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flybynight
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United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:18 pm

I'm surprised UA doesn't consider SEA an official hub. They pretty much have the entire North Terminal to themselves, and with the exception of AS / Horizon, they have the most flights in and out of SEA.

Heia Norge!
 
Trvlr
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:33 pm

Multiple definitions abound on this board and elsewhere within airline industry as to what exactly constitutes a hub. The general consensus here will be that Seattle is not a hub for UA because it does not have enough connecting traffic. People will say it is a "focus city" etc etc.

Personally, I think Seattle has most of the characteristics of a very low-profile "hub". There are many UA Express commuter flights to smaller cities throughout the Pacific Northwest. There are also a couple of longer-range flights which are probably heavily utilized by connecting passengers. These include NRT, ANC, LAX and until recently JFK. Even flights to SFO, ORD, and IAD can easily find connecting passengers.

Still, United's operation at SEA pales in comparison to its "official hub" airports. Chances are, the most common description for SEA you will see around here is that of a focus city.

Aaron G.
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:38 pm

hub-if an airline says that an airport is a hub, the airport is a hub

AA-DFW, STL, ORD, MIA
UA-LAX, SFO, DEN, ORD, IAD
DL-SLC, DFW, ATL, CVG
NW-AA), Japan">NRT, MEM, DTW, MSP
CO-GUM, IAH, CLE, EWR
US-PHL, CLT, PIT
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:38 pm

You're half right, but half wrong, also. Northwest is HUGE in SEA, always has been, and don't think that will change. The North Satellite also has one flight to YYZ on Air Canada, as well as Air Canada Jazz to YVR. My understanding is that US Air will also move their handfull of flights over to the North satellite shortly, to take advantage of their partnership with UA.

If anything, UA has downsized SEA, especially since the dot-com bubble burst (we had a lot of those companies based in Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland) that went away 3-4 years ago, and 9/11 didn't help, either. There used to be a nonstop to EWR using an A320, but is now gone, as well as a DC-10/DC-8 to HNL years ago. I can recall in 1983 a 747SP that went to HKG! UA also took over the SEA-LHR flight from Pan Am in 1991, and used a 763, but that route was also discontinued, in 1993. I don't know if UA still owns the SEA-LHR slot, or if it was sold. I would sure love to see it come back though! Shuttle operated flights to SFO, and I would reasonably expect Starfish to serve SEA also, due to the high demand for low fare, north/south travel.

UA still has a crew domicile here, as well as a small maintenance facility, and a branch of their credit union in the main terminal. SEA will always be an important city on the United map, but never has been/will be a United hub.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
MAH4546
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:40 pm

SHUPirate1, you forgot SJU for AA. They call it a hub.
a.
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:44 pm

I didn't know UA has stopped the JFK SEA nonstop A320 flight. To compete with AS's flights to EWR, I would think the JFK SEA flight would be important.
Heia Norge!
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:44 pm

MAH-They still do? I remember they used to, but now that they are down to about 50 flights a day, I don't think they do anymore...you might want to check that out...check their route map at aa.com...
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:47 pm

UA of course also serves Tokyo-Narita (continues to BKK, or did at one point) using 772. Used to be a 742, then a 744, now a 772. UA originally started flights to Tokyo in '83 as part of the "Royal Pacific Service", then had it stripped by then-Trans. secy Elizabeth Dole to CO in the late 80's, who then lost it to AA because they couldn't provide a decent product. United regained the authority several years ago. AA dropped their nonstop to Tokyo after 9/11. They used MD-11, then 772's.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
MAH4546
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:49 pm

MAH-They still do? I remember they used to, but now that they are down to about 50 flights a day, I don't think they do anymore...you might want to check that out...check their route map at aa.com...

They sure do. This year's winter schedule for American Airlines at San Juan includes up to 132 daily flights (on Saturdays; Tuesdays has the least number of flights, 109). They are also adding brand-new non-stops to Los Angeles and resuming Caracas.
a.
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:58 pm

StevenUhl777 - I thought it was just recently I saw a UA 742. Maybe it was NW 742 going to Narita.
Not all that long ago I flew a 744 from Denver to SEA, but I believe the flight didn't continue to a different destitation. Always thought that was a little strange (but great to be back on the Whale).

Heia Norge!
 
SFOairnut
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:01 pm

When UA bought Pan-Am's far east routes/planes there was planning that SEA would be the gateway for pacific travel or SFO. Obviously SFO became that hub. Much of that time period was based on the DOT (MS Elizabeth Dole) who gave the UA SEA-NRT route to CO, after a huge campaign by employees to keep the flight. I can still remember seeing the CO 747 depart for the first time (yes it was on time). After that SEA began to downsize the crew base and of course flights.

One could start a thread on the politics of such regarding awarding routes, it was an interesting time and how decisions were finally made. One reason why UA finally got the okay to fly ORD-NRT.

UA was then much bigger in SEA with service to both NRT and HKG (the SEA-JFK-SEA flight was a 747 for a time). Also there was hourly service to LAX/SFO for some time, along with the SEA-HNL flight, which as a F/A, when the DC-8 would replace the DC-10, pax were not happy and we heard about it.

UA also then (not sure now) handled the ground ops for Finnair and when UA/BA were working together, did the ground ops for them also.

 
StevenUhl777
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Flybynight: Must have been NW...they currently use a 742 to Tokyo-Narita (I'd use the IATA code, but the website messes it up somehow) but I've read elsewhere on this site that it may go to an A330, since NW is retiring their 742's next year or 2005 I think. Plus, if PDX gets a NW nonstop to Tokyo (decision this week?) that will also take away from NW's nonstop from SEA, as well as from UA's, since a lot of the traffic comes up I-5. UA retired their 742's a few years ago, not sure of the exact year, around the time of the DC-10.

SFOairnut: Great info...didn't know that SEA was the original Pacific hub for the far east for UA! 747 between SEA and JFK..didn't know that, either! Sadly, that route has been discontinued altogether. I recall the letter campaign to keep the SEA-NRT flight, and while I can't prove it, there was a lot of speculation that Elizabeth Dole and her Senator-husband were both in the pocket of Frank Lorenzo, which partially explains why she wanted to take it away from a unionized airline like UA and give it to CO. UA of course ultimately won out! Finnair ran DC-10-30's, in the early 90's I think, they've been long gone.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
ual777contrail
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:54 pm

SHUPirate1,
If you say NRT is A hub for NWA then it is as well for UAL. you listed domestic hubs then added the NRT for NWA.

flights to and from NRT for UAL are these cities.
HNL
ICN
HKG
SIN
TPE
PEK
JFK
ORD
SEA
SFO
LAX
BKK

6 777'S A DAY AND 6 747'S A DAY.


UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
bahadir
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:18 am

Since I moved to SEA in Jan. 2001 I used the N terminal almost on weekly basis. At the time UA had more non-stops to ORD, IAD, SFO and LAX.
The JFK non-stop got cancelled at the beginning of this year. SEA-JFK market got hit pretty bad by slow down in the economy. Jan 2002 I flew SEA-JFK-IST and back on DL and both of the times the equipment was 763. Now DL uses 752s. Interestingly AA is serving the market, but I guess UA decided to get rid of the flight.

Another interesting point is JetBlue serving JFK-SEA with only a flight a day. The frequency was supposed to go to 3 daily when they announced the flights.

United still serves some Eastern Washington cities, YVR and PDX with Brasilias. Last summer a lot of equipment got changed to 767s due to cruise demands. (3x ORD /day, 2x DEN / day).

At this time the only widebody UA service to SEA is ORD-SEA 8:00am departure that goes to AA), Japan">NRT. The flight that comes in from AA), Japan">NRT does the 2:00 pm DEN flight.

It is amazing that UA had LHR non-stop from SEA. I was hoping that LH would pick SEA for their next destination, but they went with PDX which upset me a bit..
Earthbound misfit I
 
triscl
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:45 am

There were also a number of flights to smaller west coast cities from Seattle at one point. Sacramento stands out in my memory, and don't quote me, but didn't they also do Ontario and Oakland at some point? Sacto. I know for sure.

The North terminal seems to be an artifact of the days when they had more service in Seattle.
 
searpqx
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:55 am

Seattle always has been, and probably always will be an important city for United (the original company was founded by and owned by Boeing), but it's has gone down in size and importance over time. As a couple people mentioned, SEA was United's first (and only) Pacific gateway until the purchase of PanAm's Pacific division. During the fight to keep the SEA-NRT route, UA said they would have to cancel SEA-HKG if they lost NRT. Despite this, they kept HKG for quite awhile before finally moving the service to SFO. I believe they still hold the rights to SEA-LHR (again purchased from PanAm), but the service itself has long been discontinued. At its peak, the North terminal would see two 747s and a 747SP each day. The fact that both QX and AS have operations in the North terminal attest to the drop in departures.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
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clickhappy
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:09 am

Just last year the JFK run was done w/ a 752.

We saw some UA 744's this past summer, routing SEA-ORD
 
triscl
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:16 am

In the end, SEA-JFK was an A320... I took it Dec 30 2002
 
Coronado990
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 6:53 am

To be a true hub in SEA wouldn't Alaska have to be involved? Obviously AS wins that battle because of their commitment to the smaller airports within Alaska.

UA did serve SAN-SEA non-stop for awhile before AS came to town.
Uncle SAN at your service!
 
FATFlyer
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:14 am

Interestingly enough, Skywest calls SEA a hub for its UAX operation, even though they have fewer than 20 flights. They also call PDX a hub.
http://www.skywest.com/media/facts.php
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
aaway
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:27 am

UA/SEA has possessed some hub-like characteristics in the past. UA did serve SEA-OAK, SAN, SMF nonstop. Also UA mainline used to fly SEA-GEG, YVR. And UA used to fly SEA-ANC with greater frequency.
Also, UA Express used to have a greater presence at SEA, flying such routes as SEA-BLI and EAT.
All in all, UA's old sked pattern at SEA was one of a greater level of connectivity. But that service level as diminished quite substantially.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:41 am

Bahadir - I thought I saw a LH A340 at SEA recently. Hmm, wonder if it was diverted from Portland due to weather.
It is strange that airlines are picking Portland over Seattle, especially a Star Alliance member like LH. UA has a much bigger presence at SEA compared with PDX. Seattle is a bigger city (much bigger if you compare metro areas). I would think with the growing cruise business (mostly at Vancouver expense) it will attract more business back to SEA. The third runway and new terminal will be a help as well.
Heia Norge!
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 12:57 pm

Flybynight:

Re: SEA vs. PDX:

LH was attracted more to PDX because:
- they were able to get incentives for at least a year from the Port in the form of no landing fees.
- a large block of tickets were sold up front before the flight began
- many locally-based business in the Portland/Salem/Vancouver area have strong German ties to business there. This can't be said about SEA.
- efforts to lure LH to PDX/Oregon began several years ago, I recall they came close to operating a DC10-30 to PDX, not sure whey it fell through back then.

Mexicana chose Portland because:
- there is a larger Mexican population near Portland. In Washington, most of the Mexican workers live east of the Cascades, near Wenatchee.
- incentives by the Port (don't have specifics)
- pre-purchased tickets (don't have specifics)
I have no idea how that flight is working out, if at all. It's not a daily flight, that's for sure.

SAS chose SEA over PDX (and perhaps some other west-coast cities):
- thanks to a large Scandinavian population in the Seattle/Tacoma metro area, specifically the Ballard neighborhood north of downtown Seattle.
- SAS started out with DC-10-30's, then used 767-300ER, and now they use A340.

Hope this helps answer your question?!
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:13 pm

StevenUhl777 - Interesting. There is large population of Hispanics in the Yakima area, this is true. Of course Yakima is about the same distance to PDX vs SEA. Living in Sammamish, I find an interesting mix of professional, including my neighbors, who are German. They wish LH flew from SEA to Frankfurt.
I think the cruise business will help SEA bounce back, and so will the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver on 2010.
I believe SAS used to fly 742's as well to SEA from Copenhagen.
A great place to watch the SAS A340 is right at Safeco Field. The BA 744 and SAS A340 take-off about the same time. It's a wonderful sight to see these Heavies climbing right over downtown Seattle.
From my office I had a great view of a 773ER on final to Boeing Field today - more beautiful scenery for the most scenic large city in the US!
Heia Norge!
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:19 pm

Sometimes I get to see the SAS A340 flying over Bothell / Kirkland on its way into SeaTac. My office faces south from Bothell. It's a beautiful sight - you can't mistake those four red engines for anything else!
But that was when I ruled the world
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:29 pm

ScarletHarlot - I wouldn't think Bothell would be good viewing area. Well, I guess if you look straight up. I fly into SEA frequently and when we land towards the south we usually come in over roughly Monroe and turn south/ southwest pretty much flying directly over Bothell, down over U of W and Capital Hill. It's a great approach since it takes you right over Boeing Field.
Heia Norge!
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:38 pm

Time will tell on the LH nonstop to PDX...if it eventually moved up to SEA it wouldn't surprise me at all, though I don't know how happy SAS would be at that prospect, not to mention BA. In fact, the SAS and BA flights may have played into right into PDX's hands when marketing PDX over SEA for the LH service. For now, if the PDX-FRA can continue to carry enough cargo and enough PDX-based pax tired of coming here or SFO or wherever use it to get to European destinations, then it will continue for a while longer.

I often see the BA 744 and the SK A340 taking off over south Everett..and yes, those red enginges and navy blue tail are hard to miss. One of the best spotting places in the Seattle area is along the 3rd base line at Safeco Field! Forget the ballgame...buy a cheap ticket and click away!  Big thumbs up

And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
bahadir
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:31 am

If the traffic is using 34s then I find myself on the road that goes under the 34R in the mornings, and on the western end in the afternoons. Great photo ops.

The road on the approach end of 16s is much lower so you get to see the belly of the aircraft instead of the side view.

I was told that there was a viewing area back then on the west side of the runways. I wish that was still open..

Re: SAS getting upset over the LH's move to SEA. Tough luck.. FRA and LH have better connections. In my specific case no connection to IST, unless you board their new discount airline.

Up until last year N terminal was used only by Horizon flights , but Alaska moved there because of the construction that is going on for the A terminal and other areas of the field. I am glad to see US Airways to move their flights to N gates also.
Earthbound misfit I
 
Leneld
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:03 am

Why do people think Lufthansa is going to leave Portland for Seattle...So far the airlines seams to be really pleased with the existing passenger/cargo load out of Portland...I would be more surpirse if Lufthansa leaves Portland considering that it is the sole airlines flying to Europe from PDX...
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Thu Oct 30, 2003 5:19 am

Flybynight, I work just north of the 405/522 interchange, my window faces south, and oftentimes I can see the SAS flight coming in right in front of me. Some days a whole ton of inbound traffic will fly just to the south. It's not the best viewing - binoculars help - but it's very cool that I can sit at my desk and watch planes!

In my experience if you are inbound from points east you can come in anywhere between Monroe and Redmond.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:15 pm

ScarleHarlot - That is cool to be able to look out the office window and spot. From my office in downtown I occasionally spy planes coming to Boeing Field. The 773ER really stands out as drifts slowly over Elliott Bay.
A really cool place to watch planes and eat dinner is at a Mexican place just off of the Mukilteo Speedway in Mukilteo. You're just past the tip of the runway. Nothing like have a new 744 landing just over your head.
Heia Norge!
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:18 pm

northwestern folks love their alaska airlines. i don't think any carrier would be a significant threat to alaska.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
SuperDash
Posts: 352
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:24 pm

Not a hub. Not even close. UA has gotten hammered by Alaska. They only fly to their hubs (Washington, Chicago, Denver, SF and LA) plus a lame Tokyo flight. Express is down to worthless Spokane, Portland and Vancouver flights. That probably goes into the "why bother" category. If SEA is a hub for United then it is for American too since they fly to more "non hub" cities than United.
 
Guest

RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:37 pm

More like a focus city than a hub. You want to see a real hub? Visit ATL. More flights for one carrier than any other in the world out of a single airport. Heck, DL has more flights out of Mecca alone than most large hub airports in the country.
 
SuperDash
Posts: 352
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:51 pm

Atlanta is the only hub I can think of that has one bank. 6a-11p  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
ord
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Fri Oct 31, 2003 11:50 pm

Talking mainline, Northwest most definitely does not have a hub in Seattle. They only have 12 flights. United has around 35 (down from what used to be around 50-60 prior to 9/11).
 
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flybynight
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RE: United & Seattle As A Hub

Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:40 am

SuperDash - Lame NRT flight?
As Ord mentions, I think 9/11 is the reason for the scale-back at SEA. I don't think the percentage of scaling back has been much greater than other major US cities.
Heia Norge!

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