USrampleadSTL
Topic Author
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DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:27 pm

I noticed something that I found rather surprising when I was checking availiability on DL from ATL to other points in the USA tonight at work (just to get a better mental picture of the extent of their operation there... it's gigantic by the way), and I noticed that they fly comparatively large planes (738s) to MDW and HOU with high frequencies, while they fly less often on smaller planes (732s and CR7s) to ORD and IAH.

Then, I went to check New York City. I knew already that DL has a very strong presence there, especially at JFK and LGA, and figured they at least have some service to EWR (they certainly do), but I was surprised to see frequent CRJ service to ISP and HPN as well. Then I looked at flights into cities in California... and they fly to SJC, OAK, and SFO several times daily each on BIG planes (757s and above) and to LAX and SNA similarly... all from ATL.

Is the demand for such heavy transcon service to so many different airports that serve (or could serve) the same metro areas really there? And what about the service to HOU and MDW? I assume that if it didn't work, they wouldn't do it, but the number of 767s, 757s, and 738s they have leaving ATL for points west every day is just astonishing.
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MAH4546
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro A

Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:32 pm

It works.

Just look at the number of flights they have to the Miami metro area every day: Ove 40 daily flights, and almost all of them are on 767s.
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OttoPylit
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:43 pm

Can't really comment too much on the transcon questions, as it would take way longer than I could say, but just suggest that they are offered to give customers more choices to fly. Sure, 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.

As far as flying the 738's into HOU and MDW, and flying smaller aircraft into ORD and IAH, the reason is this. The 738's are actually 73Q models, bettern known as Shuttle aircraft. These former DL Shuttle planes are laid out with 150 coach seats(but excellent legroom) and no First Class. They are flown into high density coach markets where FC is rarely purchased, such as MDW and HOU. Smaller planes like the 732 are sent to the bigger coterminals, but only because they do offer the FC cabin that lures upgrades or FC purchased tickets to offset the lost revenue of sending the bigger 73Q into the city. If DL were to send the 732 into HOU and the 73Q into IAH, the 732 would go out without the FC cabin being filled and customers might balk at the 73Q flight in order to go to another airline who can offer a FC product to upgrade with or purchase. Its just the way that our wacky airlines are willing to offset profit in order to keep marketshare.
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flynavy
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro A

Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:46 pm

Delta sends a mixture of aircraft into the Hampton Roads area of SE Virginia daily. Norfolk/ORF sees daily 752, 732, MD88, and a combination of ERJ/CRJ from ATL, CVG, and FLL. Newport News/PHF receives MD88 and CRJ. Both airports serve this metro area.
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Cubsrule
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:46 pm

FWIW, DL is not the only carrier pursuing different strategies at ORD and MDW. Have a look at NW:

ORD-MSP: 8 D9S, 1 D95, 1 319, 1 ARJ
MDW-MSP: 2 752, 2 320, 2 319, 2 D9S

Decreased frequency would put NW at a competitive disadvantage at ORD but not as much at MDW, so at MDW the use larger a/c with less frequency (the space issue at MDW also has something to do with this). Recall that in the glory days, the hourly MSP-ORD service would depart from special gates at MSP and was treated almost like the east coast shuttles in terms of increased amenities.

UA also certainly has different strategies at ORD and MDW with recently-annoucned Ted service from MDW to IAD and DEN. I personally think this is a brilliant move. Those who would be upgraded in to F are, by and large, seasoned ORD flyers, but there is enough O&D to these cities that I suspect UA will not have a problem filling their new flights. The bottom line is that, at least in Chicago and I suspect in other large metro areas, the two airports are very different beasts. It's not surprising that carriers approach them differently.
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AeroWesty
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:25 pm

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 and LA 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? SNA? 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 or SNA 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-LAX. 8 flights, most daily. Distance: 47 mi. Between SNA-LAX, 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.

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drerx7
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:10 am

Delta offers a mix of 738s and 732s on the ATL-HOU run now--I wonder if they'll ever put 757s or 767s on the IAH runs? Or 757s on the HOU run? Especially with the Skyteam partnership.
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DL WIDGET HEAD
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Fri Jan 28, 2005 9:50 am

MAH4546, on the pre 01FEB schedule I only count 30 flights to Miami Metro. The 01FEB schedule has 34 flights to Miami metro. How did you come up with over 40?
 
aaflt1871
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Fri Jan 28, 2005 10:24 am

Delta has service to all 3 Washington D.C Airports.

IAD
DCA
BWI
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flynavy
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:40 pm

And Hagerstown, MD I believe.
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ord
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:47 pm

"...they fly comparatively large planes (738s) to MDW and HOU with high frequencies, while they fly less often on smaller planes (732s and CR7s) to ORD and IAH."

The frequency portion of your statement as far as ORD is concerned is incorrect. Delta flies far more often from ATL-ORD (12x daily) than they do ATL-MDW (4x daily). Also, with the January 31 schedule change, three of the four ATL-MDW flights are now 732s (one is still a 738).
 
LongbowPilot
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:26 am

Guys it has to do with ticket prices, and demographics. I worked in KORF for Delta as a ground and ticket guy. I started there when the biggest thing they got was 727's, every now and then we see a 57, like christmas. Once the 727's left they needed a bigger aircraft to send in. They were practically getting one every other hour of the day and couldn't send more aircraft in due to the staffing of the shifts. They would have to hire more people.

Another aspect is ticket prices. The cheaper the tickets the more efficent aircraft required to fly that route. Think about it, youhave all the cheap fares flying to florida so they have to operate as economically as possible to maximise the revenue. In airports like KORF and those serviced with not so efficent aircraft the ticket prices tend to be higher there for the revenue is more even keeled.

Another issues is the service. There is tons of traffic into JFK for instance, but that is mostly international. No one likes to fly domestic into JFK cause it is so congested in JFK, so they usually perfer LGA... Usually in areas like that where airports are in close proximity prices are the same. It is more or less a function of who is being serviced, international pax or domestic..

 
Lindy
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:31 am

Hagerstown doesn't have any scheduled service at this moment. Last two operators were Pan Am III and US Airways Express.

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Tango-Bravo
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RE: DL Flights To Multiple Airports In One Metro Area

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:24 am

If DL were to send the 732 into HOU and the 73Q into IAH, the 732 would go out without the FC cabin being filled

Probably not true... The FC cabin would almost certainly be fully occupied... by pax upgrading for free from loss-leader apex coach fares (if nothing else, elites would fly into HOU in FC on a cheap coach fare instead of IAH for nothing more than the ego trip of their coveted "freebie" -- even if their destination in the Houston area was literally across the street from IAH). At least Delta has recognized this absurdity and allocated seating capacities and configurations in some of their markets where it makes sense to offer service for which pax are actually willing to pay. Seems sensible enough to me; yet an example of radical "outside the box" thinking within the "me too" context of U.S. legacy airline copycats.