N1120A
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Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:36 pm

So, I was looking something else up and discovered that United 953 tags PHX-TUS after arriving PHX from IAD. Why would United fly this rather oddball routing, particularly with an A320?
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DLPMMM
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:40 pm

Why not? If there is sufficient loads and the plane has no where else to go..... Also it my be a good way for UA to stick a thumb in the eye of HP.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:42 pm

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
Why not? If there is sufficient loads and the plane has no where else to go.....

That plane is probably wheels up-wheels down in 20 minutes, there is no real reason for a mainline flight. Besides, I really doubt anyone flies that O&D

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
Also it my be a good way for UA to stick a thumb in the eye of HP.

Uh, why?
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MEA-707
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:47 pm

Aren't they both in the Star Alliance, maybe a code share or is the US/HP combination now more competitive against United again?
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flyboy7974
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:48 pm

Well, during the high season, the a/c used is a B757. The flight provides TUS most direct service to the capital area, and with that, also with UA provides the easiest connections further on to int'l destinations via the IAD hub. Arrival time from IAD is also a bit early for UA ops in PHX, so with the TUS tag on, the a/c doesnt have to sit and clog a gate nor have to be tugged to the apron area to sit overnight.

One last thing bout this, I didn't know until my friend's mother who works in PHX pointed out, she said and I never realized that this flight did also offer an excellent choice for same day travel from TUS to the bay area. Connection through PHX to Ted to SFO and mid morning arrival, late afternoon departure from SFO back to PHX and connect and into TUS late evening. Now, UA Express does have a CRJ nonstop once daily, but before this PHX would have quite a few connecting pax on this route
 
UAL747
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:50 pm

Not sure if they still do, but Delta used to fly ATL-TUL-OKC. The TUL-OKC was about 15-20 min long.

UAL
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N1120A
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:53 pm

Quoting Flyboy7974 (Reply 4):
Well, during the high season, the a/c used is a B757. The flight provides TUS most direct service to the capital area, and with that, also with UA provides the easiest connections further on to int'l destinations via the IAD hub. Arrival time from IAD is also a bit early for UA ops in PHX, so with the TUS tag on, the a/c doesnt have to sit and clog a gate nor have to be tugged to the apron area to sit overnight.

Why not just send an A319 non-stop?
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DAL767400ER
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:56 pm

DL used to operate PHX-TUS as a tag-on leg to ATL-PHX many years ago as well. IIRC, their presence in TUS back then was very limited, and I'm not even sure if they had any nonstop ATL-TUS back then, though they definitely still had the flight once there was nonstop service. Though it's not like there aren't (or weren't) many other questionable mainline routes out there.
 
desertjets
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:32 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
Quoting Flyboy7974 (Reply 4):
Well, during the high season, the a/c used is a B757. The flight provides TUS most direct service to the capital area, and with that, also with UA provides the easiest connections further on to int'l destinations via the IAD hub. Arrival time from IAD is also a bit early for UA ops in PHX, so with the TUS tag on, the a/c doesnt have to sit and clog a gate nor have to be tugged to the apron area to sit overnight.

Why not just send an A319 non-stop?

The not clogging an extra gate @ PHX is the reason that I have always heard about the TUS tag on the IAD flight. Even if there was enough demand to warrant an A319 flight you'd still have the problem of an extra plane sitting in Phoenix for a few hours during the morning push.

And the TUS tags used to be much more common. Even after Delta started n/s service to ATL in 1999 or so, they still operated TUS-PHX-ATL flight and even for a short while TUS-ABQ-ATL. Both flights are gone now.
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MaverickM11
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:10 pm

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
If there is sufficient loads and the plane has no where else to go

Definitely not sufficient loads...it ran an average load of 37% for the twelve months ending Jan06.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
DLPMMM
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:42 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
Definitely not sufficient loads...it ran an average load of 37% for the twelve months ending Jan06.

37% may be sufficient in this case as it may be enough to cover the marginal expense of the flight (as opposed to 0% for just sitting in PHX and additional expense of needing another gate or towing the plane to an empty parking place for a couple of hours).
 
DesertAir
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:07 am

US Airways just announced it is replacing one of its express flights to TUS with mainline. It is the late moring departure from PHX to TUS and the return.
 
AirCop
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:09 am

Also Northwest used to run a 727 routing of MEM-PHX-TUS and America West used to run a number of mainline service between the two cities. Actually its no different than United running SFO-OAK or Air Cal SFO-SJC.

[Edited 2006-04-28 20:11:44]
 
iowaman
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:21 am

Basically all this flight is, is a flight that operates one-stop IAD-TUS that probably can't fully support non-stop IAD service. Also, connections are minimal on TUS-PHX, and so is O&D.
 
md90fan
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:25 am

DL operates(or operated) ATL-TUS with a MD-88 (one of the longest MD-8X sectors in the US).  Smile
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CWAFlyer
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:47 am

Many airlines over the years have flow TUS-PHX as tag-ons to other
legs as others have mentioned. TW used to fly TUS-PHX and then
fly PHX-MCI. At the time, I don't know if they flew TUS-STL or not.
 
AlexPorter
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:50 am

Quoting MD90fan (Reply 14):
DL operates(or operated) ATL-TUS with a MD-88 (one of the longest MD-8X sectors in the US).

They fly ATL-PHX as well, which is longer.

As for the UA flight from PHX-TUS, no, it doesn't have to do with Star Alliance, because the route existed before the US/HP merger. The overall flight is actually FRA-IAD-PHX-TUS, with a plane change in IAD. My guess is that everyone on UA's PHX-TUS route is going to or from IAD (either as a final destination or to connect somewhere else).
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Wadnet
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:34 am

Yes at one time TWA had 2 non-stop flights from TUS - STL. They also operated at one time an L-1011 from TUS-PHX-JFK. They later changed the routing on the L-1011 back to its original JFK-PHX-LAS and used a 727 from PHX - TUS to feed into the JFK flt.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:37 am

Quoting AirCop (Reply 12):
Actually its no different than United running SFO-OAK

Those were maintainance flights that they sold tickets on
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roseflyer
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:39 pm

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 3):
Aren't they both in the Star Alliance, maybe a code share or is the US/HP combination now more competitive against United again?

I believe that UA has been operating this route since long before US Airways even became a Star Alliance member. Also I believe that United does not codeshare with America West operated flights. The two airlines still have not been fully integrated.

I would guess that it might be cheaper to leave the plane in Tuscon than keep it in Phoenix. Even with low loads, the cheaper airport can have its benefits. And plus with the way that airlines pay their crews, it isn't costing them very much to fly that short tag on flight.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
AirCop
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:43 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
Those were maintainance flights that they sold tickets on

Don't think so. Took one that went SFO-OAK-PDX, another SFO-OAK-DEN. These 727 flights were in the early 70's prior to UA purchasing the World Airways maintenance base. Both flights left SFO very early I think prior to 6 am.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:59 pm

Quoting AirCop (Reply 20):
Don't think so. Took one that went SFO-OAK-PDX, another SFO-OAK-DEN. These 727 flights were in the early 70's prior to UA purchasing the World Airways maintenance base. Both flights left SFO very early I think prior to 6 am.

That is possible, as a way to rotate the aircraft. Of course, those flights didn't backtrack  Wink
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bayareapilot
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:00 pm

Why are we comparing this to routes from the 70s?  confused  The airline industry was completely different then in so many ways.
 
United737522
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:27 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
That plane is probably wheels up-wheels down in 20 minutes, there is no real reason for a mainline flight. Besides, I really doubt anyone flies that O&D



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 9):
Definitely not sufficient loads...it ran an average load of 37% for the twelve months ending Jan06

I disagree, last time I was in PHX, they were looking for volunteers to give up their seat and take a bus to TUS.
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N1120A
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:33 pm

Quoting United737522 (Reply 23):
I disagree, last time I was in PHX, they were looking for volunteers to give up their seat and take a bus to TUS.

One flight. MaverickM11 gave you hard DOT numbers.
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LAXintl
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:35 pm

I've actually flown the flight twice, once before UA had LAX-TUS nonstop service. Took and evening UA Shuttle 737 to PHX and boarded mainline 737 to TUS. While a 2nd time, more recently with the Airbus.

I would relate this short tag flight being similar in how carriers having offered LAX-SAN tags previously. Delta as recently as a few years ago operated widebodies on the hop even.

Considering the flight has been running for many years. (10'ish atleast) it obviously serves a need marketing or passenger demand wise.
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N1120A
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:48 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 25):
I would relate this short tag flight being similar in how carriers having offered LAX-SAN tags previously. Delta as recently as a few years ago operated widebodies on the hop even.

Except of course that those services were usually tags to flights that couldn't get out of SAN and make it to Hawai'i
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FCYTravis
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:00 pm

Oddly enough, you can't even fly LAX-PHX on UA mainline anymore. Not even TED (RAR!) - it's just SkyWest CRJ-200 city.
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roseflyer
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:24 pm

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 27):
Oddly enough, you can't even fly LAX-PHX on UA mainline anymore. Not even TED (RAR!) - it's just SkyWest CRJ-200 city.

With United going head to head with 16 (almost hourly) flights on Southwest and 10 more with America West, there is no hope in the route. There are about 32 daily nonstop flights between LAX and PHX with two discount airlines. The fares are extremely low. I don't think United has a chance to earn a profit on the route, so they just take losses by operating 6 CRJs flights in order to keep its customers happy.
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desertjets
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:21 am

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 27):
Oddly enough, you can't even fly LAX-PHX on UA mainline anymore

And it has been that way since Shuttle was dismantled post 9/11.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Trvlr
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RE: Why Would United Fly PHX-TUS

Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:23 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 26):

Not usually. In the 80s, pretty much every major airline had LAX-SAN tags to flights that originated in BOS, IAD, ORD, STL, ATL and the like. These flights were operated by a diverse range of aircraft, from Md-80s to 757s to DC-10s.

The only routes where range was (or might have been) an issue were those that originated overseas (think BCal's LGW-LAX-SAN 747 service) and UA's 747-operated flights to HNL.

Aaron G.

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