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American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 12:55 am

What is American's new found obsession w/ STL? I live in TUL, and it is impossible for me to book a flight through any other hub on For ex: I want to go to BOS. They will book me on a TUL-STL-ORD-BOS flight, before they will book me on a TUL-ORD-BOS. It is impossible to book directly through any other hub. And if they do let you, it costs atleast $10 more per ticket. Any info? Thanks in advance!
American Airlines - We Know Why You Fly
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RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:02 am

Yields. DFW and ORD have a bigger, higher-yielding, more business-oriented O&D base. They want the low-yield traffic to go throw St. Louis while Chicago and Dallas get the higher-yielding traffic. While St. Louis yields do suffer, it is well made up for by the yields at DFW and ORD. For example, why sell the cheapest Y fare on, say, ABQ-DFW-MIA, when it could go to a last minute busienss traveler doing ABQ-DFW and another one doing DFW-MIA? Instead, just route through STL which is more unlikely to have that last minute business traveler.

RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 1:44 am

Additionally, it just has to do with the fare availability. I found it cheaper last month to fly STL-ORD-CMH than do the STL-CMH non-stop. Lower fare buckets open on the two flights instead of the one.
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RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 3:52 am

I think you're right. It has to do with fare availability on the route you request, that depends on how long in advance you book your flight. On, after requesting the departure and destination airports, when you request choose by price, you may get the direct flight (if there is one) listed on top of the list as the lowest fare available, again the longer in advance you book the more chances you have on getting low fares. Three or four months ago, I booked on (it was still the old site) the following routing: LGA-DTW-FLL-LGA all within seven days. There were direct flights from LGA-DTW and from FLL back to LGA but flying from DTW to FLL I had to go through either ORD or STL for the same fare because there was no direct flight. I chose ORD. So you see, you won't automatically be shown on the top of the list a routing going through STL instead of ORD or DFW.

Ben Soriano
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Ben Soriano

RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:03 am

Additionally, the segment fares on the Tulsa to St. Louis leg are less than the Tulsa to Dallas/Ft. Worth leg thanks to Southwest's competition into STL. The lower partial fare (you can get these by looking at the mess of identifiers and charges/abbreviations on your ticket receipt) is probably the reason why the lowest fares are via St. Louis. Even the walk-up fare is fairly low.... On many Southwest routes out of St. Louis, American's walk-ups are as low as $110 one-way.

One thing I miss about TWA's frequent flyer program Aviators... when you logged in to check your account balance, it listed the cost of the ticket by segment along with mileage credit given for that flight.
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RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:27 am

Its interesting that we are starting to see the result of the AA/TWA merger in the form of air fare differentials. AA wanted TWA to "take the pressure off" of DFW and ORD, thus by adjusting yeilds and prices on certain segments and directing connection traffic to STL thru lower fares, AA has opened up more seats out of ORD and DFW for higher-yeild customers and is placing the lower-yeild connecting traveller on flights via STL. I assume this was always the plan, but it was hard to tell until now due to the system wide discounting and drop in business traffic that occured after 9/11.

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RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:42 am

So does anyone know what AA's plans are for STL? Do they want to expand their presence there, diminish thier presence, or pretty much keep things as they are?


RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:48 am

American has cut capacity at St. Louis. They are dropping one of the evening flight banks from the schedule as of mid-August. After the take-over in December, many routes lost capacity but gained frequency as cities like LNK and OMA went from mainline to all Regional Jet or a combination. Of course the airline lost capacity on those routes out of St. Louis that American used to operate (ORD and DFW) as frequency was cut. American recently gave up the leases on four gates at the end of D concourse... rumor coming out of the airport and the training center is that Trans States will pick up D concourse gates with the addition of the ten ERJs from American Eagle. What routes these will take are not known.

Most say that St. Louis will be downsized.... some routes like St. Louis to London have had frequency cut (that flight used to be daily... dropped a few days recently). On some services, St. Louis is redundant when coupled with Chicago and Dallas, but has many unique sources of traffic through the AmericanConnection network.
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RE: American And STL

Tue Jul 30, 2002 6:56 am

I agree with the above.

I flew exclusively AA from Bloomington, Illinois to ORD to wherever before the merger. Now with connecting through St. Louis, via American Connection, my fares have been substantially lower then flying through ORD.

Most of my work takes me to Kansas City and Denver. I have made about 10 trips to MCI via St. Louis. Most of the times the flights are jammed packed.

The only advantage of going through ORD is that you get an EMB135/145 vs. American Connection which are Jetstreams and ATRs. But for a 20-30 minute flight, it is fine!

Just my two cents.
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