Is the demand for such heavy transcon service to so many different airports that serve (or could serve) the same metro areas really there?
LAX, SNA, and ONT are all within like 50 miles of each other, but some people prefer to fly into one more than the other. Go figure.
Having lived in both SF
for extended periods of time, I don't find the arrangements of flights odd in the slightest, if you look at distance and road traffic.
When planning travel from San Francisco, Oakland is a consideration, but San Jose, nearly a totally separate metro area, wouldn't even come to mind unless an over-advertised deal/service was on offer to compensate for the hour or more drive each way. The same logic goes in reverse for the Sillycon Valley folks.
From Hollywood, LAX
is 20-30 mins by back streets if the freeways are full, but ONT
? In ten years in LA
I never once considered driving all the way out to the Inland Empire or down to Orange Co. to fly. It's the same attitude in reverse for those who live in the suburban areas of LA
thinking about LAX
. Why add 1-2 hours to your travel each way when ONT
is literally an exit off the freeway you have to take to get to LAX
? More than once it's taken me 5 hours to drive from Hollywood to San Diego, a distance of around 125 miles, such is the traffic.
To fully understand this, take a look at UA
's schedule between ONT
. 8 flights, most daily. Distance: 47 mi. Between SNA
, they offer 6 flights. Distance: 36 mi. People would rather drive to their local airport and hop on a commuter flight when they have to use LAX
, even though the distance is under 50 miles!
So yes, not only is the traffic there to support those flights, DL
isn't the only one scheduling like this. It's not so much the distance between the airports, but how long it takes to get between them that creates what could be called mini-metro areas within the greater metro area.