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klm617
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Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:17 pm

While all three of these airports are very close in proximity to Detroit they are all served very differently. FNT has three mainline Nonstops to ATL but no flights to Detroit where as Lansing has no Nonstop flights to ATL but is connected to Detroit where as Delta has dropped Toledo all together. Now before people chime in with Delta thinks that's the best way to make money what is their reasoning for these three totally different scenarios for seminally very similar markets. All within an hour drive to DTW. Why not drop the DTW-LAN flights in favor of LAN-ATL Nonstops and why does Delta totally surrender the Toledo market one would think there might be some reasoning for a couple of TOL-ATL flights in the same way the lint market is served. Look forward to you responses and getting myself more educated.
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enilria
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Re: DELTA STRADIGY FOR TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:57 pm

Spellcheck?
 
910A
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Re: DELTA STRADIGY FOR TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:13 pm

klm617 wrote:
. Now before people chime in with Delta thinks that's the best way to make money what is their reasoning for these three totally different scenarios for seminally very similar markets. All within an hour drive to DTW. Why not drop the DTW-LAN flights in favor of LAN-ATL Nonstops and why does Delta totally surrender the Toledo market one would think there might be some reasoning for a couple of TOL-ATL flights in the same way the lint market is served. Look forward to you responses and getting myself more educated.


#1- Somehow I believe and the track record shows that Delta management knows what they are doing.

#2- Lansing has had non-stop service to DTW forever. Perhaps because it's Michigan's capitol and DTW is Michigan's gateway to the world..I remember flying on North Centrals Convair 580 and D9S on the milk run from Marquette back in the early 70's. MQT-ESC-GRB-GRR-LAN-DTW.

#3- Toledo is within driving distance of DTW..
 
Jerseyguy
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Re: DELTA STRADIGY FOR TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:14 pm

enilria wrote:
Spellcheck?

What about it? Do you think thats the reason DL no longer flys to TOL?
 
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Re: DELTA STRADIGY FOR TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:31 pm

enilria wrote:
Spellcheck?

+Paragraphs?
Q300/ATR72-600/737-200/-300/-400/-700/-800/A320/767-200/-300/757-200/777-300ER/
747-200/-300/-400/ER/A340-300/A380-800/MD-83/-88/CRJ-700/-900
 
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Re: DELTA STRADIGY FOR TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:08 pm

When I had a problem with the OP posting different opinions on different threads, another member (above) had a real problem with it. Now, here he is sarcastically responding to the OP. Ironic.

Anyway, back on track, I tend to agree with 910A that Delta has modeled the variables that will produce the most profitable results. Does it always work? No, but they'll refine it as necessary.
 
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N717TW
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Re: DELTA STRADIGY FOR TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:34 pm

Pretty sure it has to do with the amount of demand to the immediate local market judged against the % of passengers willing to drive to DTW vs. the percentage of traffic was also using LAN/TOL/FNT as a way to avoid higher fares from DTW. Quick run down is this:
LAN: As the state capital plus MSU and the small local business community there is demand for business travel from LAN that DL feels is worth serving rather than giving up to AA/UA.
FNT: Flint is a depressed economic community and a fair amount of the traffic was lured by AirTran from northern part of the Detroit metro-area. Therefore DL wasn't interested in adding expenses to get people to drive from Detroit to FNT to only connect in DTW. The ATL service makes sense for competing against leisure-focused traffic headed to Florida, etc.
TOL: While there are still some business interests in Toledo, most of them descendants of the Owens glass company, the city is a 45 minute drive to DTW. The less-than-an-hour drive puts it squarely within the DTW catchment area plus TOL isn't attracting a lot of other airlines (as AA is the only carrier) which means DL didn't need to worry about the expense of having a station.
 
TW870
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:02 pm

Great summary 717TW. Just to add to this, LAN has by far the most stable economic base, and is networked regionally, nationally, and globally, and could use a broad cross section of the network capacity that DTW offers. FNT, conversely, has a very difficult economic situation, and one of the most stable sources of income remaining in the city are the pensions of former UAW members. Those pensions generate primarily leisure traffic, and especially leisure traffic to Florida which had been a popular destination during the manufacturing heyday. My guess is that there is enough pension money remaining in FNT to turn a profit on those trips - especially considering how relatively low cost the ATL hub and t-tail operation is for DL. Can't speak to the difference in revenue potential from FNT vs. TOL, but 717TW's analysis above makes sense. FNT may be just far enough north that it further discourages driving to regional alternate airports because it is further away.
 
klm617
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:53 am

Thank you very much for your informative replies. Makes sense with little or no competition in TOL Delta just choses to let their loyal flyer base just drive there because they are not going to break the FF loyalty just because they can't fly between DTW-TOL and the 45 minute drive is pretty much a wash as taking a flight from TOL which I think is the same boat FNT is in as far as the majority of the Delta traffic heading east and west so those folks are going to still use DTW anyway verses jumping ship as the are no longer any other viable hubs when heading east out of FNT and a drive to DTW verses a onestop at O'Hare is a no brainer plus there are still the MSP flights. On LAN I think that because it's the state Capitol which again I'm sure state politicians travel on higher priced ticket would not be inclined to drive to DTW because the ticket price generally doesn't come out of their pockets so Delta figures let bring the to DTW and give them our whole network rather than losing them to UA or AA.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:14 am

As I've said on past DTW related threads, I think the biggest reason for the differences in service is DTW's location in the Detroit area.

Although FNT and TOL are each about 50 miles from DTW, the drive from Toledo is almost entirely on rural freeways because DTW is on the southwest edge of metro Detroit. From Flint, the first part of the drive to Brighton on US-23 is easy, but the rest of the drive is more congested because it's through Detroit's western suburbs. Motorists need to allow more time from Flint than they do from Toledo, because of the congestion and much greater risk of being delayed by an accident on I-96 through Novi, and I-275 from Novi south to the airport.

This is a big reason why people from the Flint area to Florida are willing to connect on DL via Atlanta instead of taking a nonstop from DTW, but people from the Toledo area are not.
 
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compensateme
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:36 pm

It's really not a difficult question to answer.

There's a video on YouTube that discusses FNT's strategy... in the second half of the 1990s, FNT marketed its brand new facilities to the sprawling northern Detroit/southern Flint suburbs as a convenient alternative to the then-congested, massive, archaic DTW. They were successful, especially after landing FL, which lead to a "low-fare" reputation. FNT's subsequent build up was a direct result of leakage from MBS & LAN & continued suburban sprawl. Yes, Flint is poor, but the catchment utilizing the airport is not.

FNT remains the "low-fare leader" and LAN & MBS remain a shell of their former selves. MBS commissioned a study a few years ago that estimated most of its traffic leaked to FNT (and DTW to a lesser extent). LAN did the same, concluding that GRR & FNT equally captured most of its traffic. Dow itself likely keeps air service at MBS, just as government travel does the same for LAN.

Unlike MBS, LAN and FNT, TOL lacks necessary business. When FL, DL, etc. discontinued service, the lack of business travelers was always cited as a reason why. The problem is, given DTW & TOL's location in proximity to the region, DTW is just a few minutes further. For most business travelers valuing their time, the opportunity for a nonstop from DTW will always triumph.
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:57 pm

compensateme wrote:
The problem is, given DTW & TOL's location in proximity to the region, DTW is just a few minutes further. For most business travelers valuing their time, the opportunity for a nonstop from DTW will always triumph.


Yep, from downtown Toledo to DTW is an easy 45 mile drive.
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:01 pm

TW870 wrote:
Great summary 717TW. Just to add to this, LAN has by far the most stable economic base, and is networked regionally, nationally, and globally, and could use a broad cross section of the network capacity that DTW offers. FNT, conversely, has a very difficult economic situation, and one of the most stable sources of income remaining in the city are the pensions of former UAW members. Those pensions generate primarily leisure traffic, and especially leisure traffic to Florida which had been a popular destination during the manufacturing heyday. My guess is that there is enough pension money remaining in FNT to turn a profit on those trips - especially considering how relatively low cost the ATL hub and t-tail operation is for DL. Can't speak to the difference in revenue potential from FNT vs. TOL, but 717TW's analysis above makes sense. FNT may be just far enough north that it further discourages driving to regional alternate airports because it is further away.


FNT also captures a lot of transborder leisure traffic from the Sarnia-Lambton region. It's usually cheaper to drive to FNT and connect in ATL to Florida (or elsewhere), than to fly out of YZR on a crappy BEH and connect in YYZ to Florida. TOL is not really within extreme SW Ontario's catchment area, whereas FNT captures the northern sections of this population and DTW serves Windsor-Essex...as does YQG of course.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:19 pm

The reasons for the difference in service patterns at FNT, LAN, and TOL is related to the proximity to DTW, the local economies, and the size of the market and catchment areas.

FNT:
FNT has historically been marketed as "Michigan's Low-fare airport" primarily driven to Air Tran / FL. That has changed a lot with the changes that WN has made post-merger but thats another discussion in itself. NW historically flew to DTW and MSP but the early-2000s build-up to Florida with MCO, TPA, FLL service to compete with FL. Also briefly flew FNT-LGA to compete with AA. Pre-merger DL flew to ATL, and up until 2005 CVG. When DL dropped FNT-CVG they increased ATL-FNT service and I believe that time increased to mainline to compete against FL. Post-merger, DL has flown to ATL & MSP. DTW-FNT was dropped in 2014.

FNT has the largest catchment area of the 3 airports due to the following:
- Highway access to I-75, US-23, and I-69 giving it good access to a big area in Mid-Michigan and parts of Southeast Michigan. Very convienent access to areas to west as far at Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, north to the Saginaw/Bay City/Midland areas, to the east to the I-69 corridor over through Lapeer and Port Huron/Sarnia, Northern Oakland County primarily areas north of M-59, and the Livingston county areas down to the south. FNT is a viable option for leisure travelers in/out/from northern Michigan too as fares out of TVC, PLN are often extremely high.
- Leakage from other markets: FNT receives a significant amount of leakage from LAN & MBS due to better fares, more airlines, and more destinations
- Proximity to more affluent areas of Metro Detroit. FNT becomes even more viable over DTW when a connection is necessary anyways. DTW wins out for breadth and depth of nonstop service but for some markets if a connection is required anyways over MSP or FNT then FNT becomes a viable option.

FNT city-proper economic challenges are well-documented and known based on the reduction of blue collar auto industry jobs. However there are still many UAW employees current and past that have decent wages and pensions. There still is a decent amount of sun/leisure travel out of the region that supports the level of service that it does.

DTW was dropped from FNT because it became duplicative to driving or connecting over ATL. If fares were cheaper from DTW, people would just fly out of DTW than connect in DTW to go to FNT. So it was essentially another leg that won’t command a price premium. During the NW era, flying out of FNT was known for mile and segment runners using FNT to build elite status or evade some of the more expensive fares for DTW-captives.

FNT benefits from the level of air service because drive-wise it requires driving directly through the heart of suburban Metro Detroit to get to DTW which can easily be a 60-90 minute drive during peak rush hour times.

I’ll use my in-laws an example, they live in an area where they have the option to use LAN or FNT. They end up using DTW most of the time because of fares being far cheaper especially when they are going on 1-2 week trips or cruises. They occasionally will use FNT when going on a short trip or prices are competitive. They used to use FNT a lot more during the FL days when there was more/cheaper service. They never use LAN.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:26 pm

LAN:

LAN service captures the traffic associated with the greater Lansing area which includes a lot of state government, big-research university (Michigan State), and automotive industry related traffic. Not just the business/government related traffic but also leisure travel from relatively decent-paid salaries associated with employees of such industries.

LAN leaks a ton of traffic to FNT, GRR, and DTW. When FL was the lost cost leader at FNT, everyone from LAN was taking the easy drive across I-69 to FNT. That has decreased to an extent as the low fares and service are not there like they used to be in FNT.

DL flies to DTW and MSP from LAN. They have flown occasional, seasonal and/or Saturday service from LAN to ATL. DTW service makes more sense to connect the business related travel to the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast markets. DTW-LAN also feeds Florida/sun flights from DTW. To avoid a double-connect, one could drive to FNT for ATL service to go to onward destinations.

LAN to DTW is over a 90 minute drive and also requires skirting or going through parts of exurban and suburban Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. Its far enough away that connecting over DTW makes sense and is preferred for time sensitive travelers.
 
klm617
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:24 pm

It really is a shame that FNT has lost it's low cost advantage to DTW. They were really doing well until AirTran was bought by Southwest. I think the Flint airport management team needs to direct it's attention to try to regain that advantage perhaps they can lure Spirit there because Allegiant is no substitute for AirTran with their less than daily service. I loved using Flint and I have to admit I used it to rack up the extra miles between DTW-FNT when it was practical. I live about an hour from DTW and FNT so both worked for me back then. I would love to use FNT more but it no longer has that advantage it once did.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
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compensateme
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:43 pm

klm617 wrote:
It really is a shame that FNT has lost it's low cost advantage to DTW. They were really doing well until AirTran was bought by Southwest. I think the Flint airport management team needs to direct it's attention to try to regain that advantage perhaps they can lure Spirit there because Allegiant is no substitute for AirTran with their less than daily service. I loved using Flint and I have to admit I used it to rack up the extra miles between DTW-FNT when it was practical. I live about an hour from DTW and FNT so both worked for me back then. I would love to use FNT more but it no longer has that advantage it once did.


FNT still maintains the lowest average airfares in Michigan. And that's not something you can negotiate -- airlines are for-profit corporations and desire to charge the most they can.

FNT didn't lose FL -- FL merged into WN. WN has struggled at FNT, despite heavy marketing. Look at the current fare sale -- FNT/MDW sells for $49-$59, whereas DTW/MDW is $89-$119, depending on the day. Loads haven't been great and it's probably a matter of time before WN withdraws. But the airport certainly tried.
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klm617
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:15 pm

compensateme wrote:
klm617 wrote:
It really is a shame that FNT has lost it's low cost advantage to DTW. They were really doing well until AirTran was bought by Southwest. I think the Flint airport management team needs to direct it's attention to try to regain that advantage perhaps they can lure Spirit there because Allegiant is no substitute for AirTran with their less than daily service. I loved using Flint and I have to admit I used it to rack up the extra miles between DTW-FNT when it was practical. I live about an hour from DTW and FNT so both worked for me back then. I would love to use FNT more but it no longer has that advantage it once did.


FNT still maintains the lowest average airfares in Michigan. And that's not something you can negotiate -- airlines are for-profit corporations and desire to charge the most they can.

FNT didn't lose FL -- FL merged into WN. WN has struggled at FNT, despite heavy marketing. Look at the current fare sale -- FNT/MDW sells for $49-$59, whereas DTW/MDW is $89-$119, depending on the day. Loads haven't been great and it's probably a matter of time before WN withdraws. But the airport certainly tried.



Every time I've checked FNT fares have been higher than DTW fares. Recently did DTW-LAS-DTW and couldn't find any FNT fare close with the same routing. I would have gladly supported FNY with a connection but the low fares are just not there any more and that's where they are losing market share. On Southwest anything beyond MDW is higher than Detroit as far as fares go so that's why they are failing If they priced their flight out of Flint maybe 15% less they might gain market share but lets face it most people who are flying FNT-MDW are traveling beyond MDW to another destination.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
cvgComair
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:56 am

Without CVG as a major DL hub, these cities are in an akward place to be served with significant overlap between DTW and too far from ATL. Especially TOL, which was one of the few routes DL could not replace when cutting CVG down. At one point, it operated 9 daily round trips between the two cities. Frankly, if DL ever wanted to serve TOL again, it probably would have to do it through CVG, as I think the flight length of ATL-TOL does not justify the low number of pax on the route. There has to be some demand though, especially if DL had 450 seats a day leaving TOL to CVG, plus 182 to ATL in 2004. Now, with a hub in nearby Detroit, there probably is no incentive to run this route again.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:34 am

Right now FNT has 9 daily flights to Chicago. This caters to the O&D and to connecting traffic on AA/UA/WN. The fares are great for a weekend get-away to Chicago, and better than the slow and often delayed Amtrak.

The reasons behind FNT's decline are multi-faceted:
1) DTW gaining more LCC service. When DTW got FL, expanded NK, expanded WN, F9 service it stopped a lot of the leakage to FNT. Plus NW historically priced-matched and now DL is highly competitive on most sun/leisure destinations where/when they want to compete.

2) FL-WN merger. Arguably one of the worst mergers in terms of elimination of a low fare/low cost airline for consumers, WN absorbed this competitor and changed their network and operated at a higher cost structure. Much of FL's success in markets like FNT was build around low fare/spill traffic to markets in Florida/Southeast over ATL. Now, the it was questionable if FL's cost structure was sustainable over time and that they were highly at risk of competitive threats if/when DL got their act together in ATL and due to the highly disrcretionary and highly seasonal nature of FL's passenger demand.

NK is not a realistic option for FNT as an NK operation at FNT would directly compete with and poach their DTW ops. They are entrenched at DTW and are not going to decrease service in support of an unproven market like FNT. FNT's biggest risk is potentially losing WN service.
 
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mayor
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:41 am

Thank you very much for your informative replies. Makes sense with little or no competition in TOL Delta just choses to let their loyal flyer base just drive there because they are not going to break the FF loyalty just because they can't fly between DTW-TOL and the 45 minute drive is pretty much a wash as taking a flight from TOL which I think is the same boat FNT is in as far as the majority of the Delta traffic heading east and west so those folks are going to still use DTW anyway verses jumping ship as the are no longer any other viable hubs when heading east out of FNT and a drive to DTW verses a onestop at O'Hare is a no brainer plus there are still the MSP flights. On LAN I think that because it's the state Capitol which again I'm sure state politicians travel on higher priced ticket would not be inclined to drive to DTW because the ticket price generally doesn't come out of their pockets so Delta figures let bring the to DTW and give them our whole network rather than losing them to UA or AA.




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n7371f
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:24 am

TW870 wrote:
Great summary 717TW. Just to add to this, LAN has by far the most stable economic base, and is networked regionally, nationally, and globally, and could use a broad cross section of the network capacity that DTW offers. FNT, conversely, has a very difficult economic situation, and one of the most stable sources of income remaining in the city are the pensions of former UAW members. Those pensions generate primarily leisure traffic, and especially leisure traffic to Florida which had been a popular destination during the manufacturing heyday. My guess is that there is enough pension money remaining in FNT to turn a profit on those trips - especially considering how relatively low cost the ATL hub and t-tail operation is for DL. Can't speak to the difference in revenue potential from FNT vs. TOL, but 717TW's analysis above makes sense. FNT may be just far enough north that it further discourages driving to regional alternate airports because it is further away.


FNT gets service because of it's easier proximity to Oakland County - and the northern edges of Detroit's higher income suburbs.
 
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compensateme
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Re: Delta Strategy for TOL, FNT AND LAN

Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:34 am

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
The reasons behind FNT's decline are multi-faceted:
1) DTW gaining more LCC service. When DTW got FL, expanded NK, expanded WN, F9 service it stopped a lot of the leakage to FNT. Plus NW historically priced-matched and now DL is highly competitive on most sun/leisure destinations where/when they want to compete.


Good points, but I firmly believe the level of service at FNT as well as its low-fare reputation was inflated by NW dumping capacity into the market in effort to prevent it from becoming a second gateway into Metro Detroit. Remember that NW flew 9-11 daily flights to DTW, mostly on mainline, even though load factors rarely exceeded 50% and often stayed in the 30% range. Prior to FL, DTW/FNT was mostly a prop route -- and NW was known to substitute a bus (and not an Airbus, either) on the route.

NW was successful in preventing FNT from becoming another CAK for FL and later curtailed AA's aggressive expansion (DFW & LGA). Of course, once the local economy and then FL collapsed, none of this really mattered but nobody predicted it at the time.

klm617 wrote:
Every time I've checked FNT fares have been higher than DTW fares. Recently did DTW-LAS-DTW and couldn't find any FNT fare close with the same routing. I would have gladly supported FNY with a connection but the low fares are just not there any more and that's where they are losing market share. On Southwest anything beyond MDW is higher than Detroit as far as fares go so that's why they are failing If they priced their flight out of Flint maybe 15% less they might gain market share but lets face it most people who are flying FNT-MDW are traveling beyond MDW to another destination.


FNT has the lowest average airfares in Michigan. I realize that wasn't the case in your sample, but it's a fact. I travel (sometimes several times) weekly and I prefer to book my own tickets -- I generally find that FNT overwhelming has lower fares than DTW (both advanced & walk-up) EXCEPT if NK offers nonstop service on the route. This includes WN, which is generally cheaper at FNT than DTW unless DTW is served direct. Of course, the limited service at FNT often yields schedules that make the lower fares unattractive, but that's true of any small airport vs. a large hub.
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