, folks who started at A, plus folks who already boarded at B, have taken up all the available seats. Sometimes, it's caused by someone who should have deplaned but didn't, or a seat is out of service or whatever, but the Spinner ends up standing in the aisle, spinning around, looking for an empty seat that doesn't exist.


User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5307 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 5):
Reading between the lines PHX, LAS, DEN, DAL, BNA, MDW and BWI (did I forget any) as focus cities should see more flights.

I'd say HOU and STL just based on my flight today  

If my full HOU-STL flight 507 a few hours ago was any indication both HOU and STL already see plenty of connecting pax. The flight was delayed inbound from MAF, where the rep at HOU sent probably a third of the plane on connections and for the delay into STL they were saying WN would hold all the connections in STL several going to Chicago and Detroit. It seemed 1/3 of the arriving crowd was connecting in STL

And if you live in CRP you have to fly to HOU first  



“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
User currently offlineMSYPI7185 From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 710 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4743 times:

Quoting shaq (Reply 13):
Lots of airlines have being doing these , first DL , then other , IIRC , CO have an rolling hub system, but , can someone explain me , what are the key differences between rolling hub and bank hub ?

US at CLT and PHL IIRC had a rolling hub system back in the early to mid 90's. I do not know what is going on now, but I remember when we implemented it back then.

Quoting ckfred (Reply 19):
What has changed is that the the 737NG has far greater range than earlier 737s, so WN can fly to more destinations non-stop that used to require 1 or 2 stops.

The 737 WN had before the 737NG were capable of operating just about any flight on the system non-stop as they do now (excluding the 732's). WN system was built that way and aircraft capability is not the reason. I say this because back before we took delivery of 757's, we operated BWI - LAX/SFO and CLT - LAX/SFO/SEA with 733 equipment (no restrictions and full loads without fuel stops) some of which are now in the fleet of WN.

MD


User currently offlineSANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 5411 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4635 times:

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 5):
Reading between the lines PHX, LAS, DEN, DAL, BNA, MDW and BWI (did I forget any) as focus cities should see more flights

I disagree, Gent'. As the article states, some times are being adjusted slightly as connecting oppotunities are discovered; the idea is simply to increase the appeal of connections by shortening layover times. If anything, IMO, flights thru these large "non-hubs" such as PHX and MDW, could even decrease a bit as connection possibilities improve and increase. This, in fact, might further act to free up a few additional a/c hours for some new p-2-p flying, further reducing the flights (connections) through the large "non-hubs".

I'm also sure that WN monitors and balances O&D traffic vs. connecting traffic as one of many ways of maximizing their profitability on each route and at each statioin. That's why apparently only around 10% of the flights' times are being affected. Of course that could change in the future.

bb


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