TWA85
Topic Author
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US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 8:35 pm

Hello everybody,

As we all know, US Airways is not permitted to offer nonstop flights from DCA to Europe due to the perimeter rule and lack of customs and FIS facilities at DCA. Would it be feasible for US to offer direct flights from DCA to Europe via BOS similar to BA's LCY-SNN-JFK service? An example would be as follows, US 757 flight 123 departs from DCA for BOS filled with passengers only flying to LHR. Once the flight arrives in BOS, more passengers can board from BOS and the plane will be filled with necessary fuel to make it to LHR. The stop in BOS would take no more than 30 min and then the flight can depart BOS for LHR. On the return flight, passengers will board the plane heading for either DCA or BOS and the plane will be filled with the necessary fuel to make it to DCA. Then the plane will depart LHR for BOS. Upon arrival in BOS all passengers will deboard the plane and go through customs. After clearing customs all passengers heading to DCA will reboard the plane and then the plane will depart for DCA. As most IAD-Europe flights pass almost directly over BOS this service would only add approximately 45 min to the passangers flight time which can easily be compensated by reduced commuting time to DCA vs IAD. What are all of you thoughts?
 
phxa340
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 8:37 pm

Or ... just go to BWI and IAD and avoid the hastle and connection of going through BOS. DCA is super convienent but it will loose its luster if you have to connect via another city when you can just go non stop by making the relatively short drive to Virginia or Maryland.
 
southwest737500
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 8:39 pm

Where would they get the planes from, there not going to sacrifice flights from CLT and PHL
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drerx7
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting PHXA340 (Reply 1):
Or ... just go to BWI and IAD and avoid the hastle and connection of going through BOS. DCA is super convienent but it will loose its luster if you have to connect via another city when you can just go non stop by making the relatively short drive to Virginia or Maryland.

LOL...
The only way to make it work is an all biz operation - the pax need to be incentivized for this type of service.
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richierich
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 8:49 pm

Quoting TWA85 (Thread starter):
Then the plane will depart LHR for BOS. Upon arrival in BOS all passengers will deboard the plane and go through customs. After clearing customs all passengers heading to DCA will reboard the plane and then the plane will depart for DCA

This just sounds like a connecting or thru flight to me. It's not that different than heading to BOS and connecting, except for the same plane outbound service. I think it would work logistically but as others have said, I'm not sure it offers much in the way of perceived benefits. (And many TATL road warriors probably prefer widebody aircraft to B757s, and probably any airlines not named US Airways.)

I think a more compelling argument could be made concerning BA's A318 service to JFK. Could this aircraft make DCA on the eastbound flight from SNN? My guess is this is 250nm too far, but that would be pretty cool if BA could offer LCY-DCA service!
None shall pass!!!!
 
ScottB
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 8:54 pm

Quoting TWA85 (Thread starter):
Upon arrival in BOS all passengers will deboard the plane and go through customs. After clearing customs all passengers heading to DCA will reboard the plane and then the plane will depart for DCA. As most IAD-Europe flights pass almost directly over BOS this service would only add approximately 45 min to the passangers flight time which can easily be compensated by reduced commuting time to DCA vs IAD. What are all of you thoughts?

This scheme doesn't work so well for an arrival at BOS since the flight would have to arrive at Terminal E, while the rest of the US Airways operation is at Terminal B. So they'd have to tow the aircraft over to Terminal B and wait for all the passengers to make it through Customs, to make their way over to Terminal B, and to clear the TSA checkpoint. Or they could confuse local passengers with a single daily departure from E. In any event, Immigration and Customs at BOS can take a while, so it's more likely that they'd need to allow a couple of hours on the ground at BOS.

Quoting TWA85 (Thread starter):
An example would be as follows, US 757 flight 123 departs from DCA for BOS filled with passengers only flying to LHR. Once the flight arrives in BOS, more passengers can board from BOS and the plane will be filled with necessary fuel to make it to LHR.

There's really very little functional difference between having the flight stop at BOS and having it stop at PHL, which is already a US hub.
 
ScottB
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 9:04 pm

Quoting richierich (Reply 4):
I think a more compelling argument could be made concerning BA's A318 service to JFK. Could this aircraft make DCA on the eastbound flight from SNN? My guess is this is 250nm too far, but that would be pretty cool if BA could offer LCY-DCA service!

Even if it could make it from SNN to DCA, the eastbound flight can't make it from DCA to LCY. The LCY-SNN-JFK routing works because one can clear U.S. Immigration & Customs at SNN while the aircraft is refueled. There's no similar pre-clearance for the U.K., unless they were to stop in, say, BFS on the way back.
 
gilesdavies
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 9:07 pm

In practice, a 757 would have no issues flying non-stop from DCA-LHR... On the way back, they could use the likes of SNN to clear US Immigrations and customs.

But like others have said, I don't think its practical or has many advantages over flying into IAD.

Also with Philly being only around 100 miles from Washington DC, which is US Airways' largest hub with flights to Europe, does the airline really want to offer flights from another airport in its own back yard?

The British Airways A318 service between LCY-JFK, is very different, and is only flown because of a specific market that exists. LCY is literally a few miles from the City of London and Canary Wharf, which is at the heart of Europes largest financial centre, and there is enough of a premium market willing to fly this route from this industry sector all demanding to fly in business/first class cabin, which is what the config of this route is.
 
Viscount724
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 6):
Quoting richierich (Reply 4):
I think a more compelling argument could be made concerning BA's A318 service to JFK. Could this aircraft make DCA on the eastbound flight from SNN? My guess is this is 250nm too far, but that would be pretty cool if BA could offer LCY-DCA service!

Even if it could make it from SNN to DCA, the eastbound flight can't make it from DCA to LCY. The LCY-SNN-JFK routing works because one can clear U.S. Immigration & Customs at SNN while the aircraft is refueled. There's no similar pre-clearance for the U.K., unless they were to stop in, say, BFS on the way back.

And it's not possible due to the perimeter rule. I can't see them every agreeing to beyond-perimeter exceptions for international routes when there's such strong demand for further expansion of the very limited U.S. domestic beyond-perimeter exceptions. That just wouldn't work politically.
 
roseflyer
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 9:24 pm

There is basically no savings having a same plane service instead of a connecting flight. Being that it has to stop somewhere both ways, they might as well just operate it like any other connecting flight with the same flight number. LCY does not make sense since it would go LCY-SNN-BOS-DCA which makes no sense compared to LHR-IAD. LHR-BOS-DCA/DCA-JFK-LHR/DCA-PHL-LHR, etc can already be served with existing equipment. There's no reason to operate a premium heavy airplane into DCA or a 757 to LHR. US only has one LHR slot and that goes to PHL.

The benefit of JFK-LCY is that it operates nonstop in one direction. LCY-SNN-JFK doesn't really save time. When you add the extra flight and ground time, it is relatively equivalent to the extra travel time required to get to LHR and customers/immigration in JFK. The real benefit is the JFK-LCY which is a real time saver.
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flymia
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RE: US Airways DCA-Europe Idea

Thu May 03, 2012 9:40 pm

What is the difference between this and just connecting in PHL or CLT.

The BA flight works for two reasons, one it is LCY and two it is an all premium cabin. Also customs in SNN I assume is a bit easier.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)