PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:30 pm

AirTran will stop flying from PIT to MDW on Sept. 3. US Airways will start the service on Sept. 8. After years of whining from locals about US dominating the PIT market, AirTran came in with low fares to ATL, MDW, LGA, and PHL. But the locals did not support low fares, and all that's left from AirTran is ATL. I hope the people around here will stop whining about US Airways and start to support them, because they're all we'll ever have. No AirTran, no Southwest, no jetBlue.
FLYi
 
jjbiv
Posts: 1203
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:58 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Thu Jul 04, 2002 2:44 pm

What's wrong with people? PIT's saga sure sounds familiar (a la Toledo earlier this year).

joe
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 12:30 am

What's wrong with people is one thing: US Airways Frequent-flyer miles. Corporate travelers in Pittsburgh are as addicted to FF miles as any crack addict is to his drug. The corporate travel departments, who buy these guys' tickets, ought to know better. All they're doing is subsidizing US Airways' outrageous cost structure.

In other cities, low-fare carriers are making better inroads with business travelers. But PIT has such a strong historic tie to US Airways, and the fliers probably have so many US miles racked up, that no low-fare carrier will make a serious dent in that market while US exists. The funny thing is, that the corporate travel depts could probably save so much money using AirTran that they could buy their road warriors tickets to Hawaii or wherever else they want to go as a reward, and still save the company a lot of money.

Things will be shaken up in Pittsburgh next year when US goes under. Not only is the PIT hub almost certain not to be picked up by another Cartel carrier, but Southwest will probably touch down at PIT before the last US engine has cooled off.

The people I feel sorry for is US Airways employees--their management and unions foolishly maintained a high cost structure for two decades while WN was safely distant, and did not prepare for the future. Now low-fare reality has arrived in the Northeast, and they will all need to get jobs at other airlines, many of them in other cities.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 2:50 am

As a corporate traveler, I resent the implication that it's just all about the miles. It's also about the level of service and convienence that elite members who fly all the time get. I can't speak to the US program, but I can tell you that I am an AA Elite, and that means for me:

1) I can spend less time waiting in line to check in, and often (many airports) at security. That's often worth an hour, IMO, and that hour can add up, meaning I can stay with a client an hour longer, or get up an hour later.

2) If I need to get a lot done on the plane, or am just really beat, I can upgrade to first class at a reasonable cost.

While those things may not sound important to someone who flies every couple of months on leisure, to someone who may be on a couple of different flights in a single week, they add up!

Steve
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 3:16 am

Steve:

Actually, some of the things you describe may not be far off in the future at low-fare carriers, especially AirTran which has more of a business focus. One can already upgrade to business--equivalent to first--for $25 on AirTran. And AirTran will buy FF fliers tickets on any airline, to any destination, that AirTran does not serve.

As Don Carty said yesterday to AA employees, "the Wal Mart factor" is taking over--"consumers can't or won't pay more for the extra amenities we offer." He said that AA will continually shed employees over the coming years to resize itself for the new shape of air travel in the US.

Low-fare carriers, I think, will be able to offer certain amenities as they assume a greater proportion of domestic medium-to-high-density air travel. At larger airports, such as BWI, it would not be a major cost factor for WN to set aside a couple of its 8 or 10 Concourse B security checkpoints for walk-up and high-FF mile travelers.

Southwest has already started re-outfitting its planes with leather seats, in recognition that JetBlue has raised the service bar some for low-fare carriers. For now, it's unlikely that either WN or B6 will offer a first class like AirTran does, but I think as they assume more traffic, that possibility can't be ruled out.

Airport-run business clubs such as Manchester's Granite Club will probably become more common, should the number of Cartel-airline business clubs decline. Airlines and airports will ensure that business travelers will have amenities if the market demands them. The question is, how to provide them in an affordable manner that doesn't drive fares higher for all of us who aren't flying on expense accounts, and who do need to watch our spending.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
CcrlR
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 3:20 am

Too Bad. That's how it was when they went to MSP and then Northwest Airlines went there from MDW. Now what's going to happen now? I hope AirTran doesn't drop out completely and Delta rule the MDW-ATL route.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
 
pgh234
Posts: 732
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 12:48 pm

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 3:28 am

I cant believe that AirTran is not going to even put up a fight on the PIT-MDW market. Since day one PIT-MDW has been almost...if not just as succussful as PIT-ATL. They just added a third flight not too long ago. They have been serving the PIT-MDW route long enough that they should have a fairly loyal following of travelers. Ohh well, I guess they need the planes somewhere else since they gave up on PIT as a focus city. But still, I dont see how Wichita-MDW could generate the same traffic as PIT-MDW.

pgh234
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 7:01 am

Question for you,
Where do YOU HAVE the authority to say that the locals do not support low fares. Believe it or not, AirTran has actually come as a welcome in Pittsburgh. But you must also remember that UAL, US Airways, AND American Airlines operate on the PIT-Chicago route. People in Pittsburgh love low fares, its just we go for the lower ones. US Airways, because of its size, can afford to lose money on a route, in order to shut down the route to a smaller airline (they are dumb like a fox!). I am from Pittsburgh and have flown AirTran since they came to PIT many times, but I can tell you one thing, even if there are lower fares, Pittsburgh's are more likely to support the airline that is the largest private employer in Allegheny County (thats our county), than an airline that is new and employs maybe 100. This is not saying we dont like lower fares, its just support US Airways supports the local economy. Nothing against AirTran (Its my fav. airline), But people are gonna support the company's that will in turn help their local area!

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 7:17 am

Jim:

Actually, I believe that the configuration of the new AA 737-800's is a clue to the direction AA is going to be taking (the right one, in my mind).

Specifically, the new 738's have 20 F seats (operating F20Y114), as compared to the old standard 757's, which run F22Y144. Specifically, AA is moving towards making upgrades easier and more enticing to hold the businessman, who, like myself, often can use the hours in the air in a productive manner with a laptop or a sketch pad -- something that's harder to do in Y unless you are very slight of stature.

I learned the 'hard way' about liking benefits and keeping them current; it's a main reason for not diffusing my efforts.

I will say, though, in some ways, with WN's new "boarding cards all the way through" I'm pondering just buying two seats all the time and using them -- I think I'll let the service percolate a bit more, though.

Steve
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 12:39 pm

Answer for you,
PIT has had high fares for years; people drove to CLE because of it; finally a good low fare airline moves in (AirTran); but instead of giving them continued support, people would not give up their US FF miles; AirTran 717s left the gate with only 30 people and no profits; AirTran discontinues service. The locals did not support the airline that came in with low fares. No one needs any AUTHORITY to figure this one out.

All AirTran asked for was for the Pittsburgh community to fly them some of the time instead of always on US Airways. But the backwards thinking people in Pittsburgh (who hate change) would not go for it. I like Pittsburgh as much as anyone, it's a great city, but the people here are so set in their old crusty ways and thinking it's pathetic! The city is about 10 years behind the rest of the country.

I like US Airways a lot, and it's good that they are Allegheny County's largest employer. Like I said in the original post, I hope people here stop complaining about them, because if they continue to lose money the way they are, then they WONT be able to afford to lose money on a route to fend off the smaller carriers.
FLYi
 
usairways85
Posts: 3551
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 11:59 am

O/T Airtran At PHL

Fri Jul 05, 2002 12:59 pm

how is airtran doing at phl? how are the loads? are any routes endangered of being discontinued? or are any new routes possible?
thanks
 
Fokker Lover
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 10:05 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 1:18 pm

Most people don't understand that Pittsburgh just doesn't generate a lot of local traffic. It's difficult for an airline to operate if nobody wants to go anywhere. There are people who have never been beyond the tunnels, and I have relatives in West Mifflin who have never been to the airport because it is too far away.
Pit will never generate traffic until the Burghers realize that there is more to the world than the 3 rivers. When I drive to work at the airport from Ohio everyday, the worst part is traveling through the time zones. In Ohio it's 6:00 am, in Pa. it's summer 1960. Ed Sullivan is still on KDKA, and the Pirates & Stillers (Steelers) are still champions.

DCA-ROCguy
USAir is the 7th largest airline. We as mechanics are the 7th highest paid in the industry. So, what is so terrible about our union costs???? If I do have to take a pay cut. I will get a second job to support my family. I just hope that when I'm dead tired or have other things on my mind (like paying bills), that you are not on the flight where I make a critical mistake that kills everyone on board. Is your life worth a $25 super saver??????????????????????????
10,000 years ago we would have eaten you. Today, we drag you along and allow you to pollute the gene pool.
 
UPS Pilot
Posts: 828
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:17 pm

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Fri Jul 05, 2002 10:11 pm

I seem to recall many years ago that United was increasing their presence @ PIT but the Allegheny County commissioners office caused so many problems for United that United pulled most of the flights out of PIT. This was back when U.S. Airways was Allegheny.

There was another lowcost airline that had set up a hub @ PIT around the early to mid nighties and U.S. Airways contacted local and Federal officials and made sure they had their certificate pulled alledging faulty maintenance documentation.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that U.S. Airways supplies most of the revenue to PIT and a lot of tax dollars to the region. I wouldn't doubt they had something to do with this. I just wished the county would look at the big picture. If U.S. Airways continues their downward spiral, where will the money come from then?? The airport would be a ghosttown. PIT needs carriers such as Southwest, Airtran and one of my favorites Jet Blue
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Sat Jul 06, 2002 12:26 am

DCA-ROCguy USAir is the 7th largest airline. We as mechanics are the 7th highest paid in the industry. So, what is so terrible about our union costs???? If I do have to take a pay cut. I will get a second job to support my family. I just hope that when I'm dead tired or have other things on my mind (like paying bills), that you are not on the flight where I make a critical mistake that kills everyone on board. Is your life worth a $25 super saver??????????????????????????

Ask Southwest mechanics, they'd probably know the answer. There's been one strike at WN in its whole history, which lasted all of two days, in 1980 I think it was. Employees at WN seem quite happy to work there, and WN has never had a fatality as we all know. I fly quite confidently on low-fare carriers, which meet all the same Federal standards and FAA regulations as the Cartel does. The lie that somehow low-fare carriers are unsafe, is a convenient Cartel lie that fortunately doesn't fool consumers.

Specifically, the new 738's have 20 F seats (operating F20Y114), as compared to the old standard 757's, which run F22Y144. Specifically, AA is moving towards making upgrades easier and more enticing to hold the businessman, who, like myself, often can use the hours in the air in a productive manner with a laptop or a sketch pad -- something that's harder to do in Y unless you are very slight of stature.

That makes sense. Carty is playing to one of AA's strengths, as he should. The Cartel-network carriers offer regional service, international service, and greater amenities--if they're going to lose cost-minded passengers, might as well play to higher-paying pax. People that are willing to pay more should get more. Those of us who don't need enough space to use a laptop comfortably should get lower fares with our coach seating.

In terms of overall volume, AA and the other network carriers will probably be smaller in coming years, but if they treat those who do pay for their benefits well, that will no doubt be welcomed by the pax. Although we'll probably see the low-fare carriers do more for business pax in coming years, the Cartel will probably still be able to offer greater amenities due to higher yield.

Jim

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5272
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Sat Jul 06, 2002 2:42 am

In regard to the AA738's, it has already been announced internally at AA that the 738's will be reconfigured with only 16 first class seats. This will allow AA to add back a few more coach seats.
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Sat Jul 06, 2002 9:44 am

FlyPNS1: Dangit! I don't want to hear that!

Ah well, just makes me work harder to keep Executive Platinum with the 100 hour confirmation on upgrades.

Steve
 
Fokker Lover
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 10:05 am

RE: No More PIT-MDW On AirTran

Sat Jul 06, 2002 10:49 am

I don't need to ask a Southwest mechanic. I know that they make MORE money than I do. Just because they are a low fare carrier, don't believe that they don't pay their employees very well. The big difference is when Herb called an executive meeting, he needed to pull six chairs around a table. When we call an executive meeting, we need to rent a motel ballroom that holds 600. Everbody wears name tags just to
identify all of the vice presidents. We waste money but it's not the unions. Don't think that I'm a big union supporter either. Though it's a necessary evil, a union is a big business that I pay to protect me from another big business. When the union stops doing its job, it's time to replace it.

10,000 years ago we would have eaten you. Today, we drag you along and allow you to pollute the gene pool.