AA@DFW
Topic Author
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2000 8:06 pm

Delta Connection Slashes LGA Flights

Wed Dec 20, 2000 6:29 am

In reaction to the FAA's lottery for landing/takeoff slots at LGA, Delta Connection (ComAir) is being forced to slash routes.

These routes have been CANCELLED:

LGA - Knoxville
LGA - Burlington, VT
LGA - Providence, RI
LGA - Montreal

DL is proposing to add flights out of BOS - this will only make BOS an even BIGGER headache than it already is.

AA@DFW
 
yhu
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Delta Connection Slashes LGA Flights

Wed Dec 20, 2000 11:07 am

Comair does not serve Burlington. Atlantic Coast Jet does. They seem to be stopping the service as in the res system the flights are there, but have no space availabe.
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Delta Connection Slashes LGA Flights

Wed Dec 20, 2000 4:27 pm

Delta Connection has also announced that they're cutting ROC, SYR, BUF, and MHT as well, starting in January. Please bear with me as I sum up a couple of threads worth of denouncing Delta's way of handling the loss of its LGA AIR-21 slots.

The AIR-21 law was specifically intended to get medium and small markets with limited or nonexistent service to LGA, at least a foothold--a measly four or so daily flights. LGA's traffic mix is badly out of balance in favor of boo-koo frequencies to major markets. Yes that term applies to a public facility that enjoys taxpayer bond rating support.

So when the AIR-21 party ended, Delta should not have simply whacked all these new destinations. They should have lopped a frequency or two off of each new city--say cut ROC from four to a still-businessman-friendly three daily flights--and (gasp) cut some of the twenty or so daily ATL flights. And one or two of those high-margin shuttle flights to IAD, DCA, BOS etc. And one or two flights from many other cities that enjoy six or eight-plus dailies from LGA. That would have shown good political sense as well. Delta may not have been able to keep some service at every new AIR-21 destination, but they could have kept it at some or even most. IE, a good faith effort.

The Congressional delegations of the cities affected should make clear to Leo Mullin that they will keep his ruthless protection of the destination-mix status quo at LGA in mind the next time he wants something.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5260
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

RE: Delta Connection Slashes LGA Flights

Wed Dec 20, 2000 5:03 pm

Jim,

Your thoughts on how DL should cut LGA flights would be great if DL operated as a charity. Unfortunately, DL isn't a charity. Simply put, they are gonna dump the flights which are the least profitable. DL would be nuts to reduce frequencies on highly profitable routes like the shuttle and ATL-LGA...especially since Airtran also competes on this route. Sorry, but DL is here to make a profit not to be a charity for "underserved" markets.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't SYR, ROC, BUF and MHT have service to LGA on US/USExpress and I don't think these flights are being cut. These flights may not be great but it beats nothing at all.

LGA is a limited resource and not every city can have service there. I don't see any reason why people in cities like Knoxville need nonstop service to LGA. They can easily connect through ATL, CLT, CVG, PIT, IAD etc.

I'm from Pensacola and I would love to have nonstop service to LGA and in fact there is enough demand between PNS and LGA daily to fill two RJ's a day....but it's not gonna happen. So we are stuck connecting through a hub...so goes the hub and spoke system. It's not perfect but it does work. If airlines only flew from their hubs to LGA and got rid of all these point to point flights, the delays at LGA would disappear....something to think about.

As for congressional delegates trying to exact revenge on DL next time Mullin comes calling...don't count on it. Politicians are very predictable and trust me if an airline wants something...those politicians will bend over backwards to help the airline. It happens time and time again. It's not right...but that's the way it works. Oddly enough, airlines and politicians usually make pretty good bedfellows.
 
DCA-ROCguy
Posts: 3890
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Delta Connection Slashes LGA Flights

Thu Dec 21, 2000 2:18 am

Maintaining minimal service to underserved markets is not charity, especially given the fares Delta, like all big 6 carriers, charges. Sorry, airlines are *not* entitled to seek the highest margin on every route. Airports are public facilities, supported by government (read taxpayer) bond ratings if not direct funds. The operators of those airports--the public--have a right to demand even minimal inclusion of medium and small markets at big airports. Delta can make all the boo-koo high fare margin bucks it wants on bigger planes with a few less frequencies to ATL from LGA. Don't they know bigger planes can have bigger business and/ or first classes?

Airlines and politicians indeed make good bedfellows, but since about mid-1999 their constituents have been angry enough over high fares and bad service that Big Air doesn't always get what it wants. Indeed, Congress opened slots for JetBlue at JFK because *their constituents wanted it.* Votes are the only thing politicians need more than money (of which latter Big Air indeed has lots).

As for US's existing service to Upstate, it's not enough. New York is by far our biggest market, and in the past we've supported two and three times as much service to LGA as we have today. And our population and economy, while not as good as downstate, have both expanded in the past ten years. AA at least has Eagle flights to LGA now, but again we're far behind.

Airlines are not charities but public facilities like airports are also not free milk cows.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
LexPassenger
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 11:36 am

RE: Delta Connection Slashes LGA Flights

Thu Dec 21, 2000 2:38 am

Gee, it seems that what Delta is up to is protecting the flights to the smaller cities in the southeast where they are already dominant, at the expense of the Northeastern cities where they lost LGA service when AA bought Business Express (DL used to serve all those cities that way).

I think they hoped the govt would grandfather in new service, so that if they were firstest and mostest, they'd benefit; when the lottery was instituted, they were forced to cut routes, so are picking the ones that don't serve their core markets in the Carolinas, Georgia. &c. They've a few more to go, too!

Interesting that the Delta press release writers screwed up at least twice: saying LGA-YUL service was started as part of Air-21 rights (they've flown it for decades), and that the FRJ has "2 by 2 seating". They should hire us!