LambertMan
Topic Author
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Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:20 pm

This topic is kind of out of the blue, but I'd like to get others throughts on this issue. Doesn't it seem like the St. Louis Airport Admin does a farily poor job with, --well-- everything?

-We have these issues

1. AirTran entrance, or according to the Post anyway. DL and AA dictate prices on the STL-ATL route as they please. Why hasn't the deal been closed with them to get them in here? That seems like an easy, easy selling point. JetBlue too. What happened with that one?

2. Francis Slay saving the American hub. Yes, thats right. Our mayor saved the hub as it reportedly took a last minute effort by our mayor to convince AA to stay. Couldn't the administration have worked out a deal as they surely knew the underperforming hub was on the chopping block?

3. Where are the incentives to try and recover an international flight, particularly to Europe? Why hasn't there been more done to try and convince a carrier to start a flight ala Pittsburgh? At least Pittsburgh appers to be trying.

4. You would think with the terminal in a state of disrepair that they had been doing an outstanding job as far as attracting new service. What new service have we had (outside of DAL as a result of the WA) in the past two years?

5. Back to the terminals. We've had flat screen monitors installed for nearly a year and they haven't worked until just recently. B and D concourses are abandoned and unattended to, A looks like it is drifting into the 70's and who knows what kind of creepy stuff is going on in the end of concourse C.

--I won't even bring up W-1W--

Maybe I'm reading to much into this, but it doesn't seem like the airport administration could run a one car funeral. Maybe our old director left our new one with such a mess that its going to take years to clean up. After running going thru there on Monday, it had such a lifeless feeling. From the abandoned curbside check in to the lonely concourses the airport needs something I just don't know what.  worried 

I'm done ranting. Let me hear your thoughts.

ps. Boeingnut, I hope you do not take offense.
 
TransWorldSTL
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:23 pm

While I think ALOT of the problems with STL point back to the airports Admin., I also think alot of it has to do with St. Louis' gov't officials as well.. They seem to have the mind frame of the TW days "Money/improvements aren't needed there, because it's always going to have service. It's needed, so we'll get it no matter how bad the airport looks!" They don't seem to understand that St. Louis isn't NYC. We don't have an endless stream of O & D passengers, and TW is gone. Airlines don't want to start service to a crappy looking place like our main terminal. Our Gov't would rather spend Hundreds of Millions on a new baseball stadium that isn't really needed, banking on the idea of it attracting all sorts of new tourists, when in reality, it's sofar hurt St.Louis' tourism (From The Post Dispatch last Sunday)...

Maybe we could gather a bunch of volunteers, and somehow get corporate sponsors (in exchange for free advertisement) to donate supplies to redo the purple carpet walls, and get rid of the metal slatted ceiling.? In reality, I think the only way to make the Main terminal completely better, is to start from scratch. theres no way to raise the roof of the baggage claim level to make it seem less like a basement.. Maybe save the Ticketing level, because of it's beauty and history (It is, afterall, the inspiration for TW's JFK terminal) , but thats it..

Okay, I'll stop rambling now.
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:26 pm

I will throw in my .02 here on your concerns...

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
1. AirTran entrance, or according to the Post anyway. DL and AA dictate prices on the STL-ATL route as they please. Why hasn't the deal been closed with them to get them in here? That seems like an easy, easy selling point. JetBlue too. What happened with that one?

The reason we have not seen FL yet IMHO is that there is not enough demand for another carrier on the route. Since the AA drawdown in STL, they have been running ERJ's on this route, and more often than not the loads are fair at best. Even DL has cut back the number of seats on STL-ATL. Back as recently as the mid 90's you would see 7-8 MD-88's with a 757 or two thrown in on a daily basis. Right now I don't think the market could support another carrier. In regards to JetBlue, I think they will be coming soon. I have nothing to back that up, but I think the market to BOS and JFK is definitely underserved and I believe B6 will come knocking soon.

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
2. Francis Slay saving the American hub. Yes, thats right. Our mayor saved the hub as it reportedly took a last minute effort by our mayor to convince AA to stay. Couldn't the administration have worked out a deal as they surely knew the underperforming hub was on the chopping block?

I think Griggs, Slay and the rest of the administration were caught flat-foooted on that one, and did not even see it coming. They knew that STL was the poorest performing of the three main hubs at the time, and may have suspected that AA would reduce flights, but not on the scale which actually took place. They are fortunate that AA left the number of flights in place that they did, and right now the air travelers of the STL region have service that a lot of cities without hub's would love to have. AA referring to STL as a hub is a sore spot with me, so I won't go there...

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
3. Where are the incentives to try and recover an international flight, particularly to Europe? Why hasn't there been more done to try and convince a carrier to start a flight ala Pittsburgh? At least Pittsburgh appers to be trying.

I have not lived in STL for almost 30 years now, so I don't know what sort of corporate base is there now. I know Anheuser-Busch, Monsanto/Solutia and McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing have been in town for what seems like forever, but in my opinion it will take some corporate support ala GSK at RDU to make some sort of international service happen, be it to LGW or FRA. Local demand does not seem to be there, and with the little bit of feed AA provides at STL these days I just don't see and international flights on the horizon. AA has found that they have more lucrative markets where they can deploy their limited resources. But I agree with your statement that there does not seem to be enough effort from the city to make something happen..

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
4. You would think with the terminal in a state of disrepair that they had been doing an outstanding job as far as attracting new service. What new service have we had (outside of DAL as a result of the WA) in the past two years?

Nothing that I can really add to this, except St. Louis is in the same boat that a lot of other comparably sized metro areas are in right now; market is pretty much tapped out right now and there are not many new markets available which have yet to be considered. Possibly F9 making some more headway in Mexico and possibly the Caribbean, don't see much else out there..

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
5. Back to the terminals. We've had flat screen monitors installed for nearly a year and they haven't worked until just recently. B and D concourses are abandoned and unattended to, A looks like it is drifting into the 70's and who knows what kind of creepy stuff is going on in the end of concourse C.

The state of the terminals has been a sore spot with me for a long time. For so many years Griggs was busy kissing TWA's ass keeping them happy he basically ignored the passengers and the rest of the airlines serving the airport. Now both TWA and Griggs are no more and Kevin Dolliole has a very big task ahead of him in trying to clean up Leonards mess, not counting Leonard's Legacy...W-1W Right now STL has the double whammy of a crappy facility and a mountain of debt for a runway which will not see much rubber..

In an ideal world if we are to be stuck with Lambert I would like to see a new terminal built where the short term parking garage is, with a linear concourse built where the current terminal now sits incorporating the domed check-in lobby as a food court or observation area. As the other poster stated, the baggage claim area is almost claustrophobic and is a total mess. To me, the arrivals and parking garage areas are bigger eyesores than the concourses are.

Any of you guys got a billion laying around right now not doing anything??  Big grin
 
LambertMan
Topic Author
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 2):
Nothing that I can really add to this, except St. Louis is in the same boat that a lot of other comparably sized metro areas are in right now; market is pretty much tapped out right now and there are not many new markets available which have yet to be considered. Possibly F9 making some more headway in Mexico and possibly the Caribbean, don't see much else out there..

Yeah, maybe I hadn't considered that. It just seems like nothing has been added, save for a single daily rj to SRQ.

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 2):
In an ideal world if we are to be stuck with Lambert I would like to see a new terminal built where the short term parking garage is, with a linear concourse built where the current terminal now sits incorporating the domed check-in lobby as a food court or observation area. As the other poster stated, the baggage claim area is almost claustrophobic and is a total mess. To me, the arrivals and parking garage areas are bigger eyesores than the concourses are.

Maybe you can tell, but travelling thru Lambert last week kind of set me off. There were a lot of things that just didn't look or sound right, coupled with the employees looking like Zombies for the first time in a long time. I think things have grown extremely, extremely stale there.
 
CMHSRQ
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:50 am

Quoting LambertMan (Reply 3):
Yeah, maybe I hadn't considered that. It just seems like nothing has been added, save for a single daily rj to SRQ.

Not to burst your bubble, but that lasted all of 5 months and won't return in 2006/2007
The voice of moderation
 
billreid
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:20 am

Quoting LambertMan (Reply 3):
Yeah, maybe I hadn't considered that. It just seems like nothing has been added, save for a single daily rj to SRQ.

That flight was not flown by AA/AMR, TransStates took the risk. The flight loads were good but the flight was a financial challenge given the stage length and equipment used. If AA would fly to SRQ with a MD80 they might make money, but they are scared to death given the consistent negative cash flow they enjoy at RSW and TPA.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:46 am

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
it doesn't seem like the airport administration could run a one car funeral.

I won't mention that comment to Kevin (who happens to be my former boss from his days here at MSY) when I see him next at an airport management conference here in October  wink  .....

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
AirTran entrance, or according to the Post anyway. DL and AA dictate prices on the STL-ATL route as they please. Why hasn't the deal been closed with them to get them in here?

Even though it might seem that the market is ripe for an LCC, obviously AirTran doesn't see the demand for their service yet. Although the vast majority of us airport operators have marketing staffs whose sole responsiblity it is to attract new or additional service, the airlines obviously hold the ace in their hand, and short of offering the airlines a free ride, it takes a lot to entice a carrier to come in and/or build up service. Trust me, we're having a hell of a time trying to get WN to come anywhere near their pre-Katrina service levels of anything like 65 daily flights here.....and to us, the need and demand are as obvious as can be.....

Obviously AA's pullback of service from STL is a major factor in the loss of revenue to the airport. The loss of revenue means less funds available to fully maintain an airport to the manner in which of us might be accustomed to.
As some of us down here are prone to say: "we'll make it functional now.....and make it look pretty later".....

I'd give Kevin a pass for the time being, let him get his bearings, and get his own programs on track. He did wonders for the capital improvements program at SAT, I'm sure you'll see his stamp on things at STL before too long.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
LambertMan
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:52 am

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 6):
Even though it might seem that the market is ripe for an LCC, obviously AirTran doesn't see the demand for their service yet. Although the vast majority of us airport operators have marketing staffs whose sole responsiblity it is to attract new or additional service, the airlines obviously hold the ace in their hand, and short of offering the airlines a free ride, it takes a lot to entice a carrier to come in and/or build up service. Trust me, we're having a hell of a time trying to get WN to come anywhere near their pre-Katrina service levels of anything like 65 daily flights here.....and to us, the need and demand are as obvious as can be.....

Good luck in your efforts, it sounds like you need it.  Sad

Perhaps I was a bit overly critical in my funeral car statement, but the state of the airport and the lack of help I got with a problem I had was simply inexcusable for any airport. It takes a lot for me to become disgruntled with my hometown, but last week did it.
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:25 pm

Quoting LambertMan (Reply 7):
Perhaps I was a bit overly critical in my funeral car statement, but the state of the airport and the lack of help I got with a problem I had was simply inexcusable for any airport. It takes a lot for me to become disgruntled with my hometown, but last week did it.

I don't think you are being critical, just frustrated. But apathy among airport employees is not unique to STL unfortunately. Seems to be a common theme just about everywhere, especially in the US.

Quoting Tom in NO (Reply 6):
I'd give Kevin a pass for the time being, let him get his bearings, and get his own programs on track. He did wonders for the capital improvements program at SAT, I'm sure you'll see his stamp on things at STL before too long.

Agreed. The man has a huge task ahead of him, and what little bit I have seen has left me impressed, although when Griggs was your predecessor the bar has not been set very high. And unfortunately he does not have a "clean sheet" to work with so he certainly has his work cut out for him. Patience...
 
mrstl
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:45 pm

Be patient, the place looks better every day, that is except the A concourse which I flew into tonight-- looks like crap... The new security station will be nice. The airlines are responsible for the carpeting around their area--some gates look good others-- like UA look horrible. The United jetways looked horrible. We had to do the Texas two step to get around the construction to get to the gate. I want to volunteer to rip down the purple carpeting-- I'll do it for free.. C and E look great or better than ever-- B is not all bad.. Their have been many other small changes I have noticed-- Give it 2-4 years. Griggs is to blame for most of the ailments and TWA was broke for as long as I can remember.. You can tell the difference AA and Kevin have made. And I think our new monitors are the best I have seen. Sorry for the rambling thoughts I am tired. PS they were working on the lighting in A as I walked through this evening..
 
moman
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:46 pm

I have to disagree with you LambertMan, it seems to me that STL is better right now than it has been in ages.

I flew through there yesterday and the C terminal was full up to gate C24, the Chilis, Taquerliaria (sp), and Wolfgang Puck didn't have an open seat, and the new flat screen monitors were beautiful.

Not stating the obvious, but STL could use some important upgrades. I don't see anything wrong with the baggage claim area, but the parking garage could certainly be nicer. The "A" terminal is a dump.

Something I kind of use as a judge is the flat-panel AA screens at the bottom of the escalators by the security lines (coming from the ticket lobby). At the end of 2003, only 4 of the 8 monitors (8 each for arrival and departure) were full while the other 4 had the AA logo. Now it seems at least 6 or 7 of the monitors have flights information, which tells me that there are new flights from the airport. AA has admitted to cutting back too deeply in STL and their constant flight additions show they are in the STL market for profit.
AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
 
777STL
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:59 pm

Quoting MoMan (Reply 10):
AA has admitted to cutting back too deeply in STL and their constant flight additions show they are in the STL market for profit.

Constant flight additions, what? SRQ was the last route added and it did horribly. The DAL routes were added but you can't consider those a gain because AA took away a similar number of DFW frequencies to compensate.

Quoting MoMan (Reply 10):
I flew through there yesterday and the C terminal was full up to gate C24, the Chilis, Taquerliaria (sp), and Wolfgang Puck didn't have an open seat, and the new flat screen monitors were beautiful.

Yeah, RJs on the southside and the few mainlines we still have are clustered along the northside.

Quoting MoMan (Reply 10):
Not stating the obvious, but STL could use some important upgrades. I don't see anything wrong with the baggage claim area, but the parking garage could certainly be nicer. The "A" terminal is a dump.

Despite the fact that it looks like a dungeon. I don't think the baggage area is a fair gripe because it's been that way for years, nothing's changed, but then again that might be the problem.
PHX based
 
mrstl
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:07 pm

Quoting 777STL (Reply 11):
Quoting MoMan (Reply 10):
AA has admitted to cutting back too deeply in STL and their constant flight additions show they are in the STL market for profit.

Constant flight additions, what? SRQ was the last route added and it did horribly. The DAL routes were added but you can't consider those a gain because AA took away a similar number of DFW frequencies to compensate.

Actually Regions Air/American Connection has been losing routes right and left to Mesa. Trans States has increased capacity on some routes with RJ's and have cut all other prop flying and AA has added very modest capacity to SFO/SEA/DFW/ORD American Connection to DEN 5-6 flights a day.. FLL gets a bump to a 757 and the two TPA flights have stuck as well as the 3 MCO flights. DCA has gotten a upgrade to all MD80's SAT got a downgrade but a RJ frequency addition.. I would say overall capacity is up modestly-- frequency is flat

[Edited 2006-08-24 07:12:07]
 
stlgph
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:26 pm

It is unlikely JetBlue or AirTran will be offered any reasonable space in regards to rent or location in the near future at the St. Louis airport.

The reason? American Airlines and Company, being the dominant operation at a majorly financially strapped airport, call the shots. You bring in new carriers and attract new services, you can see them peacing out even more, to sum it up in a few words.

American keeps St. Louis right where it wants it...axing capacity down to ensure tickets are sold which in turns ensure that a great deal of its flights....get out of the gate with enough seats sold and enough money made to ensure profitability.

The AA St. Louis operation pretty much ensures a needed income for the company that covers some of the loss leader routes...routes that may often underperform financially but are needed to be kept in the system for passenger convenience and satisfaction.

Yes it would be nice to see new service...but to *where*? Sarasota, while the thought was nice...why pay $400 to fly into Sarasota when you can fly into Tampa for around $140 and all it costs you is an extra hour of your time to drive the 60 miles?

And as much as we hate them, Trans States is pretty much the reason why the St. Louis operation is still as predominant as it is. There could be a lot of more regional jet services to a lot more destinations, but as long as the bills come out of Hulas' own pocket, the airport is lucky to get what it does, in fact, get.

Until then, the airport will continue to spend, but cautiously. There is too much going to be going on in the next two years with the transitioning of the airline industry....those factors include...

A) Uncertainty of Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines and their needs.

B) Uncertainty of the Wright Amendment situation and follow throughs on promises of Southwest Airlines to use St. Louis as a catapault to the rest of its network.

C) Potential growth in operations by a stronger - operating US Airways and potential growth by Continental Airlines back to mainline operations.

D) Off again and on again interest by Frontier Airlines in the use of St. Louis as a role in its future expansion

E) Anticipation of the future of GoJets and its operations which will be flown in and out of St. Louis for air carriers...namely United Air Lines.

It doesn't make sense to spend a great deal of money to improve Concourse D, if Frontier expands ten fold and moves its operations into A because Northwest pulls out or shuts down, entirely. OR. It doesn't make sense to turn around and invest a bunch of money in A if the airport management decides to renovate a great deal of the former higher numbered D gates, and expand the main terminal over parts of where the earlier D gates lie as they are now, and tear down A to make room for a potential new maitenance base for GoJets. Etc. Etc.

The improvements will slowly come and the money will slowly come for them. It will work itself out in the future.

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
2. Francis Slay saving the American hub. Yes, thats right. Our mayor saved the hub as it reportedly took a last minute effort by our mayor to convince AA to stay. Couldn't the administration have worked out a deal as they surely knew the underperforming hub was on the chopping block?

It wasn't really a last minute deal inked by the Mayor, per se, but more along the lines of a last minute deal inked by AA that the Mayor agreed to.

Quoting LambertMan (Thread starter):
3. Where are the incentives to try and recover an international flight, particularly to Europe? Why hasn't there been more done to try and convince a carrier to start a flight ala Pittsburgh? At least Pittsburgh appers to be trying.

Because there isn't enough incentives to concentrate on *one* particular region that doesn't offer the reliable profitability that service to Paris, Frankfurt, or London ensurse. Flip through the last issues of the Post this week about the growing Asian population (from *all* over there) that the area is experiencing (told you so!), and then the influx of the Bosnian population in the south part of the town, and you're just beginning to touch a multitude of foreign concentrations that would not benefit or cater to everybody.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:20 pm

Quoting STLGph (Reply 13):
And as much as we hate them, Trans States is pretty much the reason why the St. Louis operation is still as predominant as it is. There could be a lot of more regional jet services to a lot more destinations, but as long as the bills come out of Hulas' own pocket, the airport is lucky to get what it does, in fact, get.

Has there been any more talk of TSA cutting ties with AA and taking over all of the RJ routes on their own?
 
sphealey
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:20 pm

> I have not lived in STL for almost 30 years now,
> so I don't know what sort of corporate base is there
> now.

In 1980 St. Louis had the 4th largest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters of any metro area in the United States (after NYC, Chicago, and LA). Today I believe St. Louis has exactly one Fortune 500 HQ: A-B. I think that tells the story for current and future O&D traffic; headquarters locations generate a disproportionate number of high-profit business trips.

sPh
 
stlgph
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:48 pm

Quoting BHMNONREV (Reply 14):
Has there been any more talk of TSA cutting ties with AA and taking over all of the RJ routes on their own?

Not as much as there used to be but it's still muffed around here and there. What was floating around the rumor mill about this a year or two ago turned out to be their GoJets adventure. Then Trans States took over Chatauqua ground operations.

It's probably a matter of time before Trans States takes over Chatauqua flying from St. Louis and when this happens, then let all speculation begin.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
LambertMan
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:03 am

Quoting Sphealey (Reply 15):
In 1980 St. Louis had the 4th largest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters of any metro area in the United States (after NYC, Chicago, and LA). Today I believe St. Louis has exactly one Fortune 500 HQ: A-B. I think that tells the story for current and future O&D traffic; headquarters locations generate a disproportionate number of high-profit business trips.

Nope, we still have 7. A-B, Ameren, Charter, Graybar, Emerson, Express Scripts, Monsanto. Origin and destination traffic has been better in recent years, but no great advances.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 13):
Yes it would be nice to see new service...but to *where*? Sarasota, while the thought was nice...why pay $400 to fly into Sarasota when you can fly into Tampa for around $140 and all it costs you is an extra hour of your time to drive the 60 miles?

I think you've even said that American could add a few flights yourself. I'm not talking about a wide-scale expansion, but flights could reasonably offered to places like Portland, Detroit (which was in the scheds for a week, but pulled out), or Sacramento/San Jose.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 13):
The improvements will slowly come and the money will slowly come for them. It will work itself out in the future.

The answer I was expecting and didn't want to hear.
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:27 am

"In 1980 St. Louis had the 4th largest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters of any metro area in the United States (after NYC, Chicago, and LA). Today I believe St. Louis has exactly one Fortune 500 HQ: A-B. I think that tells the story for current and future O&D traffic; headquarters locations generate a disproportionate number of high-profit business trips."


WOW! Is that true? Then who cares about the airport? Perhaps the mayor and company are more interested in saving the economy of the city then in attracting airline service. Jobs, vital services, and city budgets are much more important in economic hard times than the carpeting in an airport concourse.

PJ
 
mrstl
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:51 am

We also have the following corporate headquarters in the MTA...
AG Edwards
Edward Jones
Stieffel Nicholas
Scotts Trade
Energizer
Enterprise Rent a Car
Arch Coal # 2 coal company in the world
Peabody Coal #1 coal company in the world
Panera
Build a Bear
Savvis
Isle of Capris casinos-- just moved their headquarter here
This is off the top of my head---The STL RCGA site is a good resource--- fortune 500 companies have dwindled-- midsize and private corps have increased-- honestly the City is on the road to recovery-- still lots of problems but on the way..
 
sphealey
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:58 am

> WOW! Is that true? Then who cares about
> the airport? Perhaps the mayor and company
> are more interested in saving the economy of
> the city then in attracting airline service.

LambertMan provides the exact numbers above, but the my overall statement is correct. Few people now remember that from 1820-1860 St. Louis was the fastest-growing and one of the richest cities in the world. Much of what was created by that growth remained until the 1970s as a result of intertia. But 50 years of bad economic, political, and social decisions finally took their toll in the 1990s. The City of St. Louis is in bad shape economically and politically. The surrounding areas (note that the City of St. Louis is not in St. Louis County; it is an Independent City) including St. Louis County appear to be better off, but I would argue that that is the just an echo of the 1995-2005 perpetual motion machine of building cornfield subdivisions and strip malls. Which if the housing figures this month are any indicator is rapidly coming to an end.

sPh
 
atrude777
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:19 am

Everytime I fly out of STL I am seeing SBC company people all over, mostly to SAT as expected and most appreciated the mainline service, but I am sure some appreciates the additional freqeuncy.

I have to admit most airports would kill to have the frequency, flights and airlines that we do have.

I can only hope it gets better for STL.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
777STL
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:45 am

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 12):
Actually Regions Air/American Connection has been losing routes right and left to Mesa. Trans States has increased capacity on some routes with RJ's and have cut all other prop flying and AA has added very modest capacity to SFO/SEA/DFW/ORD American Connection to DEN 5-6 flights a day.. FLL gets a bump to a 757 and the two TPA flights have stuck as well as the 3 MCO flights. DCA has gotten a upgrade to all MD80's SAT got a downgrade but a RJ frequency addition.. I would say overall capacity is up modestly-- frequency is flat

Upgrading to slightly better equipment on existing routes or playing tit for tat with routes isn't "constant flight additions", at least not in my opinion. He made it seem like KSTL is booming with new flights and new services, I wholeheartedly disagree. This is probably one of the lowest points in Lambert's history.

Whatever happened to that rumor someone was yapping about a few months ago, something about AA pulling mainline out entirely, except to the hubs, and the mainline routes within RJ range would go to TSA?
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jmy007
Posts: 540
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:47 am

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 19):
We also have the following corporate headquarters in the MTA...
AG Edwards
Edward Jones
Stieffel Nicholas
Scotts Trade
Energizer
Enterprise Rent a Car
Arch Coal # 2 coal company in the world
Peabody Coal #1 coal company in the world
Panera
Build a Bear
Savvis
Isle of Capris casinos-- just moved their headquarter here
This is off the top of my head---The STL RCGA site is a good resource--- fortune 500 companies have dwindled-- midsize and private corps have increased-- honestly the City is on the road to recovery-- still lots of problems but on the way..

And don't forget Hardees corporate office is in St Louis as well. Boeing is still a major employer, Fleishman Hillard agency which has a global reach is based STL. ATT still has a major presence as well. St Louis still has a diversity when it comes to companies. It might not have their world HQ there, but there is still major presence.

Just remember, it not just the city of St. Louis we are talking about, it is the entire Metro region of St Louis which is more than 2.7 million, which is St Louis City, St Louis County, St. Charles, St.Charles County, Jefferson and Franklin, Metro East IL, and out lying counties in MO.


Lambert is right sized now. With a modest O/D hub from AA. While frequency and plane sizes have changed in the past few years, non stop services to most cities have not gone. The only cities that have really been lost where London, Anchorage, Maui, Honolulu, Portland, and couple more. That is it.

Steps have been taken in the right direction with Lamberts terminals, and it is starting to look much better. Perfect? Never. Unless they tear down and start again. And I don't think that will be for a good while.

[Edited 2006-08-24 18:48:46]
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mrstl
Posts: 353
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:02 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 22):
Upgrading to slightly better equipment on existing routes or playing tit for tat with routes isn't "constant flight additions", at least not in my opinion. He made it seem like KSTL is booming with new flights and new services, I wholeheartedly disagree. This is probably one of the lowest points in Lambert's history.

I agree completely, this is the lowest point in Lambert's history or at least Nov 2003 was, it is also an opportunity to take Lambert in a new direction--- which is now underway.

Quoting Jmy007 (Reply 23):
And don't forget Hardees corporate office is in St Louis as well. Boeing is still a major employer, Fleishman Hillard agency which has a global reach is based STL. ATT still has a major presence as well. St Louis still has a diversity when it comes to companies. It might not have their world HQ there, but there is still major presence.

I also forgot about HOK headquartered here, one of the largest International Architectural firms in the world. The business mix and focus of STL is changing we are now the 2nd-- I'm not kidding-- largest Investment banking city in the US behind only New York and we have one of the most promising bio-belt infrastructures in the US. While we are not the 4th largest city in the US anymore we will be and are a city to watch...

[Edited 2006-08-24 19:05:16]
 
mrstl
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:13 am

Quoting STLGph (Reply 13):
The reason? American Airlines and Company, being the dominant operation at a majorly financially strapped airport, call the shots. You bring in new carriers and attract new services, you can see them peacing out even more, to sum it up in a few words.

STLGph-- really good analysis of the bigger picture, although I disagree about tippy toeing around AA. If STL and the state of MO was really worried about AA pulling out Kit Bond and friends would have never moved forward with a repeal of Wright for MO. Not to mention Kit Bond has been very vocal about his desire to turn Wright over completely-- this is hardly making friends with AA. You are spot on about Trans States being one of the biggest reasons why STL is still as large a station as it is. Like or dislike Trans States they are providing services that may not be here otherwise.
 
stl1326
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:40 am

St. Louis has 21 fortune 1000 companies and 8 of them are Fortune 500. Which is from St. Louis Commerce and Growth Association's website. Back to the topic, I think that the director is doing a fine job considering the circumstances he was left with, rising costs from the runway and decrease in flights at the airport. It looks like they are at least planning/starting to make some changes to the A concourse by redoing the security area. Does anybody have any idea on what is really going on at the end of the C concourse?
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:07 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 22):
This is probably one of the lowest points in Lambert's history.

Actually, had AA pulled out completely save for the hubs, now that would have been one of the lowest points in Lambert history. The early-to-mid 70's were much crappier at Lambert, before TW and OZ started their major build-up and Lambert as a facility was 20 years behind the times. Narrow concourses that reeked of jet exhaust, ground level boarding, very few seats in the gate areas.

I believe it was around '76 or '77 when Concourse A was double decked first with the rest shortly thereafter, and the C extension was started in '82, with D coming along in 84 IIRC.

They don't seem that old, but the concourses just have not worn very well thru the years..
 
stlgph
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RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:51 am

Quoting LambertMan (Reply 17):
I think you've even said that American could add a few flights yourself. I'm not talking about a wide-scale expansion, but flights could reasonably offered to places like Portland, Detroit (which was in the scheds for a week, but pulled out), or Sacramento/San Jose.

Yes, they could. But adding flights that are going to just compete with parallel service is not the answer. Sarasota vs. Tampa, and Sarasota would lose. Some place such as Portland, Sacramento, etc. etc., however, would be a different story.

Quoting JFKLGANYC (Reply 18):
"In 1980 St. Louis had the 4th largest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters of any metro area in the United States (after NYC, Chicago, and LA). Today I believe St. Louis has exactly one Fortune 500 HQ: A-B. I think that tells the story for current and future O&D traffic; headquarters locations generate a disproportionate number of high-profit business trips."


WOW! Is that true? Then who cares about the airport? Perhaps the mayor and company are more interested in saving the economy of the city then in attracting airline service. Jobs, vital services, and city budgets are much more important in economic hard times than the carpeting in an airport concourse.

It is important to remember that many of the companies listed throughout this thread are not in fact based in the St. Louis city limits, but rather in the limits of the county. Enterprise being in Clayton and Hardee's being in Maryland Heights, etc. etc. Many of the companies choose to locate outside of the city limits because of the city's 1% income tax that is imposed on the employees and the companies themselves. While the companies are still in the general region of St. Louis, keep in mind that it is the City itself, not the county, that owns the airport. The benefit of the added tax dollars from these companies to be spent directly into public works & development (i.e. the airport) is simply not as grandiose as it could be.

But yes, there are "high profit" business trips, but the revenue generally just benefits the airlines themselves, and does little for airport management except the PFC's.

As for the city itself, not to get off topic or whatever, but the city has not done a good job with keeping its companies solvent...or around. TWA, Nestle, and May Company instantly spring to mind.

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 21):

I have to admit most airports would kill to have the frequency, flights and airlines that we do have.

Not exactly. Most airports in cities the size of St. Louis are not concerned with flights and frequency, but rather with convenience of getting people in and getting people out in a timely manner and getting them here at a good price that *promotes* travel growth. Indianapolis and Omaha are good examples of this.

Quoting 777STL (Reply 22):
Whatever happened to that rumor someone was yapping about a few months ago, something about AA pulling mainline out entirely, except to the hubs, and the mainline routes within RJ range would go to TSA

Couple of reasons why it hasn't happen yet.

AA's St. Louis operations essentially remain profitable at this point and time, and negotiations for gate and facilities leasing went much smoother than expected. However, if AA announces an M80 retirement and phase out program tomorrow, STL's fleet is gone first.

Trans States doesn't have the ability to just go out and get 40 ERJ's at the drop of a hat and Chatauqua isn't in a position to be dumping all kinds of sources into St. Louis.

Trans States was the one really wanting to start its own airline, but following the Independence Air debacle...you get the idea. So the idea kind of morphed into GoJets.

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 25):
If STL and the state of MO was really worried about AA pulling out Kit Bond and friends would have never moved forward with a repeal of Wright for MO. Not to mention Kit Bond has been very vocal about his desire to turn Wright over completely-- this is hardly making friends with AA.

Yes because Bond and others were taking a gamble with Southwest Airlines coming in and being the "saviour" in disguise and magically adding all kinds of new flights to new destinations, and they are wrong. They thought because at one time Southwest had upwards of mid 120's daily flights (now about what...70-ish?) that they would do it again. Not going to happen. The demise of ATA and the securing of Southwest's spot as the dominant carrier at Midway Airport in Chicago sealed this from happening.

As of now, they should be catering to AA at all costs...not just for the fact that AA is the dominant carrier here, but for the relationship Trans States Airlines has with AA and the securing of local jobs.
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moman
Posts: 708
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:17 am

RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:08 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 22):
Upgrading to slightly better equipment on existing routes or playing tit for tat with routes isn't "constant flight additions", at least not in my opinion. He made it seem like KSTL is booming with new flights and new services, I wholeheartedly disagree. This is probably one of the lowest points in Lambert's history.

The lowest point in Lambert history was fall 2003 when AA first did their draconian cutback, we were still with the old furniture and carpeting in C, and the best food option was the 'snack bar'.

AA has added some flights to STL. Not new destinations that were once served, but the frequencies are much better. 2x to Tampa, 3x in the winter, 3x Orlando, 4x SFO, 3x Miami, etc. In 2003 it was 1 flight to Tampa and 2 to Orlando.

Times were much worse than they are now. STL actually has a decent terminal with seating, nice carpet, beautiful flat panel gate displays, and decent restaurant options.

Nothing is going to bring STL back to the TWA days and the airport authority is doing a good job in making STL a nice place to make a connection instead of being the dreaded 'last choice' connecting point.
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stlgph
Posts: 8986
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

RE: Concerns With St. Louis Airport Admin

Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:00 pm

Quoting MoMan (Reply 29):
Nothing is going to bring STL back to the TWA days and the airport authority is doing a good job in making STL a nice place to make a connection instead of being the dreaded 'last choice' connecting point.

That is true...even a Cemetary is usually pleasant, aesthetically.

The only thing to really bring back the glory days of TWA would be a few massive changes to the industry.

- Liquidation of Northwest Airlines and mainly....elimination of Memphis operations. Even still this scenario would just add more props and regional jets to the operation. And if this scenario was to occur, you'd maybe get a frequency addition of 1x daily on the top ten to fifteen markets.

- AA sells to the highest bidder, someone takes a big gamble and opens up a new airline, and is...more importantly...successful at it.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport

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