Actually, no one has a hub as large as Delta's at ATL
; the Delta ATL
hub is the largest single-airline hub in the world. And the design of the Denver Int'l terminal complex is evidence to how efficient the ATL
terminal and concourses are, given that it is a (somewhat smaller) copy.
was on its way out at DEN
; I think it's fairly obvious given that they managed to negotiate in advance an exit clause from their leases which allowed them to abandon their hub prior to DIA's opening. To be frank, I think that they planned it from the day they agreed to move to DIA; once CO
signed on to the project, United was forced to follow suit. And, as a result, United has been saddled with the near-highest-in-the-nation landing fees resulting from the shameful cost overruns of Pena's boondoggle on the plains. Yes, it's a lovely facility, but it almost seems that Denver passengers were an afterthought given the terminal's location far from Denver and the lack of a pedestrian walkway to Concourses B and C (and the bridge to A was added at CO
's request). While the ultimate buildout will handle over 100 million annual passengers, I doubt we'll ever see anywhere near that number of passengers at DEN
. Passenger counts at DIA even before 9/11 had barely passed the numbers seen in Stapleton's peak years.
is only well-suited for connections to/from the West Coast and Mountain West. SLC
is comparably well-situated but in a significantly smaller metro area. STL
is probably the best-located U.S. hub for omnidirectional connections (but has weak O&D). IAH
doesn't do well for all connecting itineraries, but it is in an excellent location for lucrative connections to Mexico and Central America.