2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1022 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 2203 times:
I have been thinking of how WN operates and the challenges that Atlanta brings to that. Specifically as it relates to accuracy in predicting the turnaround time for an airport.
WN has long had a strategy of working from primarily secondary airports where they had short and consistent time predictions from gate rollout to takeoff. Combined that with their short turn time at the gate and WN could often utilize an aircraft over 6 to 10 stages (or legs) a day.
One of the challenges that I see with Atlanta is my personal experience of spending a lot of time waiting for takeoff slots. While some times there has been no noticeable delays - other times have had noticeable delays; not to mention the one time 3+ hours sitting in the hot sun in 1995 or 1996 waiting for takeoff (I think most of us have experienced a flight like that sometime somewhere).
So how will WN account for this and keep their other flights on schedule? My guess is that they do an analysis of the typical range of gate to takeoff time, and then set their planned time to account for somewhere in the 75% - 85% range. This means that they may lose some of their overall aircraft utilization time - but, my guess is that being in Atlanta is worth that. The other thing it means is that when gate to takeoff times are reasonable that people will arrive at their next destination early - which means that the next leg needs to be a location that has a spare gate to accommodate an early arrival (or you end up waiting to gate after landing).
Of course this also applies to other major airports that WN may move into. I note though that I have never had noticeable non-weather related delays in Milwaukee or Denver like I have experienced in Atlanta (and I do understand the weather related ones living in Wisconsin and experiencing major snowstorms, etc).
Cubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22300 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 2129 times:
Quoting 2175301 (Thread starter): WN has long had a strategy of working from primarily secondary airports where they had short and consistent time predictions from gate rollout to takeoff. Combined that with their short turn time at the gate and WN could often utilize an aircraft over 6 to 10 stages (or legs) a day.
In 2000, that was true. But now WN flies to SFO, LGA, PHL, BOS, etc. every day.
Why is ATL different?
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2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1022 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1350 times:
My apologies; as I was not aware that WN was already operating out of delay prone airports.
The reason I started thinking about this was due to some insistence by other posters in the "WN labor cost are high" thread that Atlanta would be a whole new ballgame for WN. The only meaningful difference that I could see in Atlanta was the delays that I have experienced there. I do not fly much from either the far east or far west airports (Seattle being the one exception) so I do not have much relevant experience with the airports listed above (I've been to all of them - but like once or twice in the last 20 years; whereas I've been through Atlanta perhaps 20-30 times in the same period).
I will now not worry about how well WN will do in Atlanta.