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Why Is Heathrow So Important?  
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 1028 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12138 times:
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Airlines always jockying for position there. Heathrow's slots seem to be most sought after of any major airport, now even one airline "might consider switching alliances" if it buys a competitor just to gain more access to that airport.

There are so many systematically important airports in the world (NRT, SYD, LAX, JFK, CDG, FRA etc)

Why are so many airlines all Gung ho over LHR???

80 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12155 times:

The slot situation isn't LHR specific. Many big airlines around the world, including JFK (from your list), have the same thing.

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):

Why are so many airlines all Gung ho over LHR???

It's a huge business hub with a huge population base that has a bunch of money. All of these things bring people in, and specifically business people, who are willing to spend money on travel. London is one of the worlds biggest business cities, so along with it comes a huge amount of high yielding travel, which a lot of airlines want in on.


User currently offlinezhiao From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12099 times:
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Because of London, and its geographic position.

User currently onlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12075 times:

It has to do with the old good British Empire and its colonies. There are still many political, business and personal ties to London making it a prime destination.
For decades US travelers to Europe picked London as their number one place to go and even when they go elsewhere they fly to London.


User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11965 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12048 times:

Because London is so important. London is, along with New York, basically at the center of the global economic system, and as such generates an astounding amount of air traffic demand and - importantly - an extremely high proportion of high-yielding, premium, business traffic demand. Airlines crave and seek this type of passenger who pays a high fare, and often. Given that, it's only natural that the airport in the region that is both (a) the largest, and (b) the closest to the city that can handle any major longhaul traffic, that airport is going to attract a disproportionately high level of attention from global airlines.

User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25978 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12024 times:

Airlines serving LHR normally generate higher yields than those serving other European hubs since a higher percentage of LHR traffic is O&D rather than connecting traffic. Yields on nonstop O&D routes are almost always higher than for traffic connecting through a hub since a nonstop is a better product, and when you connect through a hub you're normally competing with many other one-stop connections.

Carriers like KLM and Swiss wouldn't exist (or would be a tiny fraction of their current size) if they had to rely only on O&D traffic to/from the Netherlands and Switzerland. BA could survive quite well even if they carried nothing but O&D traffic to/from London.

As already mentioned, London is one of the world's major financial centers and thus attracts a higher proportion of high yield traffic paying the highest fares than most other airports.


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2432 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11791 times:

I think the OP means why all the airlines flock to just LHR and not LGW or Stansted or Luton. I have wondered that as well. My guess is it would be the closest to the city center, besides LCY of course. But I've only been to London once and flew into LGW so I don't know much.


Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlinequestions From Australia, joined Sep 2011, 852 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11729 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
BA could survive quite well even if they carried nothing but O&D traffic to/from London.

Really? You mean like how VS is surviving quite well?


User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 1028 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11393 times:
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Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
Airlines serving LHR normally generate higher yields than those serving other European hubs since a higher percentage of LHR traffic is O&D rather than connecting traffic. .

Maybe that's it

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
I think the OP means why all the airlines flock to just LHR and not LGW or Stansted or Luton

yes thank you, that's what I meant


As for London being a "financial hub" and the " center of the global economic universe", then why don't these airlines show the same enthusiam for LGW, Standted or Luton.

are there even any U.S airlines still flying to LGW?


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11354 times:

Quoting questions (Reply 7):
Really? You mean like how VS is surviving quite well?
VS is a great airline (shame about the management) but it is no BA.

BA is in oneWorld, has JV's that span the globe and is half of IAG.

That's the difference.

Besides... the very existence of VS (they are very unique now) is testament to $$$ appeal of LHR.

[Edited 2012-01-19 03:11:32]


Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineeljonno From Australia, joined Sep 2008, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 11345 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 8):
are there even any U.S airlines still flying to LGW?

Yes. DL from ATL and US from CLT. Not sure why they haven't moved up the road to LHR though.


User currently offlinetayser From Australia, joined Mar 2008, 1135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11305 times:

Because it's the financial* capital of the globe.

* New York = equities, Chicago = futures/derivatives, London = banking/foreign exchange

London and continental Europe straddle the middle of the financial day. Australia/Asia start the day, Europe are in the middle, the Americas at the end of the day. The London morning deals with the Asia/Australia end of day and the London afternoon deals with the Americas' morning - it's a position that is never going to change.

LHR just happens to be the most convenient airport for international flights in London.


User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 821 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11277 times:

As a capital London is unique in that not only is it the capital city, but also the centre of business and media.

The UK economy is heavily geared to London & The South East. GDP per head and the ratio of private sector employment to public sector employment is much higher than in the rest of the UK.

As well as being one of the world’s biggest financial centres, London is also a major player in the creative industries (fashion, advertising, television, music, print/publishing).

London, as well as Oxford and Cambridge, is also a popular choice for international students. It’s probably only one of a handful of cities that can truly claim be an international city and to be honest having lived/worked in and outside of London it’s almost a different country compared other parts of England.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7625 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11256 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
I think the OP means why all the airlines flock to just LHR and not LGW or Stansted or Luton.

My simplistic answer if this is what the OP really meant is that is the way the Brits want it.
The airports in the London city area are under their control, they have the ability to channel traffic where they see fit, including ensuring that their is sufficient ground transportation available to and from the city center and surrounding areas.
A lot of money has been spent on LHR, less so on the others, there are a few laws / rules that were put in place years ago to prevent expansion. BA had some split operation between LHR and LGW but for the most part I believe that was voluntary on the airlines part and not a mandate by the government to "rationalize" the air traffic situation.

I guess there is also something to be said about a single airport being so important versus saying a city and its airports are most important, a sense of pride somewhat. Looking at the debate on an additional runway at LHR and the continued growth expected in the industry, LHR will get more delays, larger a/c will be mandated thus either forcing smaller players from the market or pushing them into high risk strategies to get larger a/c specifically to serve one airport in their route structure, the airport may well become more exclusive and more in demand than at present.
One thing I do not see happening is a new airport or additional runways as long as traffic and interest remains, when those start falling off the topic will be seriously addressed.


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11193 times:

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 12):
to be honest having lived/worked in and outside of London it’s almost a different country compared other parts of England.

It is a metropolis. You are correct but of course it is different to other parts of the UK.

Consider Paris especially.

Parisians are practically a different breed to the rest of the French !!

The coasts of the U.S.A, Los Angeles and New York. The populations of these cities although 3,000 miles apart have similar political tendancies compared to the central belt.

London is not unique in this way.

Metropolitan versus provincial...touchy subject.

[Edited 2012-01-19 03:57:04]


Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11157 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):

With the amount of transit traffic BA get at LHR, it would struggle if it was just O/D traffic. Transfer traffic brings in once In a while more people thru the airport then are actually Joining In London at some peak periods. If the carrier was O/D only it would look very different then it does now.


User currently offlinerichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3762 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11158 times:

There are many Brits for whom Heathrow is not important to them as passengers, most of these live outside London and some of them base their facts on what their parents or friends told them and they may have last visited in 1989, before T5 was built, before T4 was refurbished and before T2 was knocked down.

User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11150 times:

Quoting richardw (Reply 16):

But out of the UK, most big carriers bring their customers to LHR. some have smaller aircraft operating to regions from their own hubs, but their is more scope and flexibility flying thru LHR, especially longhaul, to get to a lot of Euro and UK destinations. That can not be denied.


User currently offlinerichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3762 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11117 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 17):
But out of the UK, most big carriers bring their customers to LHR. some have smaller aircraft operating to regions from their own hubs, but their is more scope and flexibility flying thru LHR, especially longhaul, to get to a lot of Euro and UK destinations. That can not be denied.

UK regional airports have

US carriers
Middle East carriers
Far East carriers
European carriers with hubs in France, The Netherlands and Germany.
bmibaby, easyJet, Jet2, and Ryanair and charter airlines all fly to Europe.

Many Brits away from Heathrow can fly from regional airports to many places in this world avoiding Heathrow.


User currently offlineJosh32121 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 369 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 11086 times:

Quoting eljonno (Reply 10):
Yes. DL from ATL and US from CLT. Not sure why they haven't moved up the road to LHR though.

I can't speak for US, but to clarify, DL serves both airports with the only LGW service being a single ATL-LGW round-trip daily versus BOS, JFK (3x), ATL, MIA, MSP, and DTW service to LHR. There must be a business reason for continuing to serve Gatwick. Perhaps business travelers going to destinations just south of the city or very price-conscious leisure travelers and FF-ers redeeming SkyMiles (which would free up more seats on the LHR flight--particularly in J--that they can sell for cash instead on award tickets). ATL-LGW was also DL's first transatlantic flight, so perhaps there's some nostalgia at play, too.


User currently offlineGingersnap From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2010, 898 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11011 times:

Quoting richardw (Reply 18):
Many Brits away from Heathrow can fly from regional airports to many places in this world avoiding Heathrow.

Very true, but at times I've noticed at a premium.

Went skiing in the Alps a couple of years back, and we wanted to fly down to GVA. We looked at various airlines and airports, and the cheapest was by far with LH out of LHR via FRA which we chose.



Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10931 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 17):
But out of the UK, most big carriers bring their customers to LHR. some have smaller aircraft operating to regions from their own hubs, but their is more scope and flexibility flying thru LHR, especially longhaul, to get to a lot of Euro and UK destinations. That can not be denied.

It can on A.net.

Discounting transfer traffic (EK, EY etc) how many scheduled long-haul non-stop routes are there from airports outside of London ?

Couple of upholstered rollerskates to the east coast, UAE, VS to Vegas, Disney World.

That about it ?



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinerichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3762 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10894 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 21):
That about it ?

No, see the clues in reply 18.

If I live in ABZ and want to fly long haul, I have a choice of connecting at Dublin, Paris, Frankfurt, Heathrow, Amsterdam, going East, West and South.

[Edited 2012-01-19 05:28:48]

User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3038 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10823 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 21):
can on A.net.

Discounting transfer traffic (EK, EY etc) how many scheduled long-haul non-stop routes are there from airports outside of London ?

Couple of upholstered rollerskates to the east coast, UAE, VS to Vegas, Disney World.

That about it ?

Into Manchester,Singapore Pakistan, Air Blue and Biman !
Plus China Airlines Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo and Cathay Pacific Cargo.

Into Aberdeen - AZAL Azerbaijan


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10648 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 23):
Into Manchester,Singapore Pakistan, Air Blue and Biman !
Plus China Airlines Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo and Cathay Pacific Cargo.

SQ is via MUC though. Cargo not really the same thing is it ? Pakistan, Biman - couple of world leaders there !

Quoting richardw (Reply 18):
UK regional airports have

US carriers
Middle East carriers
Far East carriers
European carriers with hubs in France, The Netherlands and Germany.
bmibaby, easyJet, Jet2, and Ryanair and charter airlines all fly to Europe.

US carriers - before mentioned upholstered rollerskates. Then only a couple of them.

Middle East carriers
Far East carriers - it's mostly connecting traffic, not much O&D

European carriers with hubs in France, The Netherlands and Germany - more connecting traffic.

C'mon guys - be realistic. Transfer is great it works. Non-stop - it's Heathrow.

Where's Cathay, Thai, Qantas, South African, United, AIr India, JAL, Air China, Korean, LAN...ad infinitum

More importantly where's BA and VS ?

Down the road, that's where.

Don't you think VS would be operating otherwise ?



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
25 YTZ : Heathrow is important because London is important. It was the first real global city. And it remains among the most pre-eminent of global cities. That
26 rutankrd : Manchester AA - JFK and O'Hare UA - EWK and Dullas US - Philadelphia DL= Atlanta (JFK suspended in 2012) Yes AA and UA are using 75W and they also use
27 Post contains images mikey72 : In the case of BA the amount of traffic that is 'lost' by being London centric is far less than the amount of traffic 'gained' from other areas due t
28 rutankrd : LAN does not and has never served the UK preferring Frankfurt even through they are in One World. Chile has long standing trade links with major Germ
29 oldtimer : You are too LHR orientated, I spent 24 years of my life flying all over the world avoiding LHR , and I only had to go there to get direct to CGN. LHR
30 rutankrd : Oldtimer i have some sympathy with your sentiment if a little outdated. T5 is actually a very good experience, however i agree travelling anything le
31 kgaiflyer : From the perspective of a rollerbag tourist rather than a business person -- It's so much easier to fly out of Heathrow vs. Gatwick. With a rollerbag
32 richardw : It is a one stop at MUC, same aircraft B77W, same flight number 327
33 lhr380 : Sorry old timer, when did you last fly from LHR?
34 skipness1E : Air Canada still has a much bigger operation from LHR than FRA, the same goes for South African and Air China operates one A332 from each. In what wa
35 kgaiflyer : You're obviously talking about old Terminal 2. Terminal 2 was a dump (even the eateries were crappy). But it's been closed.
36 Post contains images mikey72 : Charming ! LOL Each to their own though. But hasn't BA Club World always been very successful ? Fawning over First Class passengers ? You want to try
37 vinniewinnie : You have never been to T5 have you? T3 is actually pretty good. What is sorely lacking is a transit system behind the security checks linking all ter
38 Post contains links GCT64 : International Airlines Group Investor Presentation (by LHRFlyer Nov 11 2011 in Civil Aviation) London O&D market is bigger than both the Paris &am
39 lhr380 : Oh, I missed your last dig at BA. so outdated hated of BA and LHR. That's the problem with some people, even if they have not been to a place for yea
40 g500 : WOW that pretty much sums it up Hard to believe than LHR O&D market is bigger than AMS and CDG combined.... Paris is the most visited city in the
41 richardw : I have flown BA B77W JFK-LHR in April 2011 in New World traveller, great cabin and seating but a 31" pitch is tight, an extra inch on an AC A333 at 32
42 rutankrd : Sorry divested interest ! Sorry But Air China have 2 flights day into Frankfurt AND one to Munich and one to Dusseldorf but just a 332 to LHR True Ai
43 Post contains links mainMAN : I certainly wouldn't describe London as the only true international city in the UK. In terms of students, I'd class Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, an
44 rfields5421 : As they say in the real estate business the three most important reasons are Location,, Location,, and Location. LAX for example is in a terrible loc
45 Post contains links Viscount724 : Next time, sit in the center section (the 4-across seats) of AC A333s in the forward Y class cabin. Seat pitch in those seats is 33 inches. http://ai
46 skipness1E : I can find one flight from FRA-JNB per day, SA260 / 261 and one from MUC-JNB, SA265 / 266.Germany is WAY bigger than the UK and more geographically d
47 Post contains links ScottishDavie : Maybe not but it's the only UK city I know where I actually feel foreign. The whole London airport situation is insane. LHR operates dangerously clos
48 lhr380 : With Boris island, your going to Get a massive population shift, and untold disruption as new transport links will have to be created. Major and minor
49 LGWflyer : 100% agree! It will be a huge waste amount of money (which we don't have), and I mean if they are so desperate for this airport to happen just add mo
50 commavia : Having flown several times recently on BA, I have found BA's Y cabins extremely comfortable by international standards. I respectfully disagree. T3,
51 oldtimer : Last year as a matter of fact. T5 is better than most, just as crowded though and too BA orientated. Still do not like T4. As stated earlier, its a d
52 lhr380 : Of course T5 is BA orientated, it's their terminal and has done wonders for the airline since it opened. Onetime ready to go baggage targets have all
53 mikey72 : Dead right ! In the case of BA the amount of traffic that is 'lost' by being London centric is far less than the amount of traffic 'gained' from othe
54 Post contains images oldtimer : lhr380 As stated, you work there and like it, I worked there and hated it. Its your personal point of view, and mine is different. The same with BA, I
55 skipness1E : Actually as a fellow Scot I know what you mean but from my persepctive it is liberating. Instead of being a Jock in Engerland, I am a citizen of a wo
56 Post contains images foxxray : Agree GCT64 should give us his source...! What is the percentage of connecting passengers at Heathrow ?
57 EuroWings : I'd agree about KL, AF and EK, but LH has 3 major hubs (soon to be 4) across Germany; MUC, FRA, DUS and shortly BER, each in different areas of the c
58 GCT64 : Did you look at my post? It is referenced there: the A.net thread on the IAG investor presentation. If you read the actual investor presentation, the
59 lhr380 : You used SQ as an example from MAN. so MAN MUC SIN SYD vs MAN LHR SIN SYD, both involve around the same flight times, though the BA flight to MAN is
60 richardw : MAN-MUC-SIN-SYD is 2 aircraft with one change, it is just a stop at MUC, no need to change aircraft. MAN-LHR-SIN-SYD is 3 aircraft with 2 changes.
61 lhr380 : Do you stay on the plane in MUC or do you get off and back on
62 skipness1E : With BA this should is do-able with two aircraft and only one change, A320 * MAN-LHR and B772 / B744 LHR-SIN/BKK-Australia.
63 lhr380 : Oh yea, did not see that mistake. From the summer with BA at least It will be 1 aircraft LHR SYD via SIN. Though at the mo their is the BKK SYD fligh
64 XT6Wagon : LHR is important because LHR is important. In a kind of chicken and egg problem, LHR is in large part important only because its currently important.
65 parapente : reply 65. You make some very interesting points.Some I agree with some not.But overall - nothing stands still and nor will Heathrow. 1. There is no do
66 EuroWings : That was due to happen in the Autumn of 2013 but has been delayed to 2015 for various reasons.
67 Post contains images LX138 : Then you are thinking in a deluded way because: 1. There won't be THAT many more people coming through LHR during the Olympics - the airport continua
68 skipness1E : Olmpics travel will be equivalent to a busy bank holiday or the run up to Christmas as there is just no capacity to add anymore. Some airlines will te
69 rutankrd : Agreed much/most of the spectator ticket holders are domestic , and many of the team competitors will arrive in advance and disperse to various train
70 XT6Wagon : Big difference between a one day spike and having the same kinds of traffic for a Month. Why its going to be bad is exactly as you say, its normaly n
71 Post contains images LX138 : Yes, but it won't lead to LHR's 'downfall' as you say
72 XT6Wagon : As an Airport? no. As a hub? Sorry but I think the writing is on the wall. Won't happen over night, but I fully believe that in 10 years the % of con
73 LX138 : Don't think it will be. Its not a large connecting hub as of today in comparison to CDG and AMS.
74 Post contains images mikey72 : Good, bring it on. It will be replaced by more valuable O&D. AF-KLM is the largest airline in Europe by revenue and they're running in the red. W
75 Post contains images mandala499 : While the flight times are similar, I wonder, how about the door-to-door time? LHR's advantage is the door to door time for going to/from major UK de
76 rutankrd : Agreed and all the predictions suggest that LHR O&D traffic % will increase relative to transits in the years to come. Mikey it also true that O&
77 Viscount724 : But if you connect at AMS there's no need for buses between terminals since it's all in one terminal. Much more convenient, shorter connecting times,
78 Post contains images YVRLTN : What the OP was actually asking is is an interesting question - why LHR vs LGW or the others. I guess its all about history. Pre WW2, Imperial flew ex
79 mikey72 : You're right there. However, certain markets that are currently under served are simply becoming too important/valuable for the UK and its airlines t
80 SA7700 : This thread has run its course and will be locked for further contributions. Please note that any posts added after the thread lock will be removed fo
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