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STT757
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In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:13 am

From today's NY Time Business section, http://www.nytimes.com

" In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying the Front Door
By MICHELINE MAYNARD

Published: January 31, 2004


hroughout Southwest Airlines' three decades in the air, its trademark has been sneaking up on big-city markets, starting service at lesser-used airports and luring passengers with tantalizingly low fares.

But now Southwest is shaking up air travel throughout the Northeast with a direct assault on Philadelphia, the nation's fourth-biggest market for air travel.

Southwest will not start flying out of Philadelphia until May, but it has already started running commercials there promising low fares and friendly service. In response, US Airways, the dominant carrier in Philadelphia, has cut some fares and vowed not to be undersold.

At the same time, though, it is pursuing a less-confident-sounding Plan B, by putting its Philadelphia operations up for sale. Saddled with high operating costs, US Airways is already wobbling financially, having emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just 10 months ago; some fear that Southwest's assault could topple it right back in.

That's not all. Southwest's designs on Philadelphia also challenge airlines serving New York, like Continental at Newark Liberty International Airport and even JetBlue at Kennedy International, which draws bargain hunters from across the region.

Southwest's thrust into a major Northeast market also worries airlines like American and United, which are already battling for passengers to cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, and are loath to have another big city invaded by Southwest, the low-cost, low-fare leader. All of this delights ticket buyers, from individuals just looking for a good deal to corporate travel managers as far away as northern Virginia.

Kimberly Long, president of the Philadelphia Business Travel Association, said that many business travelers had "the basic feeling of being held hostage" to US Airways for years, because it accounts for more than two-thirds of the flights into and out of Philadelphia International Airport.

In a previous job as the corporate travel manager for a bridal company, Ms. Long said, she flew regularly on US Airways to St. Louis, often paying as much as $1,200 round trip for a full-fare ticket; colleagues paid $800 round trip to fly to Boston. Alternatives were time-consuming and inconvenient, she said, so "you just had to pay it."

Those days will soon be over. Though Southwest has not announced the prices on its Philadelphia routes, no ticket on Southwest costs more than $299 round trip, and the airline regularly offers one-way fares for as low as $34 if purchased on the Internet.

Southwest's move on Philadelphia is not without risk. The airline has become the industry's most profitable, and the most highly valued among investors, by running its operations like clockwork. But the unpredictable weather, crowded skies and frequent air travel delays in the Northeast "will make it difficult to operate its schedule smoothly," said Roland T. Rust, chairman of the marketing department at the University of Maryland's business school.

And by entering a market heavy with business travelers, a profit redoubt for traditional carriers, Southwest may invite a showdown with major carriers that many in the industry have been waiting for.

"Southwest has traditionally engaged in asymmetric warfare," said Professor Rust, referring to the approach of using secondary and suburban airports to serve major cities. Its move into Philadelphia may signal that it thinks US Airways is weak enough "that it can be taken on directly," he said.

US Airways is vulnerable, Professor Rust said, adding, "Southwest will hammer US Airways in Philadelphia."

Before Southwest even starts flying in Philadelphia, not only US Airways but other competitors there - including low-fare competitors like ATA Airlines - have vowed to battle back, promising what one aviation industry consultant predicts will be one of the fiercest contests the airline industry has seen in years.

The last such battle, said the consultant, Michael Allen, chief operating officer of Back Aviation, was a decade ago, when Southwest arrived in Baltimore. At the time, US Airways was the largest airline in Baltimore. By last year, however, Southwest accounted for 44 percent of all flights and US Airways only 10 percent.

Southwest was able to overtake US Airways even though it was then seen as a quirky, no-frills alternative to major airlines, known primarily for attracting backpackers and grandparents, not business travelers. Now, however, it is the sixth-largest carrier in the United States, and it has the potential to do major damage with its Philadelphia service, Mr. Allen said.

That is why its competitors are wasting no time. Even before Southwest has a chance to board its first passenger in Philadelphia, US Airways, which has 68 percent of the flights into and out of the city, is aggressively trying to cut costs. US Airways refused to comment, but its chief executive, David N. Siegel, is pleading with unions to accept pay cuts and changes in work rules, on top of two rounds of similar concessions that the airline won when it was in bankruptcy protection last year.

US Airways has even moved to sell some of its main assets - including its East Coast shuttle and one of its three hubs: Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; or Charlotte, N.C. - knowing that it will have to slash fares once Southwest starts flying there. Late last year, Mr. Siegel told employees that fares typically fell 30 percent when Southwest started new service.

Though US Airways may be able to avoid the full 30 percent loss in revenue because it offers business class and other premium service, like flights abroad, it must be prepared to accept its average fare falling 20 to 25 percent, he said.

Officials at Southwest contend that the decision to begin flying out of Philadelphia was not meant to cause US Airways trouble but to bring lower fares to customers like Ms. Long who have long become used to paying high prices.

In spring 2003, the average one-way fare on United from Philadelphia to Chicago was $185, or $370 round trip, according to Back Aviation. That is $71 more than Southwest's peak fare to travel anywhere in the country, a difference of almost 24 percent. Similarly, the average one-way fare on US Airways from Philadelphia to Las Vegas was about $160, or $320 round trip, last year - $21 more than Southwest's ceiling.

Even so, Southwest's choice of Philadelphia caught some people in the industry off guard. Southwest has long been known for choosing smaller places to serve big markets. It flies out of Providence, R.I., and Manchester, N.H., to draw passengers from Boston, for example, and uses secondary airports elsewhere, like Midway International in Chicago or Oakland International near San Francisco.

Given that, the industry thought Southwest would pick Allentown, Pa., where airport officials have been courting the airline for a generation. Instead, it went for the big cheese steak, a move the airline said it did not consider to be unusual.

Gary C. Kelly, Southwest's chief financial officer, said that Southwest also flew to top 10 airports like Los Angeles International, Phoenix Sky Harbor and Bush Intercontinental in Houston. "The selection of that airport isn't extraordinary at all," Mr. Kelley said of Philadelphia.

Southwest, which had not announced a new city in more than two years, based its decision "on our ability to operate efficiently, and the ability to lower fares," he said. Philadelphia, he added, "is one of the higher-fare markets in the country."

US Airways has the most to lose, but others will also be affected.

Last week, Gerard J. Arpey, chief executive of American's parent company, the AMR Corporation, vowed like Mr. Siegel to stand and fight in Philadelphia. "We don't relish seeing anyone come into one of our major markets," Mr. Arpey said, "but we are not retreating from any markets where we are facing competition."

Southwest is starting with six cities and 14 flights a day from Philadelphia, barely a blip on its daily schedule of 2,700 flights to 59 destinations across the United States. But in any city where it begins service, "we will add flights," Mr. Kelly said, adding, "That city will see a dramatic increase in traffic on the cities we serve."

How rapidly Southwest grows in Philadelphia will depend in part on its success in attracting business travelers. Unlike US Airways and other full-fare carriers, Southwest does not offer corporate discounts, contending its fares are already lower than the negotiated fares that other airlines offer companies.

US Airways has yet to say how much it will cut its fares once Southwest begins service from Philadelphia in May. Analysts suspect that US Airways is delaying its fare adjustments as long as possible to protect revenue in a market that has been one of its most valuable.

AMR's chief financial officer, James A. Beer, insists that Southwest will not get an edge in terms of fares. "We are fully competitive with the Southwests and JetBlues of the world," he said. "We want to be absolutely clear on that."

Mr. Kelly at Southwest said his airline was ready, too.

"In terms of planning, we have to be prepared for the worst, which is a very competitive battle for customers," he said. But, he added, that is not new to Southwest. "This is our life," Mr. Kelly said."




"Southwest Airlines draws passengers from many large cities, but it often uses secondary airports, like Oakland International, where Cornecia Banks worked the ticket counter last year"
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
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STT757
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:14 am

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
cha747
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:13 am

STT757 - Thanks very much for sharing this article. Not only is WN directly threatening US, airlines like AA and UA are being attacked and I think that in mid-May and June, we are going to see some great fares all over the country from the PHL market. Many friends/colleagues travel to Baltimore or up to the NYC area to get better fares and I finally think that in PHL, we'll finally be able to put an end to that.

What I wanted to add (and it might have already been discussed in a previous forum) is that Southwest's committment goes far beyond the airport and the airwaves. Southwest is now the official airline of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. When our new Citizen's Bank ballfield opens for the Phillies this spring, I'm sure WN's presence is going to be made clearly known. Many of my friends cannot wait until WN announces more cities and more connections.
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rjpieces
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front

Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:19 am

It is also a fairly big attack on JetBlue. There are only a hanful of major city airports in the NE that Locos could expand into. JFK,BOS, and IAD are taken. PHI was the only remaining major airport. B6 will not be starting service to PHI anytime soon now.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
goboeing
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:56 am

Good article. I don't know anyone that hasn't been raped by US Airways that will continue to pay those ridiculous fares. My dad flew from PHL to STL once; his company paid for it but it was $1,200.

Nick
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:19 am

This article is COMPLETELY off base in reference to fares....


no ticket on Southwest costs more than $299 round trip

wrong. $299 one way



the average one-way fare on United from Philadelphia to Chicago was $185, or $370 round trip, according to Back Aviation.

Again, this isnt exactly accurate.

The global carriers often price equally or MORE for unrestricted 1way than they do roundtrip, particularly on domestic medium/longhauls.
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Coronado990
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:44 am

On the contrary, I think B6 could do well at PHL.

They could use the two of the three just opened slots at LGB for PHL and, before WN gets a shot at it, a couple of flights to OAK. WN does not serve DEN plus F9 has not arrived at PHL yet either, so there is another market screaming for lower fares on a non-stop flight. Florida would be the only dog fight between B6 and WN but B6 could do well in the FLL & PBI market while WN would have the upper hand in the MCO & TPA market.

Uncle SAN at your service!
 
USAFHummer
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 5:02 am

I think F9 will serve PHL way before B6 even thinks of trying PHL-DEN...

Greg
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rjpieces
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front

Sun Feb 01, 2004 5:04 am

B6 would not risk a faceoff with WN. If B6 started PHI-FLL and PBI, and WN responded........Let's just say it would be fun to watch B6 running from PHI like they did ATL! Which is why I doubt they will enter PHI anytime soon.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
jetbluefan1
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front

Sun Feb 01, 2004 5:16 am

If B6 started PHI-FLL and PBI, and WN responded........Let's just say it would be fun to watch B6 running from PHI like they did ATL! Which is why I doubt they will enter PHI anytime soon.

I disagree with you. No airline would have the advantage in this situation and Philadelphia would be a new market for both of them. I'm sure JetBlue would heavily advertise their tv's on billboards, and WN would be advertising low fares on commercials. However, I'm sure Philadelphians would be more than willing to give JetBlue a try, and not just Southwest.

JetBlue better make a move soon though if they want to have a chance at getting into the market.

JetBluefan1
 
N323ER
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:27 am

It is going to be interesting what happens to SWA in BWI. Rumors through the Airtran company that I have heard here in Baltimore are very interesting. It appears that SWA is feeling very threatened about Airtran's presence here at BWI. They proposed to are company that if we left BWI alone we could have Philly but of course with BWI being one of the best low cost airports in the nation we had to refuse. Therefore SWA, both for spite and sercurity went to PHL. Just something I have heard but it will be interesting to see what happens in the future here in BWI because once the new A/B termainal is complete SWA is projecting 300+ flights a day. I am thinking of history repeating itself; meaning that this was one of USAir's major problems from the beginning. All their hubs where to close together. In the early 90's USAir was pumping flights out of LGA,PIT,BWI,CLT this is not a good seperation for hubs. My question is this is SWA going to try and play the same game. If they are planning 300+ flights in BWI and now also planning a preaty major operation in PHL is the outcome going to be the same. I get this feeling that they might be thinking of moving but then again what do i know  Smile

RYAN BWIOPS(AIRTRAN)
RYAN SCAIFE
 
rjpieces
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front

Sun Feb 01, 2004 7:25 am

Except you forget that US was a major relying on the hub and spoke model, Southwest's flights are all point to point and cater mostly to O&D, so they could have large operations out of two cities geographically near each other (and BWI and PHI aren't THAT close).

Jetbluefan1, you and i disagree a lot!  Smile JetBlue and Southwest don't compete head to head on any route and this is because Southwest always wins! JetBlue is still very young and small and can't go head to head with the lowfare king yet. It has NOTHING to do with how willing Philadelphians would be to fly both airlines. Or advertising.

Why should JetBlue enter PHI when there are still lots of other markets for them to enter where they wouldn't face TOUGH competition from Southwest?
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
N323ER
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 7:53 am

I understand that the Hub and Spoke system is not present with WN but there planes still have go through central points and really if you look at it the right way BWI PHL are very close, you are only talk a 100 miles. Also having two big operations near each other can be damaging when it comes to weather. Hear in the northeast one snow storm would paralize half their fleet not a good idea. The outcome to me is either PHL will only serve certain SWA routes with feeder flights from Provience, Manchester, Islip and BWI but that would be a lack of utilization of 737's for a BWI PHL route. For an airline operational decision I think Southwest will be making a mistake if they try to operate to big operations that close

RYAN BWIOPS(AIRTRAN)
RYAN SCAIFE
 
saxman66
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 8:16 am

But then again, JetBlue has SWA a little on their toes. After visiting JetBlue and Southwest's HQ's, they both have some unique marketing schemes up their sleeves. Jetblue's founder and CEO, David Neeleman, did indeed work for Southwest for a period of time, and took alot of Herb's ideas and concepts. It now seems that both of these airlines are starting to become "Big Dogs," to the other airlines. Now 10 years ago, AA, United, etc. were the Big dogs, feircly fighting SWA in Dallas and other places. I've heard internal rumors of SWA thinking very low of other carriers, and how they're gonna give other low fare carriers a run for their money. This includes Airtran if SW were to serve Atlanta, and ATA in Chicago. I think my roommate whose been a little brainwashed after interning at SW, is a little closed minded to the other low fare carriers as well as the big ones. SW is scared (a little) of JetBlue. So my point being, SWA should let the the carriers stay around, and not be so bulliesh to some carriers. We do need all the carriers to stay in business, as it is what gives us a choice when we fly. And a side note, more often then not, I have found Southwest to be alot more expensive then some other big carriers.

Any comments
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usairways85
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 8:17 am

I don't think Jetblue will be in PHL for a while and i don't think they even originally planned to come to PHL. Also when you start considering Jetblue to compete with WN to florida you have to take into consideration Airtran's 11 daily flights to Florida from PHL.

Rumors have it that WN is planning a good size buildup at PHL and will eventually have 8 gates.
 
ORDnDFW777
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

Southwest will not serve ATL and MSP in the near future. They've made it clear those airports are not on the short or long list of cities to serve the future. But then again, who would have expected WN at PHL?

Too bad TZ was able to get new financing. I'ld rather see WN blow up Midway and cause major tension for AA and UA at ORD!

You have to love the Chicago market! Things can change here in a NY minute!
 
PVD757
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:11 am

I think WN will do very well in PHL, continue to grow in PHL and do some severe damage to US and possibly FL there. This is a company that knows how to run a good airline. They have the best history of making sound, well researched logical decisions that put thier company in the best position to succeed. Where things haven't worked out so well, they corrected it. In PVD, the PHL market is in the top 30, serving somewhere around 150-200 passengers O&D per day. In the top 30 PVD markets, PHL is the second closest at 238 miles (NYC is closest), but THE highest average fares at $261.00 one-way. That is simply rediculous. WN is going to grab thousands of people who are taking the Acela Amtrak train from the southeastern New England area to PHL. Not too mention the addition of a couple more stop-over options to PHX, LAS, MCO, TPA, and MDW from PVD. The PHL market from PVD used to be top 10, so there is a history of many, many more passengers on the route, they just don't want to pay 500 bucks roundtrip. WN will do it for 100 - good homework, smart decsions, it's going to get ugly for some other carriers!
 
jjbiv
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:24 am

"Too bad TZ was able to get new financing. I'ld rather see WN blow up Midway and cause major tension for AA and UA at ORD!"

You really might wish to rethink those statements.

joe
 
juanchie
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:51 am

It looks like WN is gonna be very aggresive at PHL. What do you guys think US Airways could do to combat WN and win the battle of PHL other than just lowering costs?
God, forgive me for who I am, and help me be the man I want to be.
 
ORDnDFW777
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:56 am

We live in a free market economy. TZ was able to secure financing, best of luck to them. I would rather see WN dominate MDW!
 
cloudy
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:22 pm

It is going to be interesting what happens to SWA in BWI. Rumors through the Airtran company that I have heard here in Baltimore are very interesting. It appears that SWA is feeling very threatened about Airtran's presence here at BWI. They proposed to are company that if we left BWI alone we could have Philly but of course with BWI being one of the best low cost airports in the nation we had to refuse. Therefore SWA, both for spite and sercurity went to PHL. Just something I have heard but it will be interesting to see what happens in the future here in BWI because once the new A/B termainal is complete SWA is projecting 300+ flights a day. I am thinking of history repeating itself; meaning that this was one of USAir's major problems from the beginning. All their hubs where to close together. In the early 90's USAir was pumping flights out of LGA,PIT,BWI,CLT this is not a good seperation for hubs. My question is this is SWA going to try and play the same game. If they are planning 300+ flights in BWI and now also planning a preaty major operation in PHL is the outcome going to be the same. I get this feeling that they might be thinking of moving but then again what do i know
-------


What is your source for this? Offering to give Airtran Philli in exchange for BWI would be an illegal act on Southwest's part if what you say is true. Agreeing to split markets like that is a direct violation of anti-trust law. It is also unlike Southwest to do things out of spite. There would be a lot more airlines in bankruptcy now if Southwest chose to act that way.

As for both Jetblue and Southwest serving Philli..... I believe this is possible, in fact I think it is likely. However, it is unlikely that both will be able to use it as a major base at the same time. One will eventually have over a hundred flights or more, while the other will have no more than a dozen or so.


 
PVD757
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:22 pm

US will have to rely on the connections to small destinations that WN cannot serve with their 737s. All of the poduncts with B1900s, Dash-8s and Saabs will not have any WN to lower fares. As I said before, on the PVD route, they will cut the avg. fare in half. US can still make money for anybody continuing through PHL to a small station that they serve. This might help raise the revenue for the segment, I'm just not sure how they break up the fare for the different sections of the trip. Sometimes on through flights or one stops, it's some sort of formula. WN is going to be limited to about 60 destinations ultimately out of PHL. All of the other destinations for US have to come up with sufficient revenue to help those routes. The one thing that I worry about for WN in PHL is cost. Not only will it be expensive for the airline, it will be expensive for the employee as well. If you work or reside inside the PHL city limits, you have to pay a 6% tax to the city on what you earn. This is on top of the state and federal taxes you would already pay. The only part that I can remember that was exempt from this was part of terminal A. When I worked for AA at their ticket counter, the city line cut through the terminal. If you were at the gates, you paid the tax. If you were at the ticket counter, you did not because you technically worked in Delaware county. I might spend half the year at the ticket counter and not pay the tax. The next two bids I might have gotten the gates and payed the 6%. Terminal E is in the city limits and this will burden someone's idea of a LCC. I'm not sure if they would come up with a COLA for the employee, but it would probably help.
 
ATA767
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:18 pm

I think WN has an attraction that can hold down any market that they enter. However B6's TV is a real hook. Why would you want to fly from let’s say PHL-FLL with no TV or snack choice? That is the difference that would actually over time hurt WN's hold on PHL. Nothing happens over night but once the word would get out in PHL about B6, WN would feel the pressure.

As for ATA, they have something up their sleeves. Have you not noticed while everybody else is busy announcing their new destinations and hubs ATA is quietly getting their house in order and acquiring additions to their fleet? ATA does have to make some better deployment choices but I think we will all be surprised.

.
 
txagkuwait
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:29 pm

PVD757 writes: >> "As I said before, on the PVD route, they will cut the avg. fare in half." <<

Well, not exactly.

The last DOT O&D stats show PHL-PVD, a distance of 238 miles...having an average of 132 persons per day flying between the two cities, paying an average fare of $ 306.78.

While Parker and the rest of the boys and girls from Dallas Love Field don't consult with me about these things....Let me suggest that the Southwest fare in that market will be at the Dallas-Houston level or even less (for introductory purposes).

Heck, the fare could eveb come down to $75 walkup and, say, $34 for an advance purchase fare.

You could end up with an AVERAGE fare in the market of maybe $65.

So instead of the average fare falling by half...the average fare may very well be cut by 80%.

When that happens, a lot more than 132 persons per day will be flying between PVD and PHL. A lot more.
 
PVD757
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:41 pm

According to the market statisttics that we(PVD) get from the DOT, the average fare is $261 one way. Maybe not literally, but you get the idea. You're also assuming that there is no loyal US passengers in the market. Sure, US will match the majority of fares in the market, but US is not going to have $139 for a walk-up fare. Also, there may be 132 people going to PHL a day, but only 71 of them are going to PHL. I'm sure those will definitely increase dramatically when fares are cut.
 
txagkuwait
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:43 pm

What was the quarter/year of your stats?

And that 132 passengers is TOTAL pax (PHL-PVD and PVD-PHL) but does NOT include transfer passengers. Strictly O&D.

And yeah, I know there will be some loyal US passengers there.....but I would be very surprised to see many if US doesn't match the fare.

$261 or $307 for a 238 mile flight? Have they no shame at all?

[Edited 2004-02-01 05:45:08]
 
PVD757
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:46 pm

The numbers are for the 2002 year.
 
flyinggizmo
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RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 7:54 pm

Problems with PHL for ANY airline that chooses to do business there.

1. The airport lays split between the city and county municipalities, and there fore is taxed accordingly. A US Airways gate agent assigned to work the end of concourse gates will get taxed by the city for the hours they work there. Guess which seniority group always ends up working down there? Terminal E is within city limits; WN employees will be paying taxes accordingly.

2. PHL is a single runway airport in IMC conditions. Yes, a SINGLE runway. 17/35 is good for only commuter flights and a few weight restricted arrivals. The 9/27s are hopelessly jammed; even if US Airways depeaks, they will simply add more flights and then it is back to square one. Reports indicate that Southwest is in talks with the airport and city to allow them to use 8/26 for ops....one hiccup in power or wind shear coming off of runway 26 will give you a high speed meeting with terminal D. Do it on rwy 8, and you get will pay a visit to the I-95 overpass at takeoff speeds. Assuming no wind configuration problems, even 17/35 will not totally help; no CAT2/3 is available and the commuter pilots for the WO's are notorious for screwing PHL into a ground delay progrm on the order of 5 hour delays extending to 3 tiers. Oh, and let's not forget a little something about rwy 17.....look for the notam "Ships in river channel" and adjust your obstacle clearance accordingly.

3. Runway lengths: 17/35 and 8/26 are ok for the 737NG, but you will be taking load seats on departures, even with improved climb. They are simply too short, much like SNA to expect good weights coming off of. Add a steaming hot summers day to the mix, and you are looking at a no go or a dangerous situation.

4. Southwest is requesting to have 8 gates....from where? US Airways is not only not giving up gates, they are asking for more gates, as well as Airtran, American and United. Building a new terminal is out of the question due to space availability. Philly airport authority is being taken to task right now about "questionable" practices regarding treatment of a airline; this may go to court and turn into something nasty that could derail any attempts by Southwest to acquire more gates. To take gates away from another carrier and give them to Southwest simply because "we want them here and we don't like you anyway" is the kind of case lawyers live for. But that is exactly what is trying to happen.
 
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STT757
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:57 pm

"To take gates away from another carrier and give them to Southwest simply because "we want them here and we don't like you anyway" is the kind of case lawyers live for. But that is exactly what is trying to happen."

When an airline has over 65% of a market it's hard for them to argue that they should not atleast "share" some gates with a new entrant, that's a tough argument.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
usairways85
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 11:59 am

RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:18 am

Philly is in the process of designing an addition to Terminal E which i think would give Southwest another 2 or 3 gates.

Airtran isn't looking for any new gates, they had the option of getting 4 new gates, but only went for 3 and now the 4th is seldomly used. Trust me, there are a good number of gates that are seldomly used. US Airways' D gates are used like 2 times times a day each.

Just an update, ATA is now using Terminal A so the four gates going to Southwest must be undergoing some renovations.
 
PVD757
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:23 pm

RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:20 am

txag...I'm trying to find out the best way to get more recent DOT #'s. I have nothing for 2003 yet, only the year over year ending CY02. As I said, the PHL-PVD has suffered a catastophic loss of passengers going to BWI or Amtrak at the hands of one of the highest average fares paid by passengers using our airport. The US monopoly is clearly evident and soon to come to an abrupt halt.
 
Howdy
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 11:55 pm

RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front

Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:28 am

Some of the fares are indeed not correct.
 
ua815
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2000 10:43 am

RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front Doo

Mon Feb 02, 2004 1:38 am

Here are some current fare comparisions (plus tax, fees, etc.):

US PHL-PVD Round Trip
$347 to $452: Non-refundable restricted
$810: 7 day adv. purch, Unrestricted
$920: Unrestricted

Amtrak Acela PHL-PVD Round Trip
$242: Weekend unrestricted
$284 to $302: Weekday unrestricted

WN BWI-PVD Round Trip
$79 to $136: Non-refundable, restricted
$148: Unrestricted
 
jetbluefan1
Posts: 2867
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:39 am

RE: In Philadelphia, Southwest Is Trying The Front

Mon Feb 02, 2004 3:02 am

JetBlue and Southwest don't compete head to head on any route and this is because Southwest always wins!

Southwest usually does win, correct, but you may want to rethink that at PHL. Not everyone in Philadelphia knows Southwest or has flown them before - same with JetBlue. Therefore, each airline would have an equal chance of gaining passengers there. This is what it will come down to:

Price: WN and B6 have the same fares to Florida, will both would most likely have many flights too from PHL

Customer Service: Both have excellent customer service

Frequency: Both WN and B6 have a lot of flights to Florida, and my guess would be that they'd both operate the same amount from PHL

This is what people will look for first. When they see the exact same things, they're going to start nitpicking...what is the entertainment like? Do they have food? JetBlue would win entertainment - a lot of people enjoy tv - and as far as food, JetBlue gives you a wide selection of snacks while Southwest does not.

If JetBlue enters the Philadelphia market at the exact same time Southwest does, then you will see some major fare and frequency battles. But I believe that Philadelphia is large enough to have flights to Florida on both airlines, along with AirTran and US Air.

JetBluefan1