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WN's LGA-BWI Route  
User currently offlineNYCFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 10
Posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

I don't understand what drives WN's 3x daily LGA-BWI route. Here is my reasoning:

Point-to-point traveling:

For business travelers, Amtrak (particularly Acela) is a far more convenient option, and certainly quicker when you factor in security, and the air traffic in the nation's most congested airspace.

For leisure travelers, it's simply not worth flying when you can take Megabus or Bolt Bus for a small fraction of the price, and a 3-4 hour ride.

Connecting traffic:

First off, since WN technically doesn't operate a hub-and-spoke system, would WN operate this route for connecting traffic? It would strike me that there are not enough Southwest frequent fliers in NYC, and plenty of other non-stop options from NYC, to warrant people who want to connect via BWI.

An obvious comparison is US's LGA-PHL flights, but there are tons of US frequent fliers in NYC, and there are a much greater network of connecting options, including international, on US ex-PHL, compared to WN ex-BWI.

Would love to hear thoughts on the demand drivers behind this flight.

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinepolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4217 times:

Quoting NYCFlyer (Thread starter):

First off, since WN technically doesn't operate a hub-and-spoke system, would WN operate this route for connecting traffic? It would strike me that there are not enough Southwest frequent fliers in NYC, and plenty of other non-stop options from NYC, to warrant people who want to connect via BWI.

Of course it can survive on connections. They may claim they don't operate a hub-and-spoke system, but they will gladly sell you connecting flights. It doesn't matter if WN has a lot of frequent fliers in NY or not, not everyone flying to or from LGA is a NYC resident, and WN has a huge nationwide customer base it can tap into in. BWI, as one of their largest cities, is a no brainer.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22909 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4216 times:

WN gets about 30 local PDEW. It's mostly connecting traffic and empty seats. I don't see LGA-BWI surviving past the end of the Wright Amendment; it's superfluous with ATL and whatever combination of BNA/STL/HOU they wind up serving.


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4174 times:

Quoting NYCFlyer (Thread starter):
First off, since WN technically doesn't operate a hub-and-spoke system, would WN operate this route for connecting traffic?

Theory differs from reality.

Southwest, despite what many Southwest backers will say on this site, does have a hub/spoke system in effect in a lot of places.

Yes - they do a lot more P2P than legacy carriers (nowadays). But BWI, MDW, DEN, PHX, LAS all function as natural flow hubs where Southwest might not be able to have the level of service (at some, if not all) of these without the sheer volume of connecting traffic that they have.

As you mention, if you're going from New York to Baltimore, you're probably nuts to fly. Acela is 2h10, a Regional is 2h40. Given that you can show up to Penn Station 10 minutes before departure and might be a 5-10 minute walk there from Midtown, and you arrive right in Baltimore, you could go door to door on a conventional train in about 3h10.

With flying, you need to get out to LaGuardia (a good 25-30 minutes), check-in and clear security (even if you're like me, that's still 40 minutes before departure), fly the actual flight (another hour) and then get into Baltimore (another good 30 minutes or so if you take a cab/light rail)...comes out to roughly the same amount of time if you cut it close.

Now of course, there are exceptions, as not everyone is going midtown to downtown Baltimore. If you're out in Queens by LaGuardia and can be there in about 10 minutes, then flying might be faster. Same with if you're going to Annapolis area - flying into BWI rather than a train is likely faster.

But for core business center to core business center, the train will likely be faster. You also get uninterrupted cell phone service, no ATC delays which are common at LaGuardia and not having to deal with the TSA at all.


User currently offlineLV From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 2003 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4157 times:

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 3):
and not having to deal with the TSA at all

For now... make no mistake the TSA wants to and probably will expand itself to cover checkpoints at Amtrak stations

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
I don't see LGA-BWI surviving past the end of the Wright Amendment;

I'm not seeing the connection between the Wright Amendment and LGA-BWI. Maybe I am missing something but can you explain it to me?


User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4157 times:

Quoting NYCFlyer (Thread starter):
First off, since WN technically doesn't operate a hub-and-spoke system, would WN operate this route for connecting traffic?

Yes. They have plenty of extremely short flights that rely heavily on connecting traffic. BHM-BNA, RSW-MCO, IND-MDW to name a few. Not saying these routes don't have local traffic, just that they probably wouldn't exist on local traffic alone. And despite the fact that WN doesn't operate exclusively on a hub-spoke model, BWI is most definitely a hub, no matter what they call it.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
I don't see LGA-BWI surviving past the end of the Wright Amendment; it's superfluous with ATL and whatever combination of BNA/STL/HOU they wind up serving.

If 30/day is all they're getting for local traffic, you may well be right about this one. I was kind of surprised when they dedicated those slots to BWI in the first place, since BNA and STL both have plenty of connecting opportunities plus healthy local demand.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22909 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4117 times:

Quoting LV (Reply 4):
I'm not seeing the connection between the Wright Amendment and LGA-BWI. Maybe I am missing something but can you explain it to me?

It's an easy place to warehouse frequencies they ultimately want to use to DAL.

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 5):
I was kind of surprised when they dedicated those slots to BWI in the first place, since BNA and STL both have plenty of connecting opportunities plus healthy local demand.

They started LGA just as they were beginning the business traveler focus that we've seen particularly clearly at STL, and serving MDW/BNA or MDW/STL would have cut off a lot of east coast destinations.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinePI767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4098 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 5):
I was kind of surprised when they dedicated those slots to BWI in the first place, since BNA and STL both have plenty of connecting opportunities plus healthy local demand.

I don't think so. BWI not only has more departures, by far, than either BNA or STL, but BWI also offers more direct service to places like ORF, RDU, CHS, GSP, PIT, CMH, CLE, DTW.....plus it offers easy enough service to Florida, MSY, BHM, SAT, AUS, HOU, LIT, etc.....

For flights to the midwest and the west.... Chicago is the perfect place to transfer passengers since it serves almost all of the airline's western cities with far more nonstop flights than STL or BNA.

I think, with the limited number of slots, it makes perfect sense for WN to serve BWI over BNA or STL.

I am asking sincerely.... what, other than local traffic, would BNA or STL provide that are not better covered by service to BWI and MDW?


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22909 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4078 times:

Quoting PI767 (Reply 7):
I am asking sincerely.... what, other than local traffic, would BNA or STL provide that are not better covered by service to BWI and MDW?

STL provides DAL. Both BNA and STL provide more direct routings to MSY and Texas.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 6):
serving MDW/BNA or MDW/STL would have cut off a lot of east coast destinations.

I guess then the real question of LGA-BWI's survival will be how many connections they get from the likes of ORF, RDU, etc. that couldn't be routed over BNA without going the wrong direction. Most of these places have nonstops to LGA on other carriers though.


User currently offlineN200WN From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 784 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4012 times:

Quoting PI767 (Reply 7):
I am asking sincerely.... what, other than local traffic, would BNA or STL provide that are not better covered by service to BWI and MDW?

Nothing...you hit the nail on the head. Flights to BWI are there to maximize access to/from the rest of the system with the limited number of slots that WN has at LGA. The route has nothing to do with the Wright Amendment.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22909 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4000 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 9):
I guess then the real question of LGA-BWI's survival will be how many connections they get from the likes of ORF, RDU, etc. that couldn't be routed over BNA without going the wrong direction.

For the further south cities in this region (RDU, CHS, CLT), ATL will help tremendously.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinejetsetter629 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 439 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3930 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 5):
They have plenty of extremely short flights that rely heavily on connecting traffic.

This is true for the short flights. Short flights full of O&D cannot survive for WN, particularly for my hometown airport of PHL. They axed flights to BDL, PVD, BOS, and MHT


User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3902 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 11):
For the further south cities in this region (RDU, CHS, CLT), ATL will help tremendously.

Yeah, or that... we'll see how the LGA slot auctions go, then I'll venture a guess as to how quickly BWI-LGA goes away. If WN doesn't win any slots (not likely but still) then it won't last another year.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17439 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3844 times:

BWILGA has to be absolutely atrocious. NYC is already a battle ground for multiple carriers, most of whom already have major NYC networks, and some of whom have lower unit costs than WN. The NYCWAS fare in general has been competed down to very low levels, never mind that BWI is a second/third choice airport by far. Connecting opportunities aren't that great either since chances are several NYC hubbing airlines already fight ferociously for the traffic nonstop, and connecting traffic really has never been WN's primary focus. WN doesn't offer LGA passengers much of anything that AA/UA/DL/B6 aren't already delivering in spades.

Quoting PI767 (Reply 7):
I am asking sincerely.... what, other than local traffic, would BNA or STL provide that are not better covered by service to BWI and MDW?

I think the local traffic would be far more valuable than any incremental connecting traffic over BWI--where can WN leverage any kind of schedule/network from NYC, over BWI (or even MDW), that will drive any kind of fare premium that WN is used to?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4267 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3750 times:
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Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
I don't see LGA-BWI surviving past the end of the Wright Amendment; it's superfluous with ATL and whatever combination of BNA/STL/HOU they wind up serving.

But the Wright Amendment was repealed, yes? And it involved flying in / out of Dallas-Love Field. BWI was never in the equation.

Btw, I don't debate the connecting possibilities through ATL, BNA, or HOU . But BWI sustains itself with O&D traffic. Connects are icing on the cake.  yes 

[Edited 2011-11-20 14:36:17]

User currently offlineThreeIfByAir From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 674 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3714 times:

Quoting NYCFlyer (Thread starter):
An obvious comparison is US's LGA-PHL flights, but there are tons of US frequent fliers in NYC, and there are a much greater network of connecting options, including international, on US ex-PHL, compared to WN ex-BWI.

I think the slot deal will end a lot of the US LGA-PHL flights because they are really not that useful. Maybe 1 or 2 are for fleet rotation purposes, but US really doesn't need 15 (or whatever it is right now) frequencies to generate connecting traffic over PHL. Does US have even 10x daily to any destination ex-PHL?


User currently offlinePI767 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3662 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 8):
STL provides DAL. Both BNA and STL provide more direct routings to MSY and Texas.

I'll give you DAL. Yes... STL does help with DAL.

But as far as more direct to MSY and Texas?

LGA-BWI-MSY = 1183 miles
LGA-BNA-MSY = 1235 miles
LGA-STL-MSY = 1492 miles

LGA-BWI-HOU = 1431 miles
LGA-BNA-HOU = 1434 miles
LGA-STL-HOU = 1575 miles

LGA-BWI-AUS = 1527 miles
LGA-BNA-AUS = 1520 miles
LGA-STL-AUS = N/A

LGA-BWI-SAT = 1592 miles
LGA-BNA-SAT = 1586 miles
LGA-STL-SAT = N/A

LGA-BWI-BHM = 867 miles
LGA-BNA-BHM = 941 miles
LGA-STL-BHM = 1299 miles

LGA-BWI-ECP = 983 miles
LGA-BNA-ECP = 1165 miles
LGA-STL-ECP = N/A

LGA-BWI-OKC = 1365 miles
LGA-BNA-OKC = N/A
LGA-STL-OKC = 1350 miles

LGA-BWI-LIT = 1097 miles
LGA-BNA-LIT = N/A
LGA-STL-LIT = 1184 miles

Virtually every destination in the south is served better via BWI than STL or BNA. And in the few instances where STL or BNA provide a "more direct" route, the milage advantage is (at the most) 15 miles.

Plus, as I said, BWI also gives you CHS, ORF, RDU, GSP, etc etc.

I think BWI makes perfect sense for connections out of LGA.


User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3467 times:

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 15):
But BWI sustains itself with O&D traffic. Connects are icing on the cake.

Not to LGA it doesn't. 30 pdew wouldn't sustain 1 flight, let alone 3.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 15):
But the Wright Amendment was repealed, yes? And it involved flying in / out of Dallas-Love Field. BWI was never in the equation.

It is repealed but the phase-out is not immediate. And they had to use the slots somehow...but I would be very surprised if they aren't reassigned to DAL-LGA the instant it becomes legal. (Unless WN picks up a whole lot of additional frequencies.)

Quoting PI767 (Reply 17):
Virtually every destination in the south is served better via BWI than STL or BNA. And in the few instances where STL or BNA provide a "more direct" route, the milage advantage is (at the most) 15 miles.

If "more direct" were the only criteria used in determining the location of a connecting hub, ANC would be the busiest airport in the entire world. It is always better for a flight to have local demand in addition to convenient connections.


User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3148 times:

These flights do well. Unlike service to BOS there was a shortage of direct jet (non RJ and non prop) service to the three NYC metro airports. As usual the lions share went to DCA. Before SWA Life service to LGA your choices were basically pony up the big $$$ for the privelidge to fly a Barbie jet or prop on the legacies. A lot of the suburban areas of the NYC area are accesible. Even with the choo choo and bus one still had to do the MTA thing to get into Manhattan. Also on my end BWI there is a lot of suburban real estate on the I-95 corridor between Baltimore and Washington. BWI is quite popular for the well off DC area suburbanites. And with a LCC these flights make sense. I believe SWA Life flights from BWI to EWR are also doing well. And not to dis the choo choo but Amtrak is not reknowned for being punctual.WN BWI-LGA service compliments the other choices by both land and air.


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineRamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2707 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
These flights do well.
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 19):
I believe SWA Life flights from BWI to EWR are also doing well.

hmmm...

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):

WN gets about 30 local PDEW

Cubs, I believe you, but could you provide your source so we can be done with this one?


User currently offlineslcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3422 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2660 times:

LGA-BWI is not going anywhere on Southwest

Southwest also flies 3x daily on EWR-BWI, 5x daily on ALB-BWI, and 5 times daily on ISP-BWI. I have flown on EWR-BWI no connection a few times for business and it was packed every time. Amtrak is fantastic on the northeast corridor cheaper, city center to city center, less hassle, nicer, and more room but that doesn't mean that southwest is gonna abandon a route that has tons of connection options and little competition. People on here can't seem to adjust that this is the new southwest one that has hubs, is in ATL and DEN, and flies international soon old rules don't apply

[Edited 2011-11-21 12:50:54]

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22909 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2627 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 20):
Cubs, I believe you, but could you provide your source so we can be done with this one?

I got lazy and pulled it from faremeasure, which isn't necessarily 100 percent accurate but wouldn't be more than 50 percent off.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineBlueman87 From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 535 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2605 times:

Quoting LV (Reply 4):
For now... make no mistake the TSA wants to and probably will expand itself to cover checkpoints at Amtrak stations

Amtrak Police do that they can tell TSA to Get Lost if they feel like sense the Trains OWN the building they stop at unlike Airlines who RENT them the incident happened in ATlanta the tsa came to the Amtrak station people called amtrak Police they basically said get the hell out and they had to leave



B6 T5 JFK DL T2/3 JFK
User currently offlineslcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3422 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2602 times:

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 20):
Cubs, I believe you, but could you provide your source so we can be done with this one?
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 22):
I got lazy and pulled it from faremeasure, which isn't necessarily 100 percent accurate but wouldn't be more than 50 percent off.

Sorry not an accurate source.....


25 Cubsrule : All right. What's the correct number?
26 zippyjet : From what I heard, SWA Life will have ATL more as a focus city. But in our industry there's always speculation and it ain't a done deal till the fat
27 WNCrew : Zippyjet, just curious why do you use "SWA Life" to refer to anything WN? It's WN, or SWA... SWALife is exclusively the name of the employee website.
28 zippyjet : Hey fellow crewmember btw, so far its pretty cool working with you all in concourse A/B. I just like the ring of Swa Life though I know its our emplo
29 irelayer : I flew it only because I got a free flight on Southwest and I had to return my rental car at BWI at the tail end of a 1 month work trip... I really wa
30 LV : Yes but Amtrak still receives federal money and is at the whim of Congress. If Congress decides it wants TSA at every Amtrak station guess what will
31 WNCrew : Hi Zippy! Glad to have you! I, for one, am looking forward to meeting everyone! I had a FL FA in our FA lounge this week (we are sharing lounge space
32 Post contains images zippyjet :
33 cofannyc : Lower...for Q2 2011, it was 24.2 PDEW LGA-BWI and 27.2 BWI-LGA. Source: DOT Airline Origin and Destination Survey (DB1B) - a 10% ticket sample report
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