PHLBOS
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Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:49 am

While there have been several threads regarding the possibility of US shutting down by Feb. 2005 and about what airlines could either expand or set up shop at US' hubs should that come to pass; but one question that hasn't been asked, at least not to my knowledge, is who will pick up the void at BOS? Although not a full-blown hub for US, BOS is clearly a focus city for them.

Could US' possible demise clear the way for WN to come and set up shop in Terminal B? Among existing LCCs at BOS, I don't think that B6, FL and TZ (assuming that they don't downgrade to just charters) will, at least initially, be able to pick up some of the slack.

With UA still in Chapter 11 and DL going into Chapter 11, that leaves AA as the sole legacy carrier that has a prominent presence at BOS (I believe that BOS is a focus city for AA as well) but is not in Chapter 11 at this time.

Back to the question at hand, should US go, could WN come to BOS?

Any thoughts?
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
SWAFA30
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:57 am

Anything's possible but to date quite a bit of time, energy, and money have gone into marketing MHT and PVD as BOS alternatives. How do you scrap all of that and then focus your attention on BOS?
 
S12PPL
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:58 am

If I recall correctly from reading past posts on this subject, WN either did try BOS, or explored BOS, and found it was not cost effective for them. Something along those lines I believe.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:42 am

Anything's possible but to date quite a bit of time, energy, and money have gone into marketing MHT and PVD as BOS alternatives. How do you scrap all of that and then focus your attention on BOS?

Some could've said the same thing about BWI vs. PHL but guess what happened? BWI was not scrapped due to WN coming to PHL.

MHT & PVD will always still have their own market. Besides, NOWHERE did I post that WN would cease MHT & PVD operations in favor of BOS. BOS would be in addition to. One needs to keep in mind that MHT and PVD aren't always convenient airports for people living the Greater Boston area and the lower North Shore region.

If I recall correctly from reading past posts on this subject, WN either did try BOS, or explored BOS, and found it was not cost effective for them. Something along those lines I believe.

Was that before or after WN decided to come to PHL?

Was that before or after B6 came to BOS?

Was that before FL started to add more non-stop cities to/from BOS?

Was that before or after US filed for Chapter 11 the first time?

Prior to a year ago, who would've thought that WN would choose PHL?

Everyone, myself included, thought that if WN was coming to PA; they would've went to ABE as opposed to PHL.

After 30 years of saying, 'No' WN has even pondered coming to DFW, as a means to compliment not replace its DAL operation.

In a nutshell, with WN anything's possible.

"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
zrs70
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:45 am

As I've stated before, I'd love to see WN come to Worcester!
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EMBQA
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:53 am

Southwest in BOS....... No and never.

It's too close to Manchester, which they already serve....just 30 miles away...

.. and the slightest weather delay throws the whole airport into turmoil. Even on bright sunny days, quick trurns are very hard to do.

Its just not a good fit into their system and business plan.

Now, I would like to see them add Portland, Maine. With Eagle pulling out and very limited 'big jet' service.. that would be a great add. Shoot, just a PWM and PHL flight would fill planes.

[Edited 2004-10-11 18:57:10]
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zrs70
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:01 am

I don't agree with the "Too close to MHT" point of view. After all, LAX is close to BUR and SNA, SJC is close to OAK, etc.

I do agree that PWM would be great.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:16 am

It's too close to Manchester, which they already serve....just 30 miles away...

According to my Rand McNally road Atlas, Manchester, NH is listed as 58 miles from Boston. Besides, that didn't stop WN from serving both HOU and IAD.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
EMBQA
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:26 am

PHLBOS-

You asked what people thought, now don't get out the fine toothed comb to find fault in what they say. I've worked at Logan, I worked for an airline that held the number one slot for departures and arrivals by two fold for several years, I've seen what the slightest weather delay will do for hours after a storm has passed, I've seen taxi times of an hour and half on a SUNNY DAY.....BOS is just a BAD fit into the SW route system and business plan. Most people in New England will drive the distance to MHT or PVD to get on a Southwest flight if it saves them the money.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
ssides
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:44 am

Comparing BOS-MHT to PHL-BWI is apples and oranges.
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iowaman
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:47 am

that didn't stop WN from serving both HOU and IAD.

WN doesn't fly into IAD, I assume you mean IAHBig grin Smile
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:48 am

that leaves AA as the sole legacy carrier that has a prominent presence at BOS

Not for long.

Unless something drastic were to occur; DL isn't gonna leave that pretty new terminal to the vultures.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:37 am

EMBQA,

I wouldn't necessarily call having an answer to nearly every past reason as towards why WN hasn't/won't come to BOS finding fault in everyone's comment; however, given the current situation w/US one does need to think 'outside the box' a bit before answering. Besides, Zrs70 also pointed out that the close WN airport station proximity reason for not setting up shop doesn't hold water.

But so far (thanks for everyone's input, by the way) I have only seen past reasons for WN not choosing BOS. If I posted this thread over a year ago, most if not all these listed reasons would stand in their own right. However, one needs to look at few things that have since come to light:

1. Due to WN's ignoring the JFK/LGA/EWR market altogether in favor of ISP (probably for the same reasons they presently passed on BOS); they saw B6 come out of nowhere and florish out of JFK.

2. Because WN never set up a station at DFW, FL has been recently expanding to a point where DFW is becoming another focus city for them. All of FL's non-stop routes except ATL are to/from other WN cities. With WN looking into the possibility of setting up shop at some of the ex-DL gates, means that the Dallas-Fort Worth long-distance market is getting too big for them to ignore.

3. One of WN's primary rivals, US, may not survive beyond the first quarter of 2005. US' venerability (perceived or otherwise) a year ago may have very well been the reason why WN went against their conventional wisdom and decided to come to PHL instead of the more seemingly-logical ABE. FYI, ABE is about 60 miles north of PHL; roughly the same distance as MHT is from BOS.

Like BOS, PHL is also known for delays especially due to weather. Even on a clear day, I have seen 25 to 30 planes line up for take-off at PHL at one time. Everyone thought that the delays (weather and otherwise) at PHL would've stopped WN from even considering going there... it didn't. However, I do believe that WN may have 'factored' that in when they set up their flight schedules times in & out of PHL. I've flown on their PHL-PVD route several times this year. Even on a rainy day the flight has always arrived early.

Side note: BOS' Runway 14/32 project is very similar in design and concept to PHL's 5-year-old Runway 8-26. Whether (no pun intended) the new Runway 14/32 (if built) will help alievaite delays at BOS remains to be seen.

To clarify the point of my initially posting this thread; given the current situation with US as well as other struggling carriers; could (not necessarily saying would) WN set in BOS and make it work. At present, the only reasons I could see them in BOS not would be either because they aren't interested or they won't have enough planes to accomodate every ex-US market opportunity that becomes available.

Edit:

Thanks for the correction Iowaman. I did indeed mean IAH.

Comparing BOS-MHT to PHL-BWI is apples and oranges.

Ssides,

I beg to differ on that one. Despite being about 90 miles from PHL, many Delaware Valley residents (even those that live north of Philly) have utilized BWI because of the difference in fares. Prior to WN coming to PHL, it was estimated that at nearly half of the cars parked at the BWI lots were from southeastern PA or New Jersey.

Ah Concordeboy, when you quoted me, you left out one important line (omission shown in bold below)

that leaves AA as the sole legacy carrier that has a prominent presence at BOS (I believe that BOS is a focus city for AA as well) but is not in Chapter 11 at this time.


[Edited 2004-10-11 20:46:44]
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
N1120A
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:47 am

I think WN will probably leave BOS for B6. Jetblue already has LGB, OAK and FLL flights from there and will probably expand. HP also flies BOS-LAX, so that would add competition on a likely route for WN. They like MHT and PVD, and are expanding both, so never say never but not now
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srbmod
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:57 am

WN avoids airports that are delay prone, ATL, SFO (they used to serve it, but the delays got too bad), LGA, IAD, JFK, EWR and BOS are examples. They are doing fine out of MHT and PVD, so I don't think that BOS is even on their radar.
 
access-air
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:52 am

Southwest Airlines serves Providence, Rhode Island as an alternative to serving over crowded Boston Logan.....
According to SWA its just as handy as BOS.....Southwest's philosophy is to stay out of major busy airports and concetrate on secondary airports, the usual reason being is that the bigger airprots have too many delays that would havea systemwide effect on their operations...plain and simple...
No need for big testimonials or a written thesis. It seems that eveyone thinks they have to over analize everything on here....Look at things a littl emore simplistically and maybe we wouldnt have threads on here that are 800 responses regarding very obvious subjects.

Access-Air
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rob2507
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:13 am

An article in USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/today/sky.htm#airtran) today said that FL would move agressively to fill any void left by the demise of U.
 
planespotting
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:58 pm

Right now, as far as airports go, i would not discount any airport at all as a canidate for southwest expansion. Especially one with a market like BOS, (if and when US goes under). When that happens, there will be many people who willl be shuttle-less, and southwest could very well open up BOS-PHL and BOS-BWI with a bunch of flights per day (a bunch meaning, like a ton...haha). There is a heavy demand for flights like that, and although the 10 minute turns are long gone, the 20 and 30 and 45 min turns are still very viable and could work well to our advantage were we to move into that sort of market.
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PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:00 pm

An article in USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/today/sky.htm#airtran today said that FL would move agressively to fill any void left by the demise of U.

There was also a press release (and I believe that an earlier a.net thread picked up on this) that in response to the profit losses attributed due to the hurricanes that hit Florida in the last two months that FL was delaying delivery of some its new 73Gs. Prior to this press release, I too would've thought that FL would getting ready to aggressively expand its routes and fleet.

In light of the USA Today article you posted, I wonder if Joe Leonard may be delaying the 73G deliveries in favor of an order for more 717s. Not all of FL's routes (present & future) need the range of the 73Gs; plus the production backlog of the 717 (due to currently low demand) is not as lengthy as the 737.

Rob2507,

Thanks for the info. I do agree that if FL and B6 aggressively expand following US' demise, there wouldn't be a need for WN to come to BOS.

Speaking of FL, another oddity I discovered this past week. Effective this November FL is reducing the number of PHL-BOS flights from 4/5 per day to 3 per day (I wonder if the planes used on the discontinued flights will be used for the future Sarasota flights?) while US is either expanding or has already expanded their number of flights for the same route to 15 per day... all mainline with one of the r/t flights being served with a 757.

If this were any other time and if US wasn't in dire straits, I'd say they're trying to snuff FL out of the PHL-BOS market; but given the current circumstances, I believe that US may be reinacting Custer's Last Stand.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:19 pm

This might be part of the reason why SOuthwest doesn't want to come to Boston



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Southwest hates long lines


btw, where does KBOS rank on the worst airports list now? It used to always be tie or battle with KDTW, but now that KDTW built the Midfield Terminal it went to one of the best airports.
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:36 pm

where does KBOS rank on the worst airports list now?

Another equally valid question would be, where will BOS rank in terms of delays following US' possible demise?

Granted the void won't be as large as it would be at PHL, PIT and CLT but nonetheless there will be a void.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
cloud4000
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:28 pm

I agree with Zrs70, I can see them coming to Worcester. This will give the greater Boston area with a choice of four airports, including BOS, MHT and PVD.
Boston, USA
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:06 am

WN at Worcester would be very wishful thinking for me; my brother's house in Sturbridge is a lot closer to ORH than BDL or PVD.

As I recall, one reason (probably not the only reason) WN declined ORH a few years ago was because of delays associated with fog due to its high elevation of the airport. In addition, roadway access to ORH stinks. Although there were plans to build a connector highway from the airport to the Mass Pike (I-90), the loss of commercial service (see next paragraph) may have scuttled the project.

Since US Express already shut down ORH operations over a year ago, ORH has already felt the impact to a degree. US' possible shutdown next February will have no effect on ORH now.

BED (Hanscom) would be a good choice for WN in terms of location and operations but I'm not sure whether the runways would have to be expanded or widened to accommodate a 737. PLUS, given the grief and protests that the NIMBYs gave Shuttle America and US Airways Express over the years; they would sooner torch BED than have WN set up shop there.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
ei2ksea
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:16 am

As has been stated, the WN model revolves around the 25min turnaround, in a place like BOS, an airline can spent 25mins holding, never mind taxiing to and from runways. The effect of this is that it would greatly affect its schedule efficiency and aircraft utilisation. Much the same as with Ryanair which is particularly senstive to congested city airports in Europe.

A place like PVD or MHT means they can pull off the turnarounds with ease as well as quick taxi times etc etc. It also means that Southwest can quietly build a presence in an area such as New England without causing a fares war which would be damaging to all involved. Southwest have been known to surprise us however, as PHL expansion displays.

Regards
Ph
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ScottB
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Wed Oct 13, 2004 5:56 am

I think to some degree that people are making a bit too much of BOS's supposed delays. While they were indeed quite bad in 2000, post-9/11 cutbacks have reduced delays at Logan substantially. In August, for example, Logan was more on-time than FLL, LAS, PHL, MCO, and TPA -- all served by WN. Moreover, a hypothetical shutdown of US Airways also frees up quite a bit of runway capacity, considering US and US Express operate over 100 daily departures from BOS.

Many bring up WN's decision to pull out of SFO, but again, market realities are far different today from what they were in early 2001 when that decision was announced. Arguably, if they had waited things out at SFO by a year or so, they might very well have stayed in that market given United's broad systemwide pulldown of capacity post-9/11 (of course, there was no way of predicting those events and their impact on the entire industry). It is relevant to recall the fact that PHL was a shocker to nearly everyone who follows Southwest.

It has been my belief since 2002 that BOS would be a good market for Southwest in the event that several (at least four or five) gates were to become available. I believe that the lack of sufficient available gates in an acceptable facility was an important reason for WN to stay out of BOS -- one need only look at FL's Terminal D facilities and their difficulties in getting additional gates as confirmation. And Massport even encouraged the airlines to shift traffic away from BOS in the past in response to growing delays.

The number of potential market opportunities from BOS makes service by WN a very compelling prospect -- if the facilities were to become available. And service from BOS would only serve to complement their service at PVD, MHT, and BDL; they serve four airports in the L.A. metro area, two in the S.F. Bay area, two in South Florida, etc.
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Wed Oct 13, 2004 6:17 am

Why would WN go to ABE? Do 1 million pax live in Allentown?
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Wed Oct 13, 2004 6:32 am

Why would WN go to ABE? Do 1 million pax live in Allentown?

Kcrwflyer,

Has WN chosen ABE over PHL, it would've attracted both people from the PHL area as well as those in the EWR area as well. ABE's about 60 miles north of PHL and about 75 miles west of EWR.

For many years, the Lehigh-Northhampton Airport Authority (the agency that runs ABE) have purposely marketed ABE as Your Gateway to Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern New Jersey. No doubt, LNAA Director George Doughty was very disappointed when WN chose PHL over ABE a year ago.

More info. on ABE can be found under http://www.lvia.org

As it was stated earlier, WN decision to go against their conventional wisdom and choose PHL was probably due to US' venerability in the market at the time. With US wounded or dead, there's a greater potential at PHL than there would've been over at ABE.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Could WN Come To BOS?

Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:47 am

This is quite an interesting topic. As a MHT observer and an observer of the New England aviation/airline landscape, I first have to start with this question: What can Boston offer that the MHT/PVD duopoly can't? It has been understood that people WILL drive the extra mile to take Southwest. A look through our parking garage at MHT bears that out: license plates from several states and even Quebec. The question then becomes this: Does serving Boston incrementally ADD to what Southwest has in place at MHT/PVD or detract from it? If someone at Southwest can say that the metro Boston market is 'X' with MHT and PVD, but could somehow be proven to be '2X' by serving those two airports AND Logan, then I'm sure management would listen. But you won't convince me of that. You also won't convince me that such a move would NOT be cannibalistic; of course it would be! It's not a 'positive sum game' if they also flew to Logan. It would be akin to Peter robbing Paul, and not much more. In short, the cost to launch Boston would dwarf the incremental benefits of being there.

Now Portland, Maine is an intriguing possibility; but Worcester isn't.
I've been on the fence about whether PWM makes sense. During the peak summer months, PWM hums with traffic. But after Labor Day and before Memorial Day, I'm not sure it does. If you look at Southwest's route map you'll find a handful of communities smaller than Portland. So saying that PWM is 'too small' won't wash. PWM would perhaps move up the list to the extent that the legacy carriers fall by the wayside. If US disappears, WN to PWM seems eventually likely.

Worcester is a black hole. Massport has mis-managed it; city officials have failed to support it; and passengers largely refuse to use it. With its track record, Worcester will never likely see another carrier begin service there. The legacy carriers are cutting cities, not adding them. And the LCCs will seek out MHT and/or PVD as alternatives to Boston. And don't forget Hartford, which, along with PVD and MHT serve as three excellent reasons NOT to use Worcester. Unless you live IN the city of Worcester proper, any of those other three airports are imminently more welcoming.

Hanscom is never-never land (maybe better said, 'Never-Will Land'). As was pointed out, the NIMBYs are very vocal (but curiously mute when the subject of muilti-million-dollar corporate jets winging in and out of BED comes up).

So, to sum up: Boston isn't likely in my opinion because MHT and PVD are already established. Portland will get a look-see to the extent that the legacy carriers disappear. Worcester has carved out its negative reputation and won't ever likely attract another carrier of any size...let alone king-of-the-hill WN. And Hanscom is just a big political/residential obstacle course. MHT succeeded in being one of WN's top stations BECAUSE of a receptive populace and an enabling political infrastructure. These are two things that Worcester and Hanscom do NOT share.

Chris in NH