Greg
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Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:32 am

With the recent airline cutbacks...or for whatever reason...what are, in your opinions, the most underserved Cities for their size?

Tucson and Sacramento come to mind for me. I am sure there are others.
 
Rai
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:37 am

Good topic. Here are some others that come to my mind:

Jacksonville
Kansas City
Oklahoma City
Portland
Tampa Bay area
Birmingham, Alabama
San Antonio
 
Greg
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:41 am

Isn't Kansas City certain death for most carriers...with the exception of Southwest? It doesn't seem like any carrier can make a go of it there....

Brgds.
 
thomacf
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:43 am

Toledo
Daytona Beach
Burbank & Long Beach (LA is served well but I think these two airports should have more service to relieve LAX)
 
Rai
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:44 am

You could be right, but I think it has more to do with the airport itself than anything else. I'm just listing cities that have a fairly large population, but are quite underserved in terms of air traffic.

I'll also add Milwaukee.
 
jjbiv
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:59 am

Toledo is right up there...

joe
 
TWFirst
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:07 am

New Orleans
Nashville
Indianapolis
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John
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:14 am

Melbourne, FL (MLB), Daytona Beach, FL (DAB), Tallahasse, FL (TLH), to name a few in the sunshine state.
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:31 am

Fresno (FAT)

One thing that would help this discussion would be to see metro area populations compared to number of passengers (both enplaned and deplaned). For example, the Fresno MSA is 922,000 people. FAT is currently handling 1,100,000 passengers annually.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
contrails
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:34 am

I'd add Tulsa and Little Rock. You can go most anywere from those cities, but it almost always involves a connection, and it's usually one in a direction other than the one you're wanting to go.

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DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:40 am

Rochester, New York is very underserved. It will be even more underserved when AA reduces ROC-ORD to all RJ's, due to yield, not demand, issues. Syracuse is also underserved.

Des Moines strikes me as underserved. They should have put together a travel bank and chased AirTran instead of attempting to form their own two-plane carrier. Access Air was doomed to fail from the start. AirTran would be a very good start.

TWFirst, you listed Nashville as an underserved city. BNA has a Southwest station with 84 daily flights, which is remarkable for a medium-size city. That schedule has to be close to what AA offered when they hubbed at BNA. What makes BNA underserved? I'm not trying to be inflammatory, just don't understand.

Jim
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:52 am

San Antonio,Austin and Kansas City.
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Scott4AA
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 4:40 am

Definately TUL and OKC.
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ren41
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 5:22 am

BOS needs a nonstop to Japan, and maybe another flight to Ireland but there's no room right now!

R41
 
Matt D
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 5:56 am

I second the suggestion of Fresno.

Also, Ontario, considering its facilities and gargantuan population base surrounding it for dozens of miles in every direction, still has less than 100 jet departures per day.

ONT has the potential to be right up there with SJC or SAN.
 
chepos
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:18 am

Im sure Daytona can suppoer flights to cities other than ATL.
Jacksonville, Tampa.
Chepos
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BA
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:23 am

I would have to say the following:

Colorado Springs (COS)
Fresno (FAT)
San Antonio (SAT)

I don't think Austin (AUS) is underserved at all. It's got plenty of service and keeps getting more.

Regards
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PW100
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 6:31 am

What about PBI? I was there a couple of years ago and got the impression that the terminal was much too large for the amount of traffic it was handling at the time. Not sure how it is these days...

PW100
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LV
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 10:20 am

Define underserved...because everyone keeps mentioning JAX and while I love Jacksonville as a city and would like to see more, I don't think they are underserved. In fact, I am quite surprised by how much air traffic they get.
Last time I flew into JAX it was on a 767 out of ATL, DL puts so many 767s and 757s in there alone that I think it could serve the towns needs. My 767 was turning around and going right back to ATL, plus there was another 767 sitting on one side of us headed to DFW and an MD-88 on the other side headed to CVG. Another time I flew into JAX I came in on WN and was surprised to see two other WN flights parked at the same time. AirTran is coming down from ATL with their 717s constantly. Contential had two aircraft there, a NW DC-9 and US had a 319 and F100 there. Okay, so they are underserved by UA and AA but those two lines are very weak in the southeast. Plus, they still have Midway....okay, so that doesnt really count
 
jcxp15
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 10:28 am

Pensacola FL is definately underserved.. i mean, no 747's?!?! that's underserved  Smile
 
BH346
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 10:55 am

Even with AirTran and Frontier-Wichita, Kansas. It seems like nearly every flight here is a CRJ.
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prosa
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 12:31 pm

What about PBI? I was there a couple of years ago and got the impression that the terminal was much too large for the amount of traffic it was handling at the time. Not sure how it is these days...

WN now brings a number of flights into PBI, so the terminal's quite a bit busier than had been the case. It's still now operating at anything close to capacity, however, which is sort of a pity because it's surely one of the most upscale-appearing terminals anywhere.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
jcs17
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 12:45 pm

The common trait among many of the cities you guys have listed are that they are relatively lower-class cities, with not too many business travelers (where airlines make all of their money). Its not like airlines havent tried service to places Fresno, Sacramento, Toledo, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, and Birmingham...the problem is that the local economies just cant support good operations there. As for saying that Jacksonville and Tampa/St. Pete are underserved...yeah, right. JAX supports very good services for its population size from DL and US. Tampa is not exactly the richest place in the world (although it does have a few corp. headquarters) and the service there is justified and they get plenty of service from DL and US, DL makes a killing on the TPA-ATL route I understand, with its 12! flights.

Just think about it...in this economy, airlines are looking for money wherever they can get it and they would already have good frequencies in place. The bottom line is that when an airline decides to operate to city X, they must consider the demographics of the area and whether or not there is a high demand for air travel. If I had to say a certain city was underserved I would have to say PDX.
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heavymetal
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 2:21 pm

I was gonna say PBI too...very strange that DL can pack 767s into here, yet AA can't even fill an MD-80 to Dallas 12 months a year.

US Airways always was right at home at PBI, yet they continue to shed flights. Sad. The area north of Palm Beach, Jupiter, Stuart, Hobe Sound, is the second fastest growing population area in the country, adding tens of thousands of residents to the over 1 million already in the metro. PBI has some salad days in its' future.

 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 3:54 pm

MKE....its pretty bad out there.

ORD is underserved  Smile errr
 
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yyz717
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:46 pm

There are no underserved cities.

All cities are served to the degree to which the airlines feel they can make a profit whether now or in the near future.

All US cities are adequately served.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:11 am

MSY is really underserved, so is SAT
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:27 am

Yyz717,

I have to disagree. All cities are served to the degree to which the airlines feel they can maximize their profit based on their cost structure and their current equipment.

Airlines may "underserve" a market by offering fewer seats at higher prices so that the equipment can be used elsewhere where they believe they can make more money or need to maintain/gain a strategic or competitive advantage. But that results in underserved markets (with fewer seats/destination choices) since many will choose not to pay the higher prices, opting for alternatives or to not travel. And of course that leads to the Southwest Effect when WN begins service in a city.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:36 am

the Southwest Effect when WN begins service in a city

Exactly. That blows a big hole in YYZ717's theory, which, if true, would mean that the Southwest Effect would not exist.

Just a sidenote question:

Do airlines look for a city where they can make the most profit PER PASSENGER, or the most profit OVERALL?

For example, here are some hypothetical numbers for illustration:

Suppose one airline is serving an "orphan" city that carries 1000 pax per day. Each passenger pays a median fare of $200 to fly out of that city. That translate to $200,000 in sales per day. Then a low cost carrier comes in and only charges a median fare of $125 per passenger. But as a result of the lower fares, more people take to the air (and take more frequent repeat trips) so that the number of tickets sold jumps to 2000. So your average daly sales would now be $250,000.

So even though you are selling reduced price tickets, because your traffic has now doubled, your sales have also gone up as well. So you're money ahead.

Which scenario matters most to your average airline?

-Cerulean
 
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STT757
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:40 am

Atlantic City NJ, Westchester (HPN), New Haven CT, Providence RI, Ithaca/Corning, Binghamton NY.
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Guest

RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:55 am

Charlotte where I live is doing good.. (KCLT) About 10-15 years ago when someone would ask me where I live and I would say just outside of Charlotte they would say wheres that??? Now its pretty well known like LA you dont have to say the state anymore.. If we could just get some more NWA in here..  Smile
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 1:10 am

Cerulean,

Don't forget that you also have to consider the cost structure for each airline. In your example you show the revenue gain but not costs. That's why concepts like yield and seat-miles are important. The increase in revenue means nothing if the first airline now has to fly those seats at a loss or reduced profit. The lower costs are what allow the low-fare guys to be low-fare.

On the other side, the airport will love the increased passenger counts since that means increased concession sales (which most get a percentage of), increased parking revenue, landing fees, etc.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
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PW100
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 2:34 am

PROSA

Thanks for the update!
Of course PBI also sees tons of biz jets: Gulfstreams, Global Express, Falcons, Citations, Learjets etc!

PW100
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haveric
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 2:38 am

I would have to say of major US cities, PHL is underserved. It is the 4th (or 5th) largest metro area, and the 4th or 5th largest US city. It is also the second largest city on the East Coast, and third largest east of the Mississippi.

However, it's airport is around 19th busiest in the US. Much of this is due to the fact that US Airways, and not a more international airline has its hub in Philadelphia. There are limited connections to the West Coast from PHL. No non-stop service to cities like PDX, HNL, AUS, SAT, YVR and SJC. Additionally, the city should have at least one non-stop to Asia and possibly the Middle East (particularly Israel).

Another reason PHL has less traffic is it's proximity to NYC. Most US airports have a significant chunk of their traffic devoted to the multiple metro NY airports. Because PHL is so close, limited service is provided on Express carriers to NY.

Eric
 
ouboy79
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 2:45 am

Jcs17 said: >>The common trait among many of the cities you guys have listed are that they are relatively lower-class cities, with not too many business travelers (where airlines make all of their money). Its not like airlines havent tried service to places Fresno, Sacramento, Toledo, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, and Birmingham...the problem is that the local economies just cant support good operations there.<<

Coming from the Northeast -- it is easy to call other towns lower class cities. However, each city is unique as to why airlines have either reduced service or never entered the town. I wouldn't call BHM a lower class town being home to a good deal of the southeast banking industry. TOL has had service reduced...but due to circumstances outside of its control -- mostly. CoEx left due to CLE's problems, C8 left and came back and are doing very well, HP Express left when the CMH B1900 operation was haulted, and AirTran left because well --- their own low fares killed them and they ticked off the local business community (they were more so shown the door than anything).

>>Just think about it...in this economy, airlines are looking for money wherever they can get it and they would already have good frequencies in place. The bottom line is that when an airline decides to operate to city X, they must consider the demographics of the area and whether or not there is a high demand for air travel.<<

Very accurate point. Each airline has a niche in which they are successful and it works only in select cities. ATA is noticing that in their massive C8 build up; however on the flip side AirTran may finally be seeing their travel bank idea blow up in their face (read: ICT bank already out of cash after 4 months). Airlines, especially the majors, need to make money -- and they know they can't make it selling seats for $39. They may offer cheap tickets...but they also have better yeild management than smaller carriers. ICT will be a very interesting story as it unfolds. For them to have blown through this years bank in 4 months simply states -- what FL has going there isn't working. IT could be that they are offering services that don't fit (MDW) or that the fares they are offering are too cheap to break even. In the end...this examples goes back to ICT may or may not be underserved...but they simply can't support the level of service they want in today's economy; much like cities across the country.


 
GD727
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 5:01 am

PVD is not underserved, the terminal can actually get pretty crowded at times. Some underserved airports in New England include:

Worcester Regional
Bridgeport-Sikorsky
Tweed-New Haven
Bangor International

Worcester, Bridgeport, and New Haven are all underserved due to extreme NIMBY's, I can't those people!

-GD727
Mmmm forbidden donut.
 
tpowaleny
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:02 am

I agree with GD727 about Tweed New Haven.. This airport used to be served by three different airlines. United actually used to have 737 service from ORD I believe... Then it dwiddled down to just regional with COEx, UEx, and USEx. All that remains today is some flights by USEx.

This airport has potential, always has. Big problem is of course the residents not liking the idea of expanding the runway... Not sure who to side with here...

Tim
 
AirOne
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:23 am

Hey-

I feel that CMH is underserved, I may be a bit biased though since I am from the region, but still. I think it it the most underserved airport that has an airline hubbed there. The America West hub is pathetic and dd routes that are already served by other airlines, I want to see them open up a San Fran or Seattle flight. We have been building though. We added five gates to concourse C and there are planns in the next five to eight years to add a separate eight gate concourse, and in possibly the next ten to twenty years adding a thrid parallel runway.

As for all of you talking about PBI. Just watch, it will grow, that area is my second home. FLL used to be like PBI about ten years ago, a nice quiet airport with Miami handeling everything. But now, FLL is bustling, and eventually PBI will to. I think it will go right up the coast, then service will start to pick up in Melbourne. Just what I have witnessed in my second home town. I'm open to comments on what I said...

AirOne
 
flyer62
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 9:02 am

PWM-Portland,Maine is underserved.with no non-stop service to Orlando fla and no low cost carriers! Just high priced airlines
 
dragogoalie
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 9:20 am

I wouldent say that Grand Forks Nd is underserved, but NWA is the only airline that flies here, which results in high ticket prices. I have flown to albany new york form GFK before, and the trip from Grand Forks to Minneapolis was about 2 times as expensive than the flight from MSP-ALB via BUF. Its like 200$ for an hour long flight (rt though)

--dragogoalie-#88--
Formerly known as Jap. Srsly. AUSTRALIA: 2 days!
 
chazzerguy
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:41 am

_Northwest_

I would say CLT would be a candidate for the most OVERSERVED!

 
prosa
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:53 am

Another reason PHL has less traffic is it's proximity to NYC. Most US airports have a significant chunk of their traffic devoted to the multiple metro NY airports. Because PHL is so close, limited service is provided on Express carriers to NY.

Philadelphia-area residents who are going to New York or Washington generally will drive or take the train rather than fly, given the short distances involved. New York and Washington are two very large destination cities for travelers. As a result, PHL is less busy than what you'd expect given the area's population.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
haveric
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:19 pm

PROSA -- thanks for clarifying my point
 
jcs17
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RE: Underserved Cities In The US

Sun Sep 22, 2002 12:49 pm

Ouboy- I used to live in Atlanta, and I have been to Birmingham a few times and have also flown out of BHM on WN. I do concur that there is a big banking industry in Birmingham, but the problem with BHM is that the big banking industry is it, theres not much else. A couple upper class neighborhoods around BHM is the only thing sustaining DLs service, which is the largest full service carrier at BHM. Besides DL, all of the other carriers do not aim to serve local traffic for the most part. WN does well there for a reason, it is a low-yield city. BHM will not gain much more service for that reason.

As for airports in the northeast, I am shocked that no one has attempted to start some service out of Bridgeport. Bridgeport may not be the richest place in the world, but Fairfield County certainly is! For a traveler living in Westport, Fairfield or Easton, they are forced to drive the 1.5 hr. to LGA. Or they could drive the 20-30 mins. to Bridgeport. US Airways Express used to serve BWI and PHL from Bridgeport (I flew there once, but I have totally forgotten the airport code!) utilizing BE1. Way back in the day, BEX used to fly to JFK and BOS using SF3. What well-heeled business traveler wants to fly on a BE1 or SF3 though? I think if advertised right, a F100 might do well to ORD two times a day by AA, or a CRJ to ATL by DL. Just an idea
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!

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