theweave33
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AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:28 am

I've noticed that UA has only 11 flights between DEN-ORD and AA has 17 flights between DFW-ORD. Judging that the DFW and DEN are relatively close in terms of size and traffic and that UA uses mainly larger a/c for DEN-ORD why doesn't AA use larger a/c for DFW-ORD and therefore cut flights and thus expenditures?

Is one technique wiser than the other or is it a matter of higher business complexity?

And why a triple seven on AA 66?
 
LFutia
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:32 am

AA66 continues on to LHR while 67 returns from London.

Same goes for some UA flights from DEN. 9** continue on to Europe. Some 9** flights stop in Washington and continue on to Europe.

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commavia
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:41 am

Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):
why doesn't AA use larger a/c for DFW-ORD and therefore cut flights and thus expenditures?

AA is able to derive a unit revenue premium by offering so expansive a schedule that gives corporate customers enormous scheduling flexilibity.

Example: you're an ad executive in Dallas who's flying up to Chicago for a meeting with a new client. You're on the first 6am flight out of DFW, at O'Hare by 8:30am, and at your client's office in downtown by 9:30. You're in all-day meetings but you see that you and the client are wrapping up early and are moving through your objectives quicker than expected. You're not scheduled to get out of O'Hare until the 8pm flight, but because you're done early, you leave downtown and head to the airport around 4pm instead. You hit traffic, of course, and get to O'Hare around 5:15 and notice there's a flight leaving in one hour. You make the switch of flights, clear security, get on your earlier flight, and you're at home reading to the kids by 9:30.

While some might find it surprising, it's amazing how many high-end customers and companies are willing to pay a premium to have this "shuttle" type of schedule. It's the same reason why there's a flight ever hour between Boston, LaGuardia and Reagan in D.C. -- the schedule convenience is extremely valuable to premium customers.

So, while AA may not fill up every single flight to 95% load factors with paying customers (although I have definitely seen it before where every flight all day long is oversold) AA can derive a higher revenue from the customers because of the enormous flexibility AA's schedule provides.

Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):

Is one technique wiser than the other or is it a matter of higher business complexity?

It's not better or worse, just different strategies for approaching a similar situation (i.e., a major trunk hub-to-hub route).
 
theweave33
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:00 am

Quoting Commavia (Reply 2):

So, while AA may not fill up every single flight to 95% load factors with paying customers (although I have definitely seen it before where every flight all day long is oversold) AA can derive a higher revenue from the customers because of the enormous flexibility AA's schedule provides.

Does AA really get that many premium paying customers to offset their shuttle-like schedule expenditures?

Are their any stats on that anywhere?
 
CcrlR
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:09 am

AA only has one 777 flight DFW-ORD and ORD-DFW going on to or from LHR. I rode on one and it wasn't that bad.
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futurecaptain
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:10 am

Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):
why doesn't AA use larger a/c for DFW-ORD and therefore cut flights and thus expenditures?

Don't have enough extra widebodies and don't need to position planes between the two hubs as often?
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N1120A
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:14 am

Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):
I've noticed that UA has only 11 flights between DEN-ORD and AA has 17 flights between DFW-ORD. Judging that the DFW and DEN are relatively close in terms of size and traffic and that UA uses mainly larger a/c for DEN-ORD why doesn't AA use larger a/c for DFW-ORD and therefore cut flights and thus expenditures?

AA has a larger fleet in pure numbers than United but a smaller fleet of large and very large aircraft. This means they can't absorb major traffic times with a large aircraft but they can offer greater frequency with lower risk

Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):
And why a triple seven on AA 66?

Repositioning

Quoting Lfutia (Reply 1):
Same goes for some UA flights from DEN. 9** continue on to Europe. Some 9** flights stop in Washington and continue on to Europe.

Not completely true. Many 900 series flights at UA change gauge.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 2):
It's the same reason why there's a flight ever hour between Boston, LaGuardia and Reagan in D.C.

There are at at least 2 flights every hour between Logan, LaGuardia and National  Wink
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codc10
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:35 am

Both routes probably handle a similar amount of daily traffic, but United elects to operate their flights with larger equipment than AA. IIRC, at least 5 of the UA ORD-DEN flights are 767/777, and a handful of the remainder are 757 as well. In the past, 747 service (especially Classics when they were still in the fleet) was common on this leg for positioning purposes and to handle the massive traffic between UA's two largest hubs.

AA's 17 or so ORD-DFW frequencies are all (save 66/67) operated by MD-80 equipment, so extensive departure and arrival options are available, but fewer seats per flight are offered. I would venture to say that there is more O/D traffic between Chicago and Dallas than there is between Chicago and Denver, so AA is able to make money on this route through higher yields rather than greater volume.
 
HPAEAA
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:04 am

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 7):
Both routes probably handle a similar amount of daily traffic, but United elects to operate their flights with larger equipment than AA. IIRC, at least 5 of the UA ORD-DEN flights are 767/777, and a handful of the remainder are 757 as well. In the past, 747 service (especially Classics when they were still in the fleet) was common on this leg for positioning purposes and to handle the massive traffic between UA's two largest hubs.

AA's 17 or so ORD-DFW frequencies are all (save 66/67) operated by MD-80 equipment, so extensive departure and arrival options are available, but fewer seats per flight are offered. I would venture to say that there is more O/D traffic between Chicago and Dallas than there is between Chicago and Denver, so AA is able to make money on this route through higher yields rather than greater volume.

Bingo, AA wants frequency not capacity... they've backed off a little recently however that's there general stratagy for strong business markets... ORD LGA is another good example..
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galapagapop
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:10 am

Quoting CODC10 (Reply 7):
Both routes probably handle a similar amount of daily traffic, but United elects to operate their flights with larger equipment than AA. IIRC, at least 5 of the UA ORD-DEN flights are 767/777, and a handful of the remainder are 757 as well. In the past, 747 service (especially Classics when they were still in the fleet) was common on this leg for positioning purposes and to handle the massive traffic between UA's two largest hubs.

AA's 17 or so ORD-DFW frequencies are all (save 66/67) operated by MD-80 equipment, so extensive departure and arrival options are available, but fewer seats per flight are offered. I would venture to say that there is more O/D traffic between Chicago and Dallas than there is between Chicago and Denver, so AA is able to make money on this route through higher yields rather than greater volume.

Note that DEN is NOT a European Getaway for UA. So flights start in DEN get on to ORD and then either connect or continue on to Europe. DFW on the otherhand may not have a huge European presence either but AA has some flights to work with that.

On top of the already mentioned facts of AA's frequency use and lack of widebodies (Wish they had a couple more 777's though, would be nice to catch a few more domestically).

Cheers!
 
PanAm747
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:44 am

All I can say is thank heavens for United's decision to run so many widebodies DEN-ORD...it gave my chance to fly a 777 - twice!! And both times were the three-class:


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norjet
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:01 am

Doesn't the AA schedule also have something to do with the "separate systems" scheduling model talked about a few years ago?

The thinking was that weather delays at either ORD or DFW would create cascading schedule failures throughout the system. An aircraft arriving at an outstation late from ORD would be late going out to DFW, and so on.

Isolating the hubs - essentially scheduling two separate fleets - would prevent problems from propogating precipitously.

The MDs on the ORD-DFW run are essentially shock absorbers, then. AA could cancel one or two flights if there are weather holds but the overall system would maintain balance.

Whereas if there are snowstorms in DEN and ORD, the entire UA system is shut down -- not just the DEN-ORD flights, but also the DEN-OMA/OMA-ORD type runs contributing to the failure.

Or so the theory went...

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commavia
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:08 am

Quoting Norjet (Reply 11):
Doesn't the AA schedule also have something to do with the "separate systems" scheduling model talked about a few years ago?

That scheduling system had more of a direct impact on the outstations than the hub-to-hub routes. The plan was more focused on make sure that ORD planes that landed at outstations turned and went back to ORD, and not to DFW, or MIA, or LGA, etc. That was where the major intanglements were happening. So, for example, now when an MD80 does ORD-PHL, it more often than not turns around and goes back to ORD, and thus isolates any OSO that may be occuring in the ORD system, whereas say 10 years ago that plane might have done a DTW-ORD-PHL-DFW-ATL-MIA routing in a single day, allowing a single OSO (especially at the beginning of the day) to screw up thousands of people's plans in 5+ different cities.
 
ckfred
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:54 pm

Until about 1994, AA used to fly various types of aircraft on ORD-DFW, including 767s and DC-10s. A friend of mine used to take the 5pm departure out of DFW, and the DC-10 was often overbooked.

Then, when AA suffered through a downsizing, it went with a shuttle schedule on ORD-DFW, going from 12 roundtrips to 20 or 21. ORD-LAX also went from nothing but DC-10s and 767s to mostly MD-80s and 757s at about the same time, going from 9 or 10 roundtrips to 16.

There were several reasons for the change.

First, a number of DC-10s were retired.

Second, a number of mainline routes switched to Eagle, freeing up MD-80s.

Third, with a shuttle-style schedule, it did give people traveling on ORD-DFW and ORD-LAX more choices.

Fourth, with the extra flights on ORD-DFW, it also gave AA some flexibility, when the weather became a problem. If a passenger arriving at ORD missed a connection going south or west, and rebooking to a later non-stop flight wasn't possible, that passenger could probably be sent through DFW, even thought that would mean an extra connection.

But then, an extra connection at DFW is probably better than getting a room, or worse, sleeping in the terminal, at ORD.
 
theweave33
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:59 pm

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 13):
But then, an extra connection at DFW is probably better than getting a room, or worse, sleeping in the terminal, at ORD.

Done that more than once in ORD!

Anyway thanks for all the input and description of AA scheduling theories and practices. It does make alot of sense the way they do that but does UA suffer when there's horrible weather ORD more then AA? Are there figures to back that up?
 
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AA777223
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:22 pm

Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):
Judging that the DFW and DEN are relatively close in terms of size and traffic

Is that really true? I thought that DFW handled quite a bit more traffic than DEN. Feel free to enlighten me if not.
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theweave33
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:05 pm

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 15):
Is that really true? I thought that DFW handled quite a bit more traffic than DEN. Feel free to enlighten me if not.

Mostly likely you're right but for two relatively (not identical) same sized cities AA and UA still have traffic patterns between their two hubs that are really distinct.
 
MCOflyer
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:03 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
Quoting Commavia (Reply 2):
It's the same reason why there's a flight ever hour between Boston, LaGuardia and Reagan in D.C.

US and DL run shuttle services to LGA, DCA and BOS. US is hourly I believe while DL may be hourly. This advantage is good for business travelers as others have said due to that many people commute in that area.

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Longhornmaniac
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 6):
Quoting Theweave33 (Thread starter):
And why a triple seven on AA 66?

Repositioning

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by repositioning. Where does the actual aircraft that originates as AA 66 from DFW-ORD go after that? Is it not the same aircraft that continues to LHR?

I'm not meaning to be argumentative, I'm just trying to clear up some confusion. If it is the same aircraft (which I thought it was), than its not really repositioning, but rather just the only way American can fly DFW-LHR.

I know you know a lot more about this sort of thing than I do, so I'm probably wrong.  Wink

Cheers,
Cameron
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N1120A
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:42 am

Quoting Norjet (Reply 11):
Whereas if there are snowstorms in DEN and ORD, the entire UA system is shut down

First, it takes a hell of a storm to shut down DEN because of the way it is designed. Second, it would be difficult to have two catostrophic storms at the same time in both cities

Quoting Commavia (Reply 12):
That scheduling system had more of a direct impact on the outstations than the hub-to-hub routes. The plan was more focused on make sure that ORD planes that landed at outstations turned and went back to ORD

Of course, that trades one evil for another by making fleet usage less efficient

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 15):
Is that really true? I thought that DFW handled quite a bit more traffic than DEN. Feel free to enlighten me if not.

DFW is number 4 in the US, DEN is number 5

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 18):
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by repositioning. Where does the actual aircraft that originates as AA 66 from DFW-ORD go after that? Is it not the same aircraft that continues to LHR?

I'm not meaning to be argumentative, I'm just trying to clear up some confusion. If it is the same aircraft (which I thought it was), than its not really repositioning, but rather just the only way American can fly DFW-LHR.

I know you know a lot more about this sort of thing than I do, so I'm probably wrong.

While the same aircraft may continue on, it still remains that that aircraft can come from anywhere to get to DFW in the first place. The route isn't designed as much to be a LHR route as BA's IAH-ORD-LHR is specifically to get oil executives to onward connections to Africa and the Middle East because AA can still connect DFW PAX on in a more efficient way through JFK, BOS or MIA.
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CIDFlyer
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RE: AA DFW-ORD Vs. UA DEN-ORD

Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:07 am

Quoting AA777223 (Reply 15):
Is that really true? I thought that DFW handled quite a bit more traffic than DEN. Feel free to enlighten me if not

I believe you are correct,AA's DFW operation is about twice as large as UA's DEN operation. I think its roughly about 800 daily flights for AA at DFW whereas UA is just a little over 400 daily at DEN.