FlyAA
Topic Author
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:49 am

Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 9:44 am

Hi all!

I really like MSP. The Twin Cities are so clean and business-friendly, and I believe do a fantastic job of supporting a hub. What factors contribute to its success? Also, do you all like or dislike MSP?

Do you all remember when AMR was in talks with NWA about a possible merger before the TWA purchase? Just for discussion, if AA purchased NW pre-9/11, what would MSP's fate be?
 
MSPXJGuy
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 4:37 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:17 am

I'm not sure what factors contribute to it's success as a hub, probably the fact that most of the operations are done out of one terminal and that they are supportive of NWA.

Chances are if AA would have merged with NWA, MSP wouldn't exist as a hub for them. Not a major one. AA already has ORD and would have taken DTW probably as another northern hub because it has more people. I highly doubt anyone would have moved into MSP and turned it into a hub. Probably would see more low cost carriers like Southwest moving in though.

I do like it, I think it's one of the nicer airports in the country. I've been to quite a few and overall I think it's kept up really nice.
 
nwcoflyer
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 7:55 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:27 am

I remember when the merger talks were ongoing between AA and NW that many analyst were saying that MSP could stay a NW hub, but would be downsized somewhat. MSP does have a large amount of business travelers coming to and from the Minneapolis area, so I don't think AA would have completely abandoned MSP as a hub.

I personally love MSP, it is my favorite hub airport in the country (and I have been through all of the major hubs).

One reason MSP is so successful is that NW has a monopoly on the MSP area. Not as much now as they used to, but still a overwhelmingly large presence. For a NW fan like me, no problem with their presence either. For a leisure traveler looking for low fares, tough luck!
The New American is arriving.
 
Guest

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:29 am

What makes MSP successful? A great location (perfect for East/West connection - especially among travelers who like to break their travel time up; also notice the big, gaping hole in the region surrounding MSP on AA, DL and CO's route maps), excellent business travel & a strong flow of lesiure travel. I have mixed feelings about MSP -- I love the abundant food choices & the history aspect (notice how the G gates are all set-up for B747, a tribute to NW's heritage) but I hate the vast amount of walking.

RE: AA/NW merger -- based on the little available information, DTW, MSP, DFW and MIA would've made the crux of AA's network, with focus at JFK/LGA, BOS, DCA, ORD, LAX and SJC -- AA was attracted to DTW and MSP by NW's dominance and tremendous business travel. At ORD, they had no hope of catching UA and WN/TZ expansion kept bringing down many fares.

FYI: DTW and MSP are ranked #1 and #2 in "hub premium" by some sources (and no, I have no idea how that's determined). NW has also been named 'the most expensive airline to fly for short flights' although I don't think that's true (although DTW-WAS and DTW-BOS fares tend to exceed $300).
 
beefer
Posts: 350
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 1:37 pm

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:45 am

I believe one of the biggest reasons MSP has been so successful is that there really are a lot of companies which are headquartered in the Twin Cities. Probably more than most people realize.

Here's a list off the top of my head:

3M
Best Buy
Medtronic
Cargill
General Mills
Target
United Health Group
SuperValu
US Bancorp
Xcel Energy
Northwest Airlines (of course)
 
Iflewrepublic
Posts: 511
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2000 11:31 pm

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:53 pm

Someone briefly touched on it once, but I thought I'd clarify. The "G" Concourse, formerly the Gold Concourse, was one of two Concourses originally occupied by Northwest. The "F" Concourse, once the Red Concourse, was the second. The "G" Concourse is set up for widebody aircraft, though it can effectively accommodate any type of aircraft in the fleet. The departure lounges are larger here as they were orginally designed for 747 and DC-10 flights. Remember, this was done at a time when Minneapolis-St. Paul was Northwest's ONLY hub. Hard to imagine in today's terms, huh? The "F" Concourse was intended for the other aircraft, such as the Boeing 727, which at that time was the workhorse of the domestic fleet. The "C" and "D" Concourses collectively are Republic's terminal. The lounges in this area are much smaller and the gates themselves are intended for the smaller aircraft, such as the DC-9's, Convair 580's, and now the Airbus family. Had Republic occupied the "E" or Blue Concourse, I can guarantee you that Northwest would still occupy it today...of course it might have been extended out to downtown Minneapolis to accommodate Mesaba, etc.

Anyway...just a little clarifying trip down memory lane.

Iflewrepublic.
Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
 
BH346
Posts: 3164
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2000 5:50 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:01 pm

I've been in MSP twice for connection and both times it was a really tight connection. Last time I was there, I flew out of the new A-concourse when they just opened up the new additions there. I remembered a new rotunda area at the end of C that was really nice. I agree it was a long walk, though. I understand that the airport is trying to solve that problem by putting in moving walkways and a tram that goes down one side of the terminal. I haven't heard much about it. Is it near completion?
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
 
pilottim747
Posts: 1577
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2001 2:34 pm

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:02 pm

Even though MSP can get some bad weather I've found that delays normally aren't too bad because there's less congestion and the airport is well prepared (the best snow removal team in the lower 48). It seems most of our delays are wrong delays at other airports in the US (especially ORD).

I think MSP is great for passengers because the interior is quite nice. Nice restaurants, nice shops, and lots of light. The G Concourse is a little behind the times but that's because the whole thing is leased to Northwest Airlines and they do their own concessions (hence some older restaurants/bars).

The problem right now is walking distances although this should be much better once the C concourse tram starts service late this year or early next year.

pilottim747
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
Guest

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:06 pm

Even though MSP can get some bad weather I've found that delays normally aren't too bad...

Despite having hubs at DTW and MSP, NW is #1 (among network carriers) in on-time performance since circa 1986.
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:11 pm

Is that great observation deck in MSP still open? I remember the first time I went there in 1992 (visiting my cousin who lives in the area), I didn't want to leave that place...great views of the NWA ramp!


Steve in MSY
 
aviatortj
Posts: 1694
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:15 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:18 pm

The concourse C observation deck is still open. It makes for a great view of 12L-30R. My highlight of flying out of MSP is ALWAYS the good old observation deck...I come early and stay late  Smile

~TJ
 
rampboy77
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:16 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 1:27 pm

If you ever get stranded in MSP overnight without a hotel, grab a blanket and pillow and head for the observation deck. I have had to crash up there on more than one occasion. Don't worry about oversleeping. The place fills with light at sunrise.
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:47 pm

I think if AA would have taken over Northwest in 2000, AA would have moved their ORD hub to DTW.

A. Brand new terminal at DTW compared to that terminal at ORD that pretty much ranks along with the old Davey Terminal at DTW.

B. Yes ORD is a big market, but at DTW there would be no one they would have to share it with like they have to at ORD with UA.
 
JMChladek
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:05 pm

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:35 pm

When I did my NW flights last year (OMA-MSP-IND and back), I enjoyed both my stays at MSP. I like the hub and especially like it better then DFW with its gates on one side circular terminal arrangement. The moving walkways and trams were definitely needed at DFW as even a five gate walk can be a major hike it seems. As for MSP, my first connection wasn't really that tight and I enjoyed the leisurely walk in the terminal. At times I felt like I was in a shopping mall and not an airline terminal with all the restaurants and shops. As for bad weather, I saw that first hand, but the NW staff performed their jobs well IMHO to keep things running with a few delays.
 
Okie
Posts: 3528
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:54 pm

I have to admit that MSP is one the nicest airports that I have been to. It is like going to the mall with an airport attached. The last time I was there was pre 9.11 and I was wondering if with the added security if it has impacted the businesses that are located there?
One trip I was there I would say May 2000 and there was a ton of diversions due weather at ORD. The place looked like a giant airline parking lot. I was on American and they were having to cycle the American planes to the gates for refueling because they did not have trucks to refuel and only the underground system at the gates. Made for an interesting delay getting to see that many types of aircraft waiting for slots to open up at ORD.
 
pilottim747
Posts: 1577
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2001 2:34 pm

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:44 am

I think the fact that the airport looks so much like a mall at sometimes makes it a favorite among travelers that don't necessarily like to fly. I'm sure that for people that don't like flying (a big increase after 9-11), the shops and comfortable atmosphere can distract you from increased security and other air travel hastles.

pilottim747
Aviation Photographers & Enthusiasts--Coordinate your life.
 
mlsrar
Posts: 1384
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 7:41 am

RE: Minneapolis/Saint Paul International's Hub

Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:48 am

Company wise, lets not forget:

Best Buy
Wells Fargo
Pet Food Warehouse
Seagate
Pilsbury
IBM (employs 7200 developers)
Mayo Health Care
Allina Health Care
Fairview Health Care
**(Each of the three above employs more than 3M)
Wal-Mart (employs more than Supervalu times 2!)
...just to name a few
I mean, for the right price I’ll fight a lion. - Mike Tyson

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