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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 10:45 am

Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 3:42 am

Just wondering, which major airlines are mostly wheel/spoke based (hubs to other cities) and which are more point to point?

Thanks in advance!
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 1999 12:01 pm

RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 6:46 am

Southwest is the best example of point-to-point, and they have done very well with it. Most airlines use the hub and spoke method because it brings passengers into a central location.

This morning I was flying from Orlando to Atlanta, and I was hoping the flight would be rather empty. After all, I thought, how many people in Orlando really are going to Atlanta? But what you must realize is that the plane was full of people going elsewhere, but were funnelled through Delta's Atlanta hub. From an economic standpoint, it makes sense, which is why most of the major carriers use this method.

RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 7:06 am

I was watching a show about baggage last night, and the show was being shot at Atlanta-Hartsfield and one guy from Delta was quoted as saying that 70% of Delta passengers coming in to Atlanta are connecting on to some other destination.
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RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 7:10 am

The same way Southwest is a good example of a point to point operation, UAL is a perfect example of the hub and spoke system. United can feed any passenger regardless of location to and from their major hubs. Obviously, assistence is needed from their regionals to transport the more remotely located passengers.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
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RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 7:19 am

trickijedi said it best,united can indeed feed the hub cities by using the smaller commuter flights.they say that one reason they(UAL) went to the hub and spoke system,so that they could feed passengers throughout the world with only one connection.obviously that isnt going to happen all the time,but from my experience this system of transfers and connections has worked out wonderfully.

ual 777 contrail
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RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 7:36 am

Yeah, like you all said, most airlines use a central hub. On a different note, I'm probably one of the few people who actually have ATL as their final destination when they fly here. That's because I live in Atlanta though. It's nice to be able to fly to a lot of places, but I like more flights on a trip and because I can fly so many places from ATL on Delta, most of my flights are nonstops which is not ideal for me.
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RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 8:02 am

What is impossible in hub-and-spoke is any kind of personalized service. After 2 trips in one month through Islip on WN, the ticket agent knew me by NAME. That hasn't happened to me since my last trip in a DC-3. Try that one going through ATL. Lets hear it for Herb and have a shot of Wild Turkey.
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RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 11:08 am

For me, living at an AA hub, it is very convenient for me as I can go to a ton of places non-stop. However, somebody living in a non-hub city probably does not like it as they have to connect to get everywhere. All in all, funnelling people through hubs probably produces more pax than point to point.

I have been on oversold flights where my family and a few other people are the only ones not transferring. I am sure airlines make more money off of it.

Not only that, but it is probably easier operational wise so you can decide where to put a maintenance base and hanger. The answer is simple- at your select hubs. For point to point airlines, you run into that problem a little bit more.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
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RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 11:30 am

From an economic view, Hub and Spoke is a much more efficient system (just look at the Cargo Airlines, but then again your package doesn't care that it has to fly from Oakland to Denver through Memphis). Rather than hoping to find 150 passengers flying from San Francisco to Milwaukee on a given day, you can package all the people going to Milwaukee and offer multiple flights to Milwaukee each day (just an example).

WN route system is a modified Hub and Spoke, and then they offer point to point in each city's most likely destination. Most flights from Southern Cal to the Northwest have a stop over in Oakland. However, most WN cities in the Northwest have non-stop service to Seattle. I think there is also a non-stop flight from Boise to Spokane (I doubt any other airline has a similar example).
barney captain
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 1:22 pm

On one note I can see a certain economy with hub and spoke, but in a far greater sense, vast inefficiencies. The entire "system" gets pushed beyond it's capacity during any bank of flights, and then sits like a virtual ghost town for the next 2 hours. Try getting in to any major hub during a bank arrival and it's major delays. Case in point; SFO. If we had arrivals during the "down time", regardless of the weather, rarely any delays. During a UA bank, regardless of weather, you can count on anything from holding to ground stops. The same argument holds true for the ground workers and airport facilities as well. You need the staff and airport infrastructure in place to attempt to handle 75 flights at once, then that same staff sits until the next bank along with unused gates. During the first bank of departures at IAH, CO has over 90 departures scheduled during 1 hour. Allowing for NO arrivals and NO OTHER airline operations, in perfect weather, this guarantees that the last departure will already be 30 min late. One reason we at SWA tend to have at least decent on time performance is because we're not "fighting ourselves" all trying to get in to and out the same airport during the same 60 min window.
Southeast Of Disorder

RE: Major Airlines: Wheel/Spoke Vs. Point-Point

Tue May 28, 2002 2:02 pm

The show I was watching spoke interestingly about that. They called it a "Push"... they said that they needed 300 drivers for baggage carts during each "Push" because of all the transfers of bags that needed to be made.

Like many of you said though, living near SFO (UA semi-hub) and SJC (AA focus city), there are alot of non-stop flights to alot of different places, very convienient. It also turns out that its easier to pick up the cheap fares that way especially on routes like SFO-JFK.

Recently though, I've had problems with that. AA wants to charge me a five hundred bucks to go from SJC to JFK with this routing

San Jose - Santa Ana
Santa Ana- St Louis
St Louis - JFK

The return trip is absolutely hilarious

JFK-SFO <---------
SFO - Santa Ana
Santa Ana - San Jose

I think i'll just take the non-stop in and out of OAK where I can get the $277 fare that they have to compete with JB!!! muahhaha... the wonders of competition..

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