DariusBieber
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Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:14 am

It seems like Southwest is doing very well at DSM. Its MDW service has seen B738 service over the past week and I was told they were in an oversell situation on one day. With Southwest now being there for over a year, and having added LAS, will WN expand further?

As far as I remember (using DSM about 8 times the past year or so), WN still outsources all their employees at DSM. Do you think they will come to a point to personally overtake duties at DSM?

Would we see any new routes to DSM? With MDW covering the East and LAS covering the West, could we see a STL or DAL flight in the future to cover the South?
Darius Bieber
 
iowaman
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:52 am

Quoting DariusBieber (Thread starter):
With Southwest now being there for over a year, and having added LAS, will WN expand further?
STL is on the radar from hints in the Des Moines Register in previous articles. It's an awfully short route for them with 737's. PHX is more likely IMO even though US is running 2x 319 on PHX-DSM. DAL has not be identified as a city from DSM. But with AA mainline on DFW-DSM the market is well covered. WN doesn't exactly have much fleet slack, but you never know. As of January 2014 WN had 10% of the market share at DSM (UA & DL tied at 22% each, followed by AA at 18% and US at 16%). The DSM area is growing quickly and the airport continues to break passenger records in recent years.

Quoting DariusBieber (Thread starter):
Its MDW service has seen B738 service over the past week and I was told they were in an oversell situation on one day.

First time I have seen WN -800's in DSM on a scheduled basis.



Edited post to add to it rather than thread bump.

[Edited 2014-03-24 23:02:17]
 
DariusBieber
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:59 am

Quoting iowaman (Reply 1):
First time I have seen WN -800's in DSM on a scheduled basis.

Got to fly them both on my way out and on my way in. Had a B738 Sunday morning going out and Sunday night going in. Both full. It has really gotten far, as I remember they had B733s flying in November of 2012.
Darius Bieber
 
dbo861
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:00 am

For me, I'd like to see a DEN flight. I live in Tacoma, WA and WN always seems to be the cheapest option from SEA-DSM, but they don't have any convenient connecting options. It's actually easier to overfly DSM and connect at MDW than to fly all the way south to LAS and pick up a connection to DSM.

I've used Southwest to DSM twice now, always via MDW. The first time, both flights were jam packed in and out of DSM. The second trip the flight out of DSM was half full.

I'd definitely like to see Southwest succeed at DSM, but I doubt we'll ever see more than 4-5 destinations.

Quoting DariusBieber (Reply 2):
Both full. It has really gotten far, as I remember they had B733s flying in November of 2012.

The 738s were for spring break traffic. We go back to all 73Gs in April. I have a trip back to DSM this June and the flight from LAS-DSM is on a 735, and the flight out of DSM is a 733 so we definitely see all aircraft types.



[Edited 2014-03-24 23:04:54]
 
iowaman
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:13 am

Quoting dbo861 (Reply 3):
For me, I'd like to see a DEN flight. I live in Tacoma, WA and WN always seems to be the cheapest option from SEA-DSM, but they don't have any convenient connecting options. It's actually easier to overfly DSM and connect at MDW than to fly all the way south to LAS and pick up a connection to DSM.
DEN is another great idea, although who knows if F9 will be able to coexist with UA mainline as well. There just is not many connection options with only 3 flights a day at the station.

Quoting dbo861 (Reply 3):
I'd definitely like to see Southwest succeed at DSM, but I doubt we'll ever see more than 4-5 destinations.

   OMA is a larger passenger market and that's about all they have, although it's interesting Southwest is trying out OMA-LAX service.

Personally I would like to see:

3x MDW
1x LAS
1x PHX
2x DEN
1x MCO

Could routes like DSM-LAX, DSM-BWI, DSM-TPA or RSW (seasonal) be practical some day? Sure they pull down other carriers, but interesting to think about. DSM-SEA is a nice thought but I don't see it happening as SEA is not a strong WN station.

[Edited 2014-03-24 23:16:18]
 
dbo861
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:52 am

Quoting iowaman (Reply 4):
   OMA is a larger passenger market and that's about all they have, although it's interesting Southwest is trying out OMA-LAX service.

Personally I would like to see:

3x MDW
1x LAS
1x PHX
2x DEN
1x MCO

OMA and MCI always got a lot of bleed over from DSM, which is where I think a lot of the passenger growth at DSM is coming from. I remember seeing a Des Moines Register about DSM's passenger growth while MCI and OMA were both seeing declines.

Regarding your list, I think we'll see STL before MCO. It's a short flight, so it wouldn't use up much of their fleet. Maybe if there's an airplane that RONs at STL, it could be used for a late night flight to DSM and then an early morning flight back to STL. Honestly, if they decide the current 2x to MDW isn't enough, maybe they'll add a STL flight before a 3rd flight to MDW as they cover many of the same connections, and they'd get the O&D STL traffic.

Quoting iowaman (Reply 4):
Could routes like DSM-LAX, DSM-BWI, DSM-TPA or RSW (seasonal) be practical some day? Sure they pull down other carriers, but interesting to think about. DSM-SEA is a nice thought but I don't see it happening as SEA is not a strong WN station.

According to the most recent Consumer Airfare Report from the US DOT, the LA area is the largest market currently unserved from DSM (not counting the seasonal Allegiant DSM-LAX flight). If the station continues its success with WN, maybe they'll try it. Possibly a seasonal flight like what they're doing with OMA-LAX. I could see UA trying LAX-DSM first though..with an E170.

Other than that, maybe DSM-BWI for east coast connections. Like you said, OMA has a larger passenger base, but they also have alot more mainline competition. If WN wins over DSM, I could see them having as large of a station as OMA.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:13 pm

Quoting iowaman (Reply 4):
Could routes like DSM-LAX, DSM-BWI, DSM-TPA or RSW (seasonal) be practical some day? Sure they pull down other carriers, but interesting to think about. DSM-SEA is a nice thought but I don't see it happening as SEA is not a strong WN station.

At one time Eastern had a SEA-OMA-SEA flight. I read somewhere what drove that market but it was so long ago I forgot what it was. Now here we are talking about a DSM-SEA flight. If the numbers are still there and there is some bleeding from DSM than maybe OMA-SEA-OMA could work.

I fly ex-BWI quite a lot to a few different places. Quite often I meet people coming or going to Iowa in general. I have wondered if WN a BWI-DSM-BWI could succeed? I think it might be an interesting discussion.
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:34 pm

I know DSM is really pulling for a STL flight because of the Monsanto connections at both ends. I think STL could be doable. Yes its a short flight but WN still runs STL-MCI which is shorter and has a direct link via interstate 70 while DSM is 100 miles further and no direct highway routing. The only other options I could see for connections to the southeast & Florida would be BNA (not sure though if the o&d) or ATL. I do think at some point DEN will be added for more westward connections.
 
n7371f
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:34 am

Quoting iowaman (Reply 1):
STL is on the radar from hints in the Des Moines Register in previous articles. It's an awfully short route for them with 737's. PHX is more likely IMO even though US is running 2x 319 on PHX-DSM. DAL has not be identified as a city from DSM. But with AA mainline on DFW-DSM the market is well covered. WN doesn't exactly have much fleet slack, but you never know. As of January 2014 WN had 10% of the market share at DSM (UA & DL tied at 22% each, followed by AA at 18% and US at 16%). The DSM area is growing quickly and the airport continues to break passenger records in recent years.

I'd be stunned...stunnned...if WN added DSM-STL. WN has done nothing but back away from 250 mile routes in the past 3-4 years; their costs are too high to make $ on short-hauls unless the yields are through the roof. WN is nothing like the airline it was 10 yrs ago when it feasted off routes like that.
 
DariusBieber
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:11 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 8):
I'd be stunned...stunnned...if WN added DSM-STL. WN has done nothing but back away from 250 mile routes in the past 3-4 years; their costs are too high to make $ on short-hauls unless the yields are through the roof. WN is nothing like the airline it was 10 yrs ago when it feasted off routes like that.

Me too quite honestly. In all seriousness, MDW has way more connections than STL and can serve DSM better. If anything, DAL or BNA would be a better addition than STL in my opinion.

I'd also be surprised if they added DEN. In my opinion, LAS has more connections than DEN (unless you wanted to go to SEA, PDX or BOI, as it would be more practical to connect via DEN).

[Edited 2014-03-25 21:13:26]
Darius Bieber
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:09 am

I wouldn't totally count out a DSM-STL flight. That's a 5-6 hour drive. And with the southern connections possible from STL, it wouldn't shock me to it happen someday. WN runs 3 daily OMA-STL, and OMA is only not much bigger or farther.
 
INFINITI329
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:25 am

Quoting DariusBieber (Thread starter):
As far as I remember (using DSM about 8 times the past year or so), WN still outsources all their employees at DSM. Do you think they will come to a point to personally overtake duties at DSM?

I highly doubt it, not until the flight activity reaches their contractual maximum for outsourcing.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:23 pm

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 7):
The only other options I could see for connections to the southeast & Florida would be BNA (not sure though if the o&d) or ATL. I do think at some point DEN will be added for more westward connections.

Personally, I'd love to see DSM-BNA (it would help immensely with my quest to take my kids to see all 50 states), but it's hard for me to see the business case. Des Moines is an insurance and agribusiness town; Nashville is an automotive and healthcare town. While Nashville has increased in stature as a tourist destination, we still don't have WN service to the likes of CLT and MSP.
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planespotting
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RE: Southwest At Des Moines

Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:22 pm

Quoting iowaman (Reply 1):
STL is on the radar from hints in the Des Moines Register in previous articles. It's an awfully short route for them with 737's. PHX is more likely IMO even though US is running 2x 319 on PHX-DSM. DAL has not be identified as a city from DSM. But with AA mainline on DFW-DSM the market is well covered. WN doesn't exactly have much fleet slack, but you never know. As of January 2014 WN had 10% of the market share at DSM (UA & DL tied at 22% each, followed by AA at 18% and US at 16%). The DSM area is growing quickly and the airport continues to break passenger records in recent years.

I don't think Southwest has the frames to do any kind of expansion in DSM this year, especially considering the bigger fish to fry that they have at DAL. Also, hinting at new flights in the Register means nothing ... from an insider journalism and PR point of view, The Register barely even knows what an airplane is, and Southwest is either going to demur or optimistically shrug it's shoulders when asked about specific markets from here or anywhere. I'd love to see STL, DEN or perhaps MCO or TPA from here (i think either Florida market would be huge) but when you have new gates and new city pairs to connect with one of your biggest markets (Dallas), along with a scarcity of airplanes, markets like Des Moines will have to wait their turn.
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