Midwestindy wrote:In the past year AS has taken a major axe to its Trans-Con routes
It has? Most of the permanent cuts on your list were "mid-con" routes where flight times are about 2-4 hours - considerably shorter than ~6 hour transcontinental flights. I highly doubt AS California-based FFers miss the (short-lived) services to destinations like BNA, IND and OMA, unless they happen to have important clients, family and/or friends in those places. It also isn't surprising to see smaller East Coast markets and South Florida operating on a more seasonal basis. It's not like Californians enjoy visiting the East Coast in the winter or Miami in the summer unless they absolutely have to...
Midwestindy wrote:Next Summer SFO will only have service to 6 markets east of the Mississippi:
Chicago (ORD), Orlando, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington (DCA/IAD/BWI), and New York (JFK/EWR)
All of the key East Coast markets covered, plus year round service to Disney World and by far the most important destination in the Midwest. As far as FLL in concerned, South Florida's beaches and cruises accessible nonstop from SFO during the peak winter/spring season (just like many other services to/from Florida) and an easy connection via LAX the rest of the time. What more could you want? Those are really the only places most Californian travelers care about...
Midwestindy wrote:Obviously AS doesn't think it is vital, but from outside of SEA how important is it long-term for AS to serve large-mid-sized metros outside of the West Coast? (Ex: FLL, DTW, MSP, RDU, BNA, ATL, TPA, etc)
It isn't vital at all. UA didn't serve any of these places nonstop from its massive SFO hub until the rather recent tech boom and hub build up. I believe UA only added SFO-BNA, SFO-DTW, and SFO-TPA in the past few years. Folks flying between San Francisco and Nashville or Tampa are probably very accustomed to making a connection or stop en route.
As far as LAX goes, it seems service to/from the places you listed only works when the operator has considerable FFer bases at *both* ends of the route. It's not like AA and UA had much luck with LAX-MSP. AA and NK quickly failed on the LAX-TPA route. Given that the AS brand is quite unknown in places like Minneapolis and Tampa, I highly doubt AS would fare any better...
Midwestindy wrote:Or is it a good long-term strategy for AS to double down on intra-west routes, and cut back on serving Transcontinental routes? Despite heavy encroachment by WN and DL
This is a great strategy. As I've said in several other posts, it seems AS and WN have started to reach some sort of truce. AS has cut routes like SAN-DAL, SJC-DAL, SJC-SNA, and a bunch of services between SAN and the heartland. WN has thrown in the towel in some rather surprising cases, like SFO-DAL, SFO-PDX and SFO-SNA. As for DL, they seem to be shifting their focus away from the West Coast and towards other places - like BOS and MIA.