Up until the early 80's, Stapleton was a hub for 4 airlines, Continental, Frontier, United and Western. UA
Express used the A and B concourses, Continental and Western shared C, and Frontier used D. When deregulation came into play, this hub was quite competitive.
Western already had a focus city in SLC
with a new terminal; therefore, they decided to pull out of DEN
and make SLC
their new hub. This was around 1982 I think. SLC
was marketed as the "Fastest Hub in the West." The original Frontier ceased operations in 1986 after the takeover by PeopleExpress.
This left UA
competing in Denver. At this time, this was the TexasAir Continental, not the original "Proud Bird" started up in LAX
. The airlines went through a bad time in the early 90's and CO
was one of the worst.
Interestingly, the new DIA was originally designed to have both CO
continue with hubs there. That is why you see the Continental name on the hangar and the de-icing area. Terminal A was to be for CO
entered their 2nd trip to BK sometime in the mid 90's and decided that after many years, they were going to close their Denver hub. It was too hard to compete with UA
, and they could focus on their other hubs IAH
(from Texas Air days), EWR
(from acquiring PeopleExpress assets).
Well, DIA opened without the Continental hub, and for many years, Concourse A was like a ghost town, compared to the activity at UA
's Concourse B. It is with the success of Frontier, that fortunes have changed. CO
's only flights out of DEN
today are to their hubs IAH
AirVB, this is my recollection of the history of Stapleton and DIA. I was a DEN
domiciled F/A with Frontier, and I miss the old Stapleton with the 4 hubs there. We were stepping over each other. For Frontier, part of Concourse D was remodeled so that passengers were carried out to the planes by transports (like they use at IAD
). Frontier had run out of gates.