Tom in NO
Topic Author
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

America West And The DOT

Sat Feb 05, 2000 9:33 am

Another tidbit from the latest "Air Transport World":

Of the 10 leading/largest US airlines (DL, UA, SW, AA, US, NW, CO, TW, AS, and HP), in October of '99, America West had the most consumer complaints and the worst on-time percentage. Looks like even having their primary hub in sunny PHX isn't an advantage for them.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina

RE: America West And The DOT

Sat Feb 05, 2000 11:13 am

PHX is an advantage and disadvantage. It’s obviously a booming hub; however, this also serves to exacerbate the negative side of PHX airport: congestion.

Those who don’t live there may not realize this, but PHX is ranked seventh in the WORLD for aircraft movements. When you take into account that they only have two runways, that makes for a busy place and delays come as no big surprise. I would say this accounts for a lot of the problems AWA is having, hence more passenger complaints. A lot of the hang-ups are caused by gate conflicts. If you do some spotting in PHX, you may notice there are aircraft sitting in the penalty box while there are open gates. This stems from the fact that not all aircraft can fit into every gate, as well as other scheduling issues.

On the other hand, PHX is also Southwest’s biggest station and it doesn’t seem to affect them too much. They’re not going to be hit as hard because they run a point-point system—that’s the beauty of WN’s operation. Also, they only fly 737’s so they have much more freedom with gate usage, although the 73G’s aren’t quite as flexible.

So you see, AWA has a lot of deep-rooted problems that have to be addressed. A third runway will open soon but I’ve heard that one of the others will immediately be shut down for a while for repairs/lengthening. I think HP should focus more on it’s other hubs (LAS/CMH) instead of Phoenix in the meantime.
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2000 2:07 pm

The Fallacy Of DOT Complaints

Sat Feb 05, 2000 2:37 pm

The problem with the DOT report in the past has been that so much significance is given a report with such a small sampling. For example say HP came in number one in complaints for a particiular month, when in fact only about 23 complaints were filed, and as many as 4 or 5 complaints would be from the same passengers letter! "The flight was late, the agent was rude, my bags were late, and they damaged them". Those kind of letters. Meawhile some carriers, like WN, never get letters. Probably because they keep it simple. It's not hard to meet expectations, when all you promise is quick reliable transportation from point A to point B, and always at a low fare. Meanwhile, the HP pax gods expect perfection at every moment, and they all know the DOT's address.
Better than most, not as good as some.