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US Abandoning The Northeast  
User currently offlinenycdave From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 546 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 16512 times:

Barely a decade ago, US was a major player in the northeast. It had a ton of legacy routes and bases from its predecessors like Allegheny and Piedmont, as well as a hub at LGA, and at BOS.

Now, other than the DCA-LGA-BOS shuttle, and the PHL hub, it seems like US has more or less given up competing in the northeast. They gave up their position at LGA and BOS, and have slashed routes and frequencies from places like SYR, ALB, and the like. Just looking at historic route maps, you see a significant "thinning out" of US's northeast presence.

Why would they do that? It's not like it's an easy market to move back *into* if they change their mind down the road. Unless this was some long-view strategy anticipating an eventual merger with AA or UA, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Sure, it's highly competitive, but that's in part because the revenue potential is great due to the huge O/D flows, corporate contracts, and cargo.

Did the growth of B6 undermine the profitability of all those smaller markets they used to connect to LGA and BOS? Could US just not compete with its rivals? I'm really just curious as to why an airline would, so dramatically, move OUT of the northeast, when other airlines like DL invested so heavily in moving INTO it, or like AA and UA, invested in building their product to compete better, or lock down a fortress hub... As I said, it's not like it would be cheap (barring a merger) for US to move *back* into these airports...

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4997 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 16327 times:

So many routes that made the old US are no longer viable. The old Mohawk/Empire/USEx spiderweb NE networks are dead in the water, all about hubs now. Local P2P all over the country is dying unless you have 200+ pax a day minimum. If you don't feed a hub or unless its a biz market, forget it.


Next Up: STL-LGA-RIC-ATL-STL
User currently offlinemilemaster From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1063 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 16289 times:

US sacrificed LGA slots for DCA slots. They are committed to the northeast, but it's better to do it from DCA & PHL rather than competing against the ocean of NYC players with far more fleet and facility firepower than US could ever hope to deploy profitably.

[Edited 2012-12-17 19:25:49]

User currently offlinespiritair97 From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 1231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 16222 times:

What do you mean the only major northeast market they still have is the LGA-DCA shuttle?

They do have the PHL hub, like you said.

They also still have a decent presence at LGA:

Hourly shuttle to BOS
(Almost) hourly shuttle to DCA
12-13x flights daily to PHL
12x flights daily to CLT
7x flights daily to PIT

~60-65 daily flights from LGA

At BOS, they have:

16-18x flights daily to PHL
9-10x flights daily to CLT
Hourly shuttle to LGA
Hourly shuttle to DCA
2-3x flights daily to PHX
3x flights daily to BUF
2x flights daily to RIC
2-3x flights daily to SYR
2x flights daily to MDT

~70 flights a day from BOS

Just between LGA and BOS, that's around 140 flights each day!! I'd hardly call that abandoning the northeast.

As for other Northeast airports,

PVD has:

5-6x daily flights to CLT
6-7x daily flights to PHL
4-5x daily flights to DCA

ALB has:

2-3x daily flights to CLT
5-6x daily flights to PHL
2-3x daily flights to DCA

BDL has:

6x daily flights to DCA
5x daily flights to CLT
7x daily flights to PHL

SYR has:

7x daily flights to PHL
2-3x daily flights to CLT
4x daily flights to DCA

Between these airports:

~60 flights each day, and that isn't even close to all their northeastern airports.

While I do see your point about how US Airways has scaled back quite a bit, I would never call it abandonment in it's current state.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7180 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 16167 times:

Here's what I am wondering, if AA and US don't merge, and they continue this potential trend, does anyone think they'll do some domestic expanding at CLT and PHX?

No PHX bias intended by the way  



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4036 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 15966 times:

New England maybe. Not the Northeast.

The scaling back in the region consists almost completely of the closing of the BOS focus city and downsizing of LGA. Both remain very important stations for US. How many stations have been completely closed? That would be much more cause for concern but I don't recall very many.


User currently onlineusflyer msp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 15770 times:

US has scaled back in NE. It is the result of higher fuel prices, new weight requirements on regional aircraft and security delays since 9/11 making shorthaul, intra-northeast flights both undesirable for pax and unprofitable for airlines. US had to change or die...

User currently offlineNWADTWE16 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 15595 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 6):
US had to change or die...

and now they are a great carrier which makes this merger talk all the more horrible..please dont go US
=(


User currently offlineSquid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 15548 times:

Don't forget that many of the small to mid-sized cities in the NE have stagnated over the last several decades with the shrinking of the steel industry, auto part manufacturing plants closing and moving abroad, other manufacturing cities losing their factories, and farmers farming more land pushing other farmers out of business and into the cities. Really the only reason many of the point to point flights lasted so long was because America's mid-sized cities were vibrant and CAB regulations forced airlines onto those routes. After deregulation, coupled with the dramatic shift in America's economy, it was only a matter of time before these flights were ended.

User currently offlinethreeifbyair From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 15524 times:

BOS and BDL still have PIT service as well, athough not mainline.

BDL-PIT is E145s, BOS-PIT is a mix of CRJs and E170s.


User currently offlinejfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3377 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 15326 times:

They still have a NE presence.

They have basically given up on LGA and BOS.

You mention 65-70 flights each...but they are not well rounded. It is high frequency service to a handful of cities. I don't know about BOS, but they end up wasting the slots they do have in NY....because it doesn't work.

Unless you are flying to CLT or PHL (why would you fly to PHL from NY), you have no reason to fly them. Period.

The shuttle service used to supplement a large network for business travellers. Now DL has that and US doesn't. (Both Shuttles lose lots of money btw)

The remainder of those flights into LGA are filled with connectors in PHL, CLT and to a lesser extent DC. Then they are competing with DL in ATL, DL in MEM, UA in IAD, plus the nonstops from NYC on DL, AA, UA, and B6 to just about anywhere.

US is in a bad position in NYC and the merger with AA won't really change that. It will give the new airline a half-hearted hub at JFK and another 65 LGA slots that they won't know how to deploy profitably.


User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3034 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 14447 times:

Up until September 11th, US operated a large point-to-point operation in the northeast. Basically, almost every medium/large city in the Northeast was well served by US. In one of my 2000 era timetables I counted 54 nonstops from ALB, 51 from SYR, 44 from BUF, 41 from PVD, and 38 from BDL. ALB/SYR and to a lesser extent of BUF and PVD acted as mini focus cities connecting pax in small towns to mainline US service. During this time ALB/SYR/BDL all had daily Florida service by Metrojet, and BUF had weekly Florida service through Mainline. PVD had weekly service to Florida through Metrojet. The reason ALB and SYR had more flights than other cities as they were US's "Gateway to Rural NY" as I call it. ALB had frequent flights to the Adirondack towns of SLK and PBG (in addition to BWI, BGM, BOS, BUF, BTV, CLT, ISP, LGA, EWR, MCO, PHL, PIT, PVD, ROC, SYR, IAD, and DCA). ALB is also more in the middle of the Northeast than the other cities above, enabling better connections. SYR had frequent flights to the Leatherstocking Region of NY (ELM/ITH/UCA). ELM and ITH had mainline service as well at this time.

What killed US on these P2P routes is when regional turboprop flying became expensive, and ultimately, when TSA and security killed short flights. That, and the advancement of LCCs. We have to remember that during this time, US operated a mismatched fleet (727s, 732s,733s, 734s, 752s, 762s, 319s, 320s, DC9s, MD80s, F100s) A321s were to be introduced in 2001, and I believe A333s were delivered in late 2000. Along with the mismatched fleet, US had high labor costs during this time. Flights longer than 1.5 hours during Breakfast and Lunch had a meal service in Coach. Combine all of these factors, and you have an expensive operation.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineN62NA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4411 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10069 times:

Quoting Squid (Reply 8):
Don't forget that many of the small to mid-sized cities in the NE have stagnated over the last several decades

This is something that can't be underestimated, especially in upstate New York.


User currently offlinejfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3377 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9549 times:

Well the regional jet changed this too.

SYR/ROC/BUF/ALB are all connected to major hubs in the midwest and southeast with connections to the world.

All of those cities and small towns listed above are within a 1 to 2 hour drive of a nonstop flight to ATL, CLT, JFK, IAD, ORD, or DTW.

Good enough really.

The whole airline dynamic has changed


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9317 times:

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 6):

US has scaled back in NE. It is the result of higher fuel prices, new weight requirements on regional aircraft and security delays since 9/11 making shorthaul, intra-northeast flights both undesirable for pax and unprofitable for airlines. US had to change or die...

Amtrak has eaten away at the business passenger market by allowing one to travel between Boston, New York and Washington without the hassles of flying. You can save time and the wonderful TSA harassment at the airport and be where business is in the core of these cities. Or if you need to get to a particular location, you still need to take a cab.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineboeing71234567 From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9293 times:

BDL seems fine in terms with US. They have 6x flights to DCA, 5x to CLT, and 7x to PHL. They recently upgraded one of their flights to A319's from E170's. The route usually averages 75%+ load factors each flight depending on the aircraft. PHL has also upgraded to an A319 every day from BDL one one of their flights with 80%+ load factors on each flight. CLT seems to be full every flight. They have all mainline every day, and recently upgraded to an A321 on one of their flights. Each flight seems to be at least 85% to 90% full, usually more. There is also a rumor going around that service to PHX from BDL will be announced soon. It seems like BDL and BOS are major players for US in the New England market. I wouldn't say New England has been abandoned, but there have been noticeable drops.

User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9235 times:

Abandonded the Northeast...last time I checked US served BGR, BTV, MHT, PVD, BDL, BOS, ELM, ITH, BGM, ALB, SYR, ROC, HVN, SBY, IPT, AVP, ABE, HPN, ISP, LGA, PHL, MDT, PIT, ERI, etc.

I don't think any other carrier serves more destinations in the Northeast than US...even in spite of the recent cuts to the big NE cities. So have they abandoned the Northeast? Hardly. Are they smarter in the way they serve the Northeast? Absolutely.


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 693 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9012 times:

Quoting N62NA (Reply 12):
Quoting Squid (Reply 8):
Don't forget that many of the small to mid-sized cities in the NE have stagnated over the last several decades

This is something that can't be underestimated, especially in upstate New York.

I think the rust belt thing can certainly be overstated when it comes to actually recent decades. Total passengers summed up along BUF/ROC/SYR/ALB might be interestingly tepid, but relative to everywhere else? eh.


User currently offlineRL757PVD From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4645 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8818 times:

Quoting boeing71234567 (Reply 15):
It seems like BDL and BOS are major players for US in the New England market

Yes, however, in the past 10-15 years US has dropped the following nonstop destinations from BDL:

BUF, ROC, SYR, BWI, MCO, FLL, TPA, LGA, PHX, LAS, PBI and IAD ...with PIT probably joining that list sooner or later.



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlinesteeler83 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 9176 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7198 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 16):
Abandonded the Northeast...last time I checked US served BGR, BTV, MHT, PVD, BDL, BOS, ELM, ITH, BGM, ALB, SYR, ROC, HVN, SBY, IPT, AVP, ABE, HPN, ISP, LGA, PHL, MDT, PIT, ERI, etc.

I don't think any other carrier serves more destinations in the Northeast than US...even in spite of the recent cuts to the big NE cities. So have they abandoned the Northeast? Hardly. Are they smarter in the way they serve the Northeast? Absolutely.

  

Yeah, let's see. Way back in the day, didn't US have sizeable operations (60-plus daily departures) at SYR, BUF, ALB, BDL, BOS, LGA, BWI, PIT, PHL, LGA, DCA, just to name a few? I know PIT, PHL, and BWI as recent as 2001 were all hubs plus the large focus cities at LGA, BOS, and DCA. Now it's just PHL with a growing DCA hub.

If this NE "pull down" is due to speculation of a merger with AA, then they'd likely have a stronger hold on the NE. Some here seem to think that JFK could focus on high-yield OD, both domestically and internationally, while PHL could handle some lower yielding O&D plus connecting traffic. That was someone's post from the US/AA offical merger offer thread. I forget who posted it, but it's there...



Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
User currently offlinetommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6756 times:

Crazy how US at one time had hubs at BWI, PHL, DCA, PIT, DAY, SYR, and IND all at the same time...

Didn't ALB have some 40ish flights a day and a club as recently as 2001?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7447 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

Quoting RL757PVD (Reply 18):
Yes, however, in the past 10-15 years US has dropped the following nonstop destinations from BDL:

BUF, ROC, SYR, BWI, MCO, FLL, TPA, LGA, PHX, LAS, PBI and IAD ...with PIT probably joining that list sooner or later.

I remember reading that US' ROC-BDL flights were mostly there for Xerox. I rememner US having a club in ROC. They also used to have mainline flights to MCO and PHL. Now we only get one A319 to CLT on the mainline side..



'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1861 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5797 times:

As others have said, yes, US had a huge point-to-point spiderweb of a network in the northeast. and yes, that's gone. but why should we be surprised by that?

now in 2012, does any other airline still operate such a regional spiderweb, connecting smaller cities like that?

it's a sign of what's commercially viable today, not any statement on US's commitment to the region.


User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3034 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5694 times:

Quoting tommy767 (Reply 20):
Didn't ALB have some 40ish flights a day and a club as recently as 2001

Do people not read my posts?

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 11):
one of my 2000 era timetables I counted 54 nonstops from ALB
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 11):
ALB had frequent flights to the Adirondack towns of SLK and PBG (in addition to BWI, BGM, BOS, BUF, BTV, CLT, ISP, LGA, EWR, MCO, PHL, PIT, PVD, ROC, SYR, IAD, and DCA). ALB is also more in the middle of the Northeast than the other cities above, enabling better connections

As seen above, ALB had a 50 plus operation in both 2001 and 2000.

The club closed after 9/11. It is still intact, but the sign is gone and the wooden doors were replaced with the same doors found at the jetway.



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlinepanam330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2669 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 23):
The club closed after 9/11. It is still intact, but the sign is gone and the wooden doors were replaced with the same doors found at the jetway.

The SYR club is still intact as well - wooden doors and all.


25 USAirALB : When did the club close?
26 HVNandrew : I that that was the purpose of CO's old HPN-ROC flights. BDL is pretty out of the way from Stamford. HPN is right next door. The BDL-ROC/SYR were hol
27 doug_Or : Remember that a large number of these smaller p2p routes were not US routes (at least not for the last 5+ years). They were Colgan routes flown at ris
28 Post contains images EricR : The use of the word "abandoned" is not the proper term to describe what US did to their Northeast route structure. Remember that US announced a few y
29 Post contains images PHLBOS : Not to mention two Chapter 11 fillings w/in a 2-to-3 year period and a close brush w/Chapter 7 had HP not stepped in. Keep in mind US' decisions have
30 jfklganyc : It's true, but rarely mentioned on here. US was weeks if not days away from total insolvency in the winter of 2005 I believe. A lot changed...for the
31 HPRamper : While the Northeast may get a lot more attention, it is in the Western half of the country where US has really downsized post-merger.
32 nycdave : Oy vey. First of all, I said ABANDONING not "abandoned". Don't know how that entered into things, other than people wanting a straw man for some inexp
33 HPRamper : US clearly cares more about profitability than market share and it has worked out well for them so far. The old pre-merger US had the opposite strate
34 Revelation : Interesting topic, since I will be flying US for the first time in quite a while. My holiday itenerary is MHT-PHL-TPA, TPA-DCA-MHT. I usually use WN,
35 EricR : The answer to the first part of your question is below. The answer to your second question is yes. The airline's financial performance has been very
36 SSTeve : Where WN didn't get to first. I know there's now some overlap, but it was always interesting to see WN and B6 avoiding competition at places like ROC
37 IADCA : This is a good summary. Also, nycdave - this is mentioned by HPRamper, but I wanted to make it even more clear - remember that US didn't give away LG
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