jfrworld
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US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:44 pm

Hi All,

After the PSA takeoff in the late 80's, US Air operated hubs at both SFO and LAX until some point in the early/mid 90's. Does anyone know how big these hubs were at their peak:

Daily Flights?
Gates?
Destinations?
 
Jamake1
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Sun Nov 20, 2005 7:04 pm

From the USAir System Timetable 07-01-89:

SFO:

BUR-8
CLT-3 (PI)
CLE-2
DAY-2 (PI)
IND-2
MCI-1 (PI)
LAS-4
LGB-3
LAX-18
ONT-4
SNA-9
PSP-1
PHX-2
PIT-5
PDX-3
RNO-4
SAN-11
SEA-4

TOTAL US SFO Departures (including PI): 86 Daily Flights

IIRC, The peak of the SFO hub was right after cut-over which occurred on April 9, 1988. I believe it was about 105 daily departures. By July of 89 (one month before the Piedmont cut-over) former PSA routes to the cities of Redmond, OR, Pasco and Yakima, WA had already been cut. Flights to Eugene and Medford, OR had been re-routed to LAX by July 1, 1989 as well.
United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
 
Jamake1
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Sun Nov 20, 2005 7:27 pm

Update: Looking at the USAir System Timetable 04-09-88 (PS-US merger day)

There were exactly 100 daily departures, not counting PI. (PI flights had not been incorporated into USAir flight schedules at that time).

SFO:

BUR-13
EUG-2
IND-1
LAS-3
LGB-4
LAX-21
MFR-3
MRY-2
ONT-5
SNA-9
PSP-2
PSC-1
PHX-3
PIT-3
PDX-4
RDM-2 (Redmond, OR...the airport code escapes me at this hour)
RNO-5
SAN-11
SEA-5
YKM-1

TOTAL 100 SFO Daily Departures
United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
 
ikramerica
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Sun Nov 20, 2005 7:45 pm

52 SFO-los angeles area a day.

Wonder how many from LAX-SFO,OAK,SJC. Well, we know 21 overlapping for SFO...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Cody
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:11 am

I cannot answer your specific questions, but I onnce read that USAir was at one point the largest carrier at LAX. Can you imagine? Also, I have a pamphlet that was sent out to the USAir Frequent Flyers that talks about their route system. It calls the cities of CLT, BWI, PIT, PHL, DAY, SYR and IND "hubs" and refers to LAX and SFO as "convenient connecting facilities." I wonder what the difference is?
 
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ramprat74
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:27 am

It was great to see mainline aircraft to cities such as RDM. MFR, EUG, PSC, and YKM. The Northwest residents sure miss it.
 
captaink
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:33 am

Can an airline make money with 50+ SFO/LAX flights? I am trying to imagine this... This is like every 30 minutes.. Is there such a great demand for this route? Or was their such a great demand?
There is something special about planes....
 
Kahala777
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:35 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 6):
Can an airline make money with 50+ SFO/LAX flights?

When they own the market!

Over the years we have seen some of the following airlines come and go on the lucrative San Francisco to Los Angeles flights:

Air Cal
Continental Airlines
Delta Airlines
Eastern Airlines
Pan Am
PSA
TWA
US Air


KAHALA777
 
BigGSFO
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:42 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 7):
Over the years we have seen some of the following airlines come and go on the lucrative San Francisco to Los Angeles flights:

Air Cal
Continental Airlines
Delta Airlines
Eastern Airlines
Pan Am
PSA
TWA
US Air

...and Western Airlines and a handful of start-ups and shut-downs.
 
md90fan
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:52 am

DAY?? how was that profitable?
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
Tornado82
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:14 am

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 1):
PIT-5

Not only is PSA dead (well, a regional in the US system I guess), but look at PIT with 5 back then compared to now, and then the fact that there were 0 PHL flights. My how times have changed.
 
deltaflyertoo
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:40 am

Yeah as I remember it back then, it was all USAIR all the time at both SFO and LAX. There was also a solid presence at SJC and OAK as well during that time with plenty of 737-300 and BAE 146 coming and going as well.

In hindsight this entire operation was flawed. They had grown so fast yet had virtually no presence to Europe. And on these intra-CA flights they were charging an arm and a leg. Had they already had the fare structure WN had, they would have never have been pushed out. Also for such a major feed they had at LAX and SFO, there were NO services to Hawaii or trans pacific. WIth United already heavy on these routes and Delta, CO and American with Hawaii, I'm not sure USAir ever had a solid FF base in the Bay Area or LAX with the number of flights they were operating.

There were also no transcon flights to EWR or JFK from either LAX and SFO (they still didn't have the a/c to do this). It was such a contradiction because LGA and BOS were built up as much if not more as LAX and SFO were at the time. They needed to be linked!
 
cschleic
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:04 am

Despite east coast shuttles, and other routes operated by various airlines, LAX-SFO has at times been the busiest air corridor in the world (maybe partly because of lack of rail options?). Plus, in the Bay Area there are OAK and SJC, and L.A. there's Ontario, Long Beach, Burbank and Orange County.
 
jfrworld
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:30 am

Quoting Cody (Reply 4):
I cannot answer your specific questions, but I onnce read that USAir was at one point the largest carrier at LAX. Can you imagine?

I too remember that during 1988/1989 US Air bragged that it was not only the largest airline at LAX, but was the largest airline in CA. The largest airline in CA came from a radio ad. Its so hard to imagine now.

Quoting Captaink (Reply 6):
Can an airline make money with 50+ SFO/LAX flights? I am trying to imagine this... This is like every 30 minutes.. Is there such a great demand for this route? Or was their such a great demand?

WN is currently operating 57 daily flights between OAK and LAX/BUR/ONT/SNA. The breakdown is as follows:
LAX - 22
ONT - 13
BUR - 14
SNA - 8

I'm sure that WN is making money, too. This doesn include WN flight from SJC either.
 
Kahala777
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:34 am

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 8):
...and Western Airlines and a handful of start-ups and shut-downs

Can you believe I had the nerve to forget the "flying bananas", ala Hughes Air West?

US Airways gave into the West Coast giant Southwest years ago when they wanted to maintain a full service airline, and not give into the ongoing price wars. I think the new US Airways injected greatly with the West Coast presence of America West Airlines will no longer be afraid to fight for some of the markets that once were.

It is very possible to see Intra-California flying back, and not to far off in the distance. One of America West oddest routes lasted for 11 years and it was Sacramento to Orange County. The route was pulled about the same time that Southwest Airlines entered the market, and America West began focusing on more and more Trans-Cons ex Los Angeles.

It is amazing to think that Southwest Airlines who entered the Sacramento market back in 1991? 1992? boards almost 6200 people a day on the Sacramento to Los Angeles/Ontario/Burbank/Orange County/San Diego markets. Flights are near hourly, sometimes on the half hour, and the hour.

KAHALA777
 
dutchjet
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:59 am

Its an odd bit of USA airline history, but the US+PSA merger, the AA+AirCal merger, and the Republic+Hughes Airwest merger are the three reasons that Southwest could grow so quickly in the intra-California market and the California/Nevada/Arizona markets.

None of these mergers really worked out - while all three surviving airlines were anxious to establish themselves in a big way on the US west coast, none of the airlines could make the west coast operations work after the mergers. There were many reasons that these mergers did not work out, all of which are no longer important, but the end result is that US basically closed down the former PSA route network after a few years, AA did the same with AirCal, Republic could not do much with Hughes niche routes, all of which left the California/US Southwest market wide open for Southwest to come in and take over. This was a huge opportunity for Southwest - during this period Southwest grew from a smaller airline focused on Texas operations to a large airline with a huge regional presence (and the rest is history, as they say).

Also, in the early 1990s, Western reorganized its route system and placed new emphasis on its SLC hub (later WA merged into DL), and was therefore cutting certain west coast operations. RenoAir was established during this period - AA acquired RenoAir to increase west coast services - once again, it did not work out leaving Southwest more room to expand on western US routes. Also, CO at one time operated some point to point routes in the region which were dropped over the years.

Aside from Southwest, the other big winner in this story was Alaska Airlines expanded greatly in the Lower 48 and quickly became a major player on the west coast coastal routes and down to Mexico.

To sum up, one could almost say that the actions by AA, US, Republic (NW) and the other US legacy carriers helped make Southwest the airline that it is today.
 
jfrworld
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:59 am

I remember in 1989 flying into LAX with my mom (I was 12). We flew WN from PHX before WN had a large presence in LAX; US and WN shared the same terminal. US pretty much owned T1 at LAX. I remember seeing US planes everywhere - lots of 737s and one or two 767s (must have come from PI). Conisdering that they bragged that they were the largest carrier at LAX at that time, I imagine they had about 120-150 daily departures. I don't think AA and UA were as built up at the time and DL still considered LAX a hub, even though it was rather small. I remember in 1989 DL had a flyer bragging about their five hubs - ATL, CVG, DFW, SLC, and LAX.

I also remember back in around 1989/1990 - US tried to setup a focus city at PHX. They had the end of T2 at PHX built out without about 6 gates to support this (ever wonder why the end of T2 is newer than the rest of the terminal?). They started flying PHX to SAN/LAX/SFO/BUR/SNA with a few flights a day. They were trying to break in and compete with the lucrative PHX-CA market that WN and HP were building at the time. They only offered a few flights a day - compared to the many of WN and HP, plus they charged $$$$ and didn't have the FF based in either PHX or CA to support these routes. So, as quietly as it started it ended.
 
Halophila
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:27 am

I too remember that QF had codeshare agreements with US on LAX/SFO and LAX/IAD (among others) back in the late 80's when my family used to travel to the US from Australia. I had a major fear of flying back then, and remember pleading with my father to fly on the US 767 transcon instead of the AA DC-10, because I'd seen a documentary about the O'Hare AA crash. I guess the US/QF alliance was due to BA's partial purchase of USAir.

It's funny how perception changes so rapidly when you're afraid of flying; after that trip, I pleaded NOT to travel on USAir from DCA/MCO in 1994 because it came soon after a couple of USAir crashes. These days, I have flown US Airways and have really enjoyed them...
Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
 
Cody
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:27 am

Quoting Jfrworld (Reply 16):
I also remember back in around 1989/1990 - US tried to setup a focus city at PHX. They had the end of T2 at PHX built out without about 6 gates to support this (ever wonder why the end of T2 is newer than the rest of the terminal?). They started flying PHX to SAN/LAX/SFO/BUR/SNA with a few flights a day.

Don't forget to add Tucson to that list. During the time period you speak of I flew USAir from Tucson to Phoenix to Pittsburgh. It was odd flying USAir and making a connection in PHX.
 
ScottB
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:35 am

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 14):
One of America West oddest routes lasted for 11 years and it was Sacramento to Orange County. The route was pulled about the same time that Southwest Airlines entered the market

They kept the route primarily because they had a monopoly on SNA-SMF and were able to charge a significant fare premium as a result. One-way walk-up coach was around $250-300; compare that to $117 on Southwest. The route was no longer viable for HP without the monopoly pricing.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 7):
Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines, actually.

Quoting Captaink (Reply 6):
Can an airline make money with 50+ SFO/LAX flights? I am trying to imagine this... This is like every 30 minutes..

United was flying SFO-LAX every half hour (or a bit more often during the morning/afternoon peaks) with United Shuttle back in the late '90s. United was quite profitable until the Summer of Hell, although I'm sure the competition from WN to OAK and SJC kept United's profits down on ths particular route.

Quoting Kahala777 (Reply 14):
US Airways gave into the West Coast giant Southwest years ago when they wanted to maintain a full service airline, and not give into the ongoing price wars. I think the new US Airways injected greatly with the West Coast presence of America West Airlines will no longer be afraid to fight for some of the markets that once were.

It is very possible to see Intra-California flying back, and not to far off in the distance.

Actually, the USAir pullback in California largely happened before Southwest really grew in the intra-California market. They suffered problems with schedule reliability and United did quite a bit of damage as well. Moreover, they had several years of losses from 1989 through 1994; the company chose to concentrate on what had historically been its strongest markets on the East Coast (and had also picked up a large number of slots at LGA and DCA and needed aircraft to use those slots).

We really are unlikely to see much flying from the "new" US beyond their hubs and focus cities given a mainline fleet which will shrink to 360 mainline aircraft (combined between US & HP) by mid-2006. The company will be reducing transcon flights due to a shortage of aircraft; moreover, 360 mainline aircraft really aren't that many when you're trying to maintain three large hubs (PHX, CLT, PHL) and five focus cities (LAS, PIT, LGA, BOS, DCA) -- even if you've got 350 regional aircraft as a supplement. To put this into perspective, CO's fleet (mainline & Express) is similarly-sized with only two large hubs (IAH, EWR), one largely regional hub (CLE) and the CO Micronesia operation at GUM.
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:47 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 6):
Can an airline make money with 50+ SFO/LAX flights?

Looking at a United Summer of 2000 timetable, Shuttle by United had 38 daily flights (in each direction) between SFO and LAX, and 78 daily flights (in each direction) between the San Francisco area (OAK/SFO/SJC) and the Los Angeles area (BUR/LAX/ONT/SNA)!
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cschleic
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:09 am

When AA acquired Air Cal, they eventually shifted from point to point service to a hub concept at SJC. That worked like a charm compteting against Alaska with point to point to several cities.

An interesting thing about Air Cal (particularly when previously Air California) was it didn't fly to LAX until near the end. It focused on SNA and Ontario. If I remember right, PSA was the only one that flew to Long Beach, until Jet American came along and was acquired by....Alaska....which ultimately dropped LGB until jetBlue.... The circle of life in the airline biz continues.
 
timz
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:47 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 6):
Can an airline make money with 50+ SFO/LAX flights?

No airline has ever tried. United had 40-41 for a year or two; I suspect no other airline ever had more than 25.

Quoting Cschleic (Reply 21):
If I remember right, PSA was the only one that flew to Long Beach,

Alaska did too.
 
stirling
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 8:07 am

Quoting Cschleic (Reply 21):
Jet American

FYI: Jet America
Delete this User
 
jfrworld
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:22 am

Quoting Cody (Reply 18):
Don't forget to add Tucson to that list. During the time period you speak of I flew USAir from Tucson to Phoenix to Pittsburgh. It was odd flying USAir and making a connection in PHX.

Good memory Cody! Yep, it was an odd little focus city for US. I think they were trying to take advantage of the huge amount of growth in the PHX-CA corridor.
 
cschleic
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:33 am

Typo on my part about Jet America. But I did note that Alaska dropped LGB (after serving it for a while), before restarting after jetBlue came along.
 
cyberual
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:46 pm

I remember flying US Air SFO-LAX on a NW Codeshare flight. Does anyone remember the relationship beteen US Air and NW back then?
 
AirScoot
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:41 pm

US and NW had a frequent flyer agreement as well as limited codeshare services. The only thing was that US FQTV could only accrue on trans pacific NW flights. The NW codeshare flights fed markets where NW didn't have service of their own.
 
willbdsp
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:30 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 10):
Not only is PSA dead (well, a regional in the US system I guess), but look at PIT with 5 back then compared to now, and then the fact that there were 0 PHL flights. My how times have changed.

And thats how it should be...fly and connect in PIT, not PHL (sorry, still a little bitter that US pulled down the hub at PIT)
 
Tornado82
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Tue Nov 22, 2005 1:01 am

Quoting Willbdsp (Reply 28):
And thats how it should be...fly and connect in PIT, not PHL (sorry, still a little bitter that US pulled down the hub at PIT)

Don't have to apologize to me. I agree with you 200%. PHL is why I threw away Elite and no longer fly US.
 
sflaflight
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:57 pm

Jamake1- What about LAX? What were the PSA/US cities served from there and at what frequencies on merger days? Too young to remember it as a hub. Interesting to see where they flew?
 
AeroWesty
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:17 pm

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 8):
and a handful of start-ups and shut-downs

Like Pacific Express with their BAC 1-11's.  Smile
International Homo of Mystery
 
sflaflight
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:37 pm

but what cities did US fly to non stop immediately after its take over of PSA? Were they the same cities as SFO previously mentioned?
 
irelayer
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:46 pm

I also remember hearing that after the merger, US offered some sort of hot breakfast service on all of their morning shuttles...

-IR
 
N1120A
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:00 pm

Quoting IRelayer (Reply 33):
I also remember hearing that after the merger, US offered some sort of hot breakfast service on all of their morning shuttles...

Actually, PSA did as well pre-merger.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
md90fan
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:51 am

Quoting Jamake1 (Reply 1):
PIT-5

wow 5 daily PIT-SFO flights?? isnt that kinda overkill??
http://www.devanwells.blogspot.com/
 
Tornado82
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:31 am

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 35):

wow 5 daily PIT-SFO flights?? isnt that kinda overkill??

PIT was the center of the USAirways universe at that time. Basically add up PIT, PHL, and CLT flights to SFO today. That's about what PIT's significance was at that time.
 
laca773
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:42 am

How many flights did US have at their peak at LAX?
~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was once a loyal PSA frequent flyer then it became US. US trashed PSA's image, plain and simple. I flew then weekly between LAX-SJC or SFO and they tried to put their concept into place on the West Coast short halls which failed horribly. They tried to sell their F cabins by promoting it heavily with buy three round trips get a free F ticket and or get a systemwide ticket to try and get a more loyal following among PSA frequent flyers. It failed. I used many of those no mileage deduction free tickets, both F & Y. I feel they angered a lot of people by dropping service to places like, Monterey, Stockton, Medford, Eugene, etc and lost out big time while at the same time they kept similar routes on the east coast. The one and only smart thing I believe they did was removing the 146s from service as they were always problematic and not reliable but didn't replace them with a similar aircraft and their wasn't a lot available at the time in that capacity with all the requirements for AC noise restrictions in place at airports like SNA & BUR.
They did have full service & videos on their 733s/734s but at the time their were much better options for long hall with larger AC on UA, DL, AA etc... BA had a near majority stake in US after the merger [maybe before?] of about 49%. I took most of my free travel on BA in F & J on BA as well as SR.

LACA773
 
A330323X
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RE: US SFO And LAX Hubs At Their Peak

Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:18 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 19):
Actually, the USAir pullback in California largely happened before Southwest really grew in the intra-California market.

Yep, just like US had mostly pulled down BWI before WN ever showed up; US was down to 90 jet flights in 1993. Of course, then they tried adding flights back to compete, and that was their mistake, because they were starting from a weaker position.

But people just love to say that WN ran US out of California, and WN ran US out of BWI, when it's not nearly that simple.
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.