mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:27 pm

I recently read that Delta may be ending service to McAllen, TX (MFE) in May from someone who saw it on wikipedia. It is not bookable in May on their website. Does anybody know what Load Factors have been on this route? Delta said they were doing well when they upgraded last year to CRJ700s with first class. I know airline bookings don't give an accurate picture of LFs, but I picked two random days next month and one flight has the coach cabin with only 3 seats left, and the other flight about 50%. Anybody know what is up?

McAllen has a spotty history with Delta. They tried Atlanta a long time ago, then LAX, then Memphis, and switched back to Atlanta.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6090
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:13 pm

Yes, ATL-MFE is ending May 1st, along with MEM-LBB.
 
mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:50 pm

Anybody have any statistics on the load factors for this flight? It seems weird to me that they would increase capacity and then cut it altogether.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:37 pm

Yeah i just read the Facebook post. Apparently they were only achieving a 60% load factor and were falling short of the 75% needed to be profitable. I am definitely sad to see Delta go away. I was actually happy that we had some more diversity in MFE. I was excited two weeks ago when UPS started up operations and I was thrilled to see the airline list growing at MFE, but I guess things werent going so good for Delta. They will be missed.
388 346 77W 787
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6090
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:38 pm

They tried to improve the prospects of MFE, by moving the flight from MEM to ATL.

The only reason they increased capacity was because of DL's self-imposed rule of providing 2-class service on routes greater than 750 miles.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:42 pm

I actually thought that they were doing better. With the switch to ATL and replacing the CRJ200s with CRJ700s, that made me think they were doing good. I even went as far as to think that they might bring in DC9s in the future ( I know, a bit of a stretch).

What airline, if any, do you guys think has the ability to enter MFE in the future?

How about WN? maybe switching their HRL over to MFE. How are they doing in HRL?
388 346 77W 787
 
HAJFlyer
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:34 pm

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:34 pm

It is really interesting that AA and DL are having a hard time establishing a solid footprint in the RGV while CO/UA successfully serves all 3 valley airports (MFE, HRL, BRO).

I considering using the DL flight a time or two, but the fares (from Europe to the RGV) were very uncompetitive and the scheduling was terrible as well (app. 4-5 hour layover in ATL); thus, I always stuck with CO.

OT: Does anyone know how the seasonal MX flight into BRO is doing and why BRO is more successful in attracting new airlines than MFE? They managed to attract AA and MX within a relatively short period of time.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6090
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:02 pm

The stage length and back-racking in connections from these south Texas cities to DL hubs is what ultimately kills these routes.

The economics on these longer routes on 50 seaters to places like ATL and MEM do not work out. A larger aircraft isn't the solution either.

CO/UA's IAH hub is able to access these markets with short connection stage lengths and give much better onward connectivity.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:10 pm

Quoting HAJflyer (Reply 6):
OT: Does anyone know how the seasonal MX flight into BRO is doing and why BRO is more successful in attracting new airlines than MFE? They managed to attract AA and MX within a relatively short period of time.

I don't know how they are doing in terms of load factors and capacities, but I wouldn't say that they have more success. They have three airlines: AM, AA and CO and they all operate ERJs. McAllen has AA operating MD80s, CO operating B737s/ERJ145/Q400 and Allegiant operating MD80/B757(temporarily). McAllen definitely has more capacity and is a more attractive option to airlines being that is in the middle of the RGV.

My opinion is that Atlanta was not a great connecting destination. Overall, Atlanta is a very big and important city, but I don't think that there is enough demand for Atlanta here in the Valley in terms of O&D traffic.

In terms of connecting passengers, it was rough connecting spot. For anyone flying to the west or northwest, the flight all the way to Atlanta, 3-4 hr layover and then the flight all to the way to the West. Because of those two long flights, it came out to be pretty expensive. Continental and American provide shorter fights (itineraries) and hence cheaper prices.

Even if you were flying to the East coast, Continental and American were still cheaper than Delta.

I just think that Delta was a bit too pricey for the Valley and Atlanta was not a good connecting spot (although I understand why it had to be ATL)

I kind of doubt it, but just for fun, do any of you think that US would ever try to come down?
388 346 77W 787
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:55 pm

So according to a facebook post by MFE, they are saying tha DL is pulling out of other small markets. They said that Lubbock will be losing DL service as well.
388 346 77W 787
 
bhmdiversion
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:41 pm

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:06 am

The station was notified last week of the closing/route suspension.

The loads on booked traffic were slim; however, their walk-up stats were off the chart. I think I personally sold 4-7 walk up fares a day while I was there.
 
klwright69
Posts: 2314
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:33 pm

ATL is a great hub, but it has some limitations. The TX hubs of UA and AA I am sure provide excellent coverage to south TX communities. No way flights to ATL can compete due to being longer flights and many connections are out of the way.

This is clearly the territory of TX hub airlines. No one else need bother.
 
Coalways
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:39 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:36 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 8):

CO operates 2 daily mainline flights as well into MFE B737-500 & B737-900ER on top of the 4 daily Q400 flts so CO has a lot of seats going between MFE & IAH
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:04 pm

Quoting bhmdiversion (Reply 10):
however, their walk-up stats were off the chart. I think I personally sold 4-7 walk up fares a day while I was there.

I agree. I remember one time that I was there, Continental was having some flight delays, and sent some of their customers over to Delta. Another time, American sent people over to Delta cause they were also having some flight problems. IDK how common this was, but it sure did help Delta.
388 346 77W 787
 
HAJFlyer
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:34 pm

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:46 pm

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 8):
I kind of doubt it, but just for fun, do any of you think that US would ever try to come down?

CLT and PHL are not an option as they would have they same shortcomings as ATL; PHX is probably too long for a CRJ 700 (from an economical - not a technical perspective) and would limit US to westbound flights. Furthermore any members of a *alliance FF-program have plenty of more attractive options on CO/UA through IAH.

What I wonder though is whether SW will ever diversify their RGV-portfolio beyond HRL?
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting HAJflyer (Reply 14):
What I wonder though is whether SW will ever diversify their RGV-portfolio beyond HRL?

  


Thats exactly what I was wondering. That is the only new carrier that MFE would get, if any. I don't see any other carrier being successful at MFE. I wonder if WN would add MFE or simply move from HRL to MFE.

Does anyone know how WN is doing in HRL?
388 346 77W 787
 
User avatar
AVLAirlineFreq
Posts: 767
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:31 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:08 pm

I've always wondered what air service to the RGV would look like if there were only a single airport in the area instead of three.
 
Josh32121
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:02 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:02 pm

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 16):
I've always wondered what air service to the RGV would look like if there were only a single airport in the area instead of three.

I wondered the same thing! I was booked on DL ATL-MFE in May and got a phone call from DL a week or so ago. I am now rebooked on AA, and AA has already changed their flight schedules on me twice--now arriving at 6:00 p.m. instead of 1:30. Wah wahhh. It's so weird to have a DL ticket with AA flights now. LOL

That said...in exploring replacement flight options, it was indeed bizarre to me to have these three small-ish airports just a short distance away from each other. Together, they would make for viable, steady demand, but split apart, each one struggles to maintain anything to hubs, it seems. As much as I love planes, this would be the perfect opportunity to concentrate commercial air service at one airport and run trains to connect to the other adjacent cities. It's horribly inefficient the way it is now and likely costs all three airports service they might otherwise have if there were only one airport.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:40 pm

I agree. Having three smallish airports is not that smart or effective. Each of them has a little bit of carriers serving a small amount of destinations. Maybe if we had just one major airport in the RGV, we would have more carriers, more flights, more destinations and over all more opportunities to attract new carriers.
388 346 77W 787
 
mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:18 am

Unfortunately, I don't think the cities would work together to build one airport together, and MFE is already starting an expensive expansion project. I think the only consolidation is going to come at the expense of airports losing service and fading away. Brownsville is pretty vulernable, with just a handful or regional jet flights per day on UA, AA, and Aeromexico which is 2x weekly I believe. If Southwest moved out of HRL, HRL wouldn't really have anything. MFE is central to the 4 county Rio Grande Valley area and has the most business demand, and the largest metro area by far.

By the way, I've read before that Southwest refuses to serve McAllen due to something that happened decades ago with Herb Kelleher. Does anybody know what this is? It seems silly to me for Southwest to be ignoring a goldmine for AA and United/CO at MFE, seeing as there is not much competition and no LCC's serving that market (other than Allegiant to just LAS and MCO).

As far as new airlines for MFE, I'm hoping they can also land some AeroMexico service or some other Mexican airline (only charters to Mexico at this point). Not too long ago CO served MFE-MEX. Maybe United can add a tag on one of the Q400 flights IAH-MFE-MTY or one of the regional jets to MEX.

Also hoping United or AA will add a flight to one of their other hubs, maybe ORD for either one of them.
 
mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:23 am

Update: I found this regarding the McAllen-Herb Kelleher issue:

http://issuu.com/sbp-display/docs/mcallen/search?q=kelleher

It appears that in 1974, Herb Kelleher was "rebuffed" at a civic club meeting and dropped McAllen from the list of cities Southwest Airlines would serve. Geez, let it go already Herb......
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:58 am

Quoting mfe777 (Reply 20):
It appears that in 1974, Herb Kelleher was "rebuffed" at a civic club meeting and dropped McAllen from the list of cities Southwest Airlines would serve. Geez, let it go already Herb......

  

Agreed. Are they really gonna be childish and stubborn and reject an airport that is going to bring them better business than HRL? Seems like a bad business decision. The people who "rebuffed" him are probably not even around anymore.

Anyway, lets talk about best case scenario. Lets say that Southwest does come over to MFE. What destination will they serve? Would they serve DAL to compete with AA or would they serve HOU to compete with UA?

Quoting mfe777 (Reply 19):
Also hoping United or AA will add a flight to one of their other hubs, maybe ORD for either one of them.


This is what I have been wondering/hoping for a while. I wish they would start up new routes.

P.S. - I went to HEB earlier and saw the new issue of Texas Monthly and Southwest is on the cover with the title "LUV and War". I flipped through it quickly and they just have a 2-3 page story on WN and their battle in Dallas and in the airline biz as a whole. Ill pick it up later. Heres a pic of the cover in case you guys havent seen it.

388 346 77W 787
 
mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:41 am

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 21):
Anyway, lets talk about best case scenario. Lets say that Southwest does come over to MFE. What destination will they serve? Would they serve DAL to compete with AA or would they serve HOU to compete with UA?

I would say both DAL and HOU, and if they transfer completely from HRL then they could bring over the AUS and SAT service too. Heck, maybe even compete with Allegiant to LAS, Allegiant sometimes has daily service from MFE during high seasons.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:48 am

Quoting mfe777 (Reply 22):
I would say both DAL and HOU, and if they transfer completely from HRL then they could bring over the AUS and SAT service too. Heck, maybe even compete with Allegiant to LAS, Allegiant sometimes has daily service from MFE during high seasons.

Oh wow, that sounds very bullish. It would be great if they came over and added all those routes.

A little bit off topic, but do you know if MFE allows spotters? or if they have an area where spotters can go and take photos?
388 346 77W 787
 
mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:56 am

Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 23):
A little bit off topic, but do you know if MFE allows spotters? or if they have an area where spotters can go and take photos?

Not sure, but there is a small park right off the southern end of the runway called Cascade Park.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:05 am

Quoting mfe777 (Reply 24):
Not sure, but there is a small park right off the southern end of the runway called Cascade Park.

Oh yeah, thats where the swimming pool is. I have always wanted to go there or even go to the airport itself, and take pictures, but I have a feeling that they will get suspicious and kick me out.
388 346 77W 787
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:54 am

Well over all, I feel Delta tried their best. I feel like they really want to have a presence and be successful in the Valley, but they just cant, giving the route that they offer.
388 346 77W 787
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6090
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:02 am

Here is a blast from the past:
DL To Begin MEM-LBB/MFE/JFK (by DL747400 Nov 21 2008 in Civil Aviation)

NW and DL really have tried over the years to make MFE work. NW tried MEM-MFE for a while it didn't work out. DL tried ATL-MFE for awhile then ended the service. DL relaunched MEM-MFE in 2009, then last year switched it to ATL-MFE and has tried to make it work for the past 3 years.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:11 am

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 27):
Here is a blast from the past:
DL To Begin MEM-LBB/MFE/JFK (by DL747400 Nov 21 2008 in Civil Aviation)

NW and DL really have tried over the years to make MFE work. NW tried MEM-MFE for a while it didn't work out. DL tried ATL-MFE for awhile then ended the service. DL relaunched MEM-MFE in 2009, then last year switched it to ATL-MFE and has tried to make it work for the past 3 years.

Its sad to look at those posts of when they were coming down, and now they are leaving. Sad. I remember back in May 2009, i was driving on 23rd and i was passing runway 13 and I got to see a Pinnacle CRJ200 in NWA Airlink colors taxiing to the runway. That made my day   Thats the only time that I saw a NWA plane down here in MFE. I never got a chance to see another NWA. After that, I would only catch the DL connection CRJs  
388 346 77W 787
 
bjorn14
Posts: 3549
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:26 pm

Quoting AVLAirlineFreq (Reply 16):
I've always wondered what air service to the RGV would look like if there were only a single airport in the area instead of three.
Quoting CapEd388 (Reply 18):
I agree. Having three smallish airports is not that smart or effective. Each of them has a little bit of carriers serving a small amount of destinations. Maybe if we had just one major airport in the RGV, we would have more carriers, more flights, more destinations and over all more opportunities to attract new carriers.
Quoting mfe777 (Reply 19):
I don't think the cities would work together to build one airport together,

I don't think its neccesary to build another aiport (although it would be nice) The three authorities would have to agree on a single airport (MFE, HRL or BRO) for commercial ops but then again I believe their will be peace in the Middle East.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6090
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:25 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 29):
I don't think its neccesary to build another aiport (although it would be nice) The three authorities would have to agree on a single airport (MFE, HRL or BRO) for commercial ops but then again I believe their will be peace in the Middle East.

This is ultimately the direction that regional air service is going to get to in the next decade as airlines shed smaller airframes. As airlines remove a significant amount of 50 seat RJs, is will make sustaining air service into smaller or more fragmented markets more difficult.

There are a few areas of the country where a more regional approach to air service might result in better options by getting a critical mass. Other areas include: Southwestern Michigan / Northern Indiana, Northeastern Ohio/ Northwest PA. RGV may have some of the closest ones together though.



This is no different than many of the battles that go on for other community services. Just look at how efforts go to regionalize police/fire/municipal services and are always fought with resistance.
 
HAJFlyer
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:34 pm

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 29):

I don't think its necessary to build another airport (although it would be nice) The three authorities would have to agree on a single airport (MFE, HRL or BRO) for commercial ops but then again I believe their will be peace in the Middle East.

I do not think that we will end up with a single RGV airport in the next decade or two; however, I would not be too surprised if HRL and BRO were to eventually "merge" thus leaving one airport each in the western and eastern sections of the valley.

Given (i) the age of BRO´s terminal facilities, (ii) the fact that the driving distance to South Padre is about the same from HRL and BRO and (iii) the strength of HRL in the cargo business, I could image that times would get quite tough for BRO if they were to lose AA.

However, given the historical significance of BRO, it is IMHO highly unlikely that the city of Brownsville will ever shut it down voluntarily in favour of HRL.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:29 am

Quoting HAJflyer (Reply 31):
I could image that times would get quite tough for BRO if they were to lose AA

Yeah, I think obviously BRO is the weakest of the three. I was reading the comments on Channel 5's facebook when they announced the Delta news and someone actually said that Delta should go to BRO, that they would probably do better there. I commented by saying that if DL couldnt survive or do well in MFE, I doubt they would do any better at BRO.

I think IF (and thats a big "IF") they were to merge all three airports or create one new big airport, it would obviously take a long time to get things going, starting with what city to build the new airport in, with practically every city throwing a bid to get it. That alone could take years to decide. If anything like that did happen, i would assume that it would happen probably 30-40 yrs from now.

Quoting HAJflyer (Reply 31):
the strength of HRL in the cargo business

Speaking of cargo, do you guys think that FedEx and DHL will follow UPS's footsteps and eventually move over to MFE?
388 346 77W 787
 
HAJFlyer
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:34 pm

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:54 pm

Given the infrastructure they already have on the ground in HRL and the comparatively short distances in the valley I would expect them to stay put for at least another 5-10 years in spite of the fact that most of growth in the RGV is occurring in the MFE area.
 
mfe777
Topic Author
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:35 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:24 am

I think Spirit would be an interesting addition to MFE. Allegiant is a big hit with their ultra low fares. With Spirit building up a DFW base, they could easily add a DFW-MFE flight to connect to their new slew of DFW destinations, or even open up MFE-LAS to compete directly with Allegiant.
 
CapEd388
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:38 am

RE: Delta Connection Ending McAllen Service?

Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:04 pm

Quoting mfe777 (Reply 34):

I think Spirit would be an interesting addition to MFE. Allegiant is a big hit with their ultra low fares. With Spirit building up a DFW base, they could easily add a DFW-MFE flight to connect to their new slew of DFW destinations, or even open up MFE-LAS to compete directly with Allegiant.

Yeah thats what I was thinking as well. I was going to comment on it earlier, but I totally forgot lol   , but yeah I can see them coming down. I totally agree that they might use their new DFW hub and try to connect to MFE. I think they have the ....cojones to actually try it, would be nice if they did.
388 346 77W 787