Chuska
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Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:34 pm

Southwest also served DET as well as DTW from July 6, 1988 through Sep. 14, 1993. Routes were to MDW, STL, and BNA. BNA was later dropped and IND was added. Please share your stories on this.
 
drdisque
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:47 pm

The terminal was very small and was pretty full when a full 737 was parked there. The 737's really struggled to get off the field there without taking a weight restriction thus how short all the flights were. For a period of time in the 80's/early 90's there were multiple carriers at DET along with WN, notably North Coast Executive (which flew Metros) and Continental Express (which flew Brasilias). NW Airlink also briefly flew there (I think with the F27) when WN went in, trying to drive them out.

WN left after the city had assured them that they could get the runway extended but then failed to do so. They believed they would be able to relocate part of the cemetery north of the field, but there was community objection and objection at the cost. WN flew simultaneously to DTW and DET at that point.

I never flew WN out of DET but in 1991 I flew CO Express DET-CLE roundtrip. The flight there was fairly full but on the flight back my dad and I and one other person were the only pax. The CO service was fraught with confusion as a lot of prior DET-Cleveland service had been to BKL for "downtown to downtown" service (this was part of the allure of WN's DET-MDW service). People who booked the CO flight often expected it to go to BKL or were confused when it didn't.
 
maps4ltd
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:02 pm

I had no clue they served STL.
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sw733
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:40 pm

As a kid, I very much remember flying MDW-DET, probably around 1991ish. Besides the flight, my memory of the airport is that it was small and a bit of a dump.
 
MDW22L31C
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:48 pm

I remember in 1988 I received a promotion mailer from Southwest if you fly to DET from MDW paying full fare which was $68.00 at the time you would get a voucher for round trip ticket to any Southwest destination. So, one day I took a flight to DET then turnaround 20 Min later traveled back to MDW. Almost everyone on my flight had vouchers. So, we book flight on Southwest to San Diego for a week vacation in the sun. What a Deal for $68.00. I just remember landing between and close to hangers.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:43 pm

The runway at Detroit City airport is only 1551 meters / 5090 feet. That must be one of the shortest runways ever to have seen regular 737 service. For comparison, the runway in Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont is 1323 meters / 4341 feet, so not that much shorter. Santos Dumont is really the shortest runway with regular 737 service. I bet Detroit City would make a good second.

Because of this short runway Southwest couldn't really do much at that airport. The aircraft couldn't carry too much fuel otherwise they'd be overweight. Therefor they could only fly short distances. For longer distances they needed the bigger airport. And when you're setting up operations at the bigger airport anyway, you might as well move all of your operations there.
 
 
klm617
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:17 pm

Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.
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...
 
klm617
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:19 pm

MDW22L31C wrote:
I remember in 1988 I received a promotion mailer from Southwest if you fly to DET from MDW paying full fare which was $68.00 at the time you would get a voucher for round trip ticket to any Southwest destination. So, one day I took a flight to DET then turnaround 20 Min later traveled back to MDW. Almost everyone on my flight had vouchers. So, we book flight on Southwest to San Diego for a week vacation in the sun. What a Deal for $68.00. I just remember landing between and close to hangers.


I flew for $9 EACH WAY from DTW-MDW when they started operations at DTW. Had a great day of spotting at MDW
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...
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:33 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
The runway at Detroit City airport is only 1551 meters / 5090 feet. That must be one of the shortest runways ever to have seen regular 737 service. For comparison, the runway in Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont is 1323 meters / 4341 feet, so not that much shorter. Santos Dumont is really the shortest runway with regular 737 service. I bet Detroit City would make a good second.


Width is also an issue, but as far as length, 5,100 feet is plenty for 73Gs to BNA/BWI/MDW/STL. Heck, I was on a full 738 BNA-JAX yesterday that got off in well less than 5,000 feet.
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knope2001
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:33 pm

klm617 wrote:
Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.


You can add Skyway YX* operated by Mesa to the list. In the early 90's they ran MKE-DET-BKL after YX dropped MKE-DTW in their truce with Northwest. The service did not do well and was short-lived.
 
MDW22L31C
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:53 pm

klm617 wrote:
MDW22L31C wrote:
I remember in 1988 I received a promotion mailer from Southwest if you fly to DET from MDW paying full fare which was $68.00 at the time you would get a voucher for round trip ticket to any Southwest destination. So, one day I took a flight to DET then turnaround 20 Min later traveled back to MDW. Almost everyone on my flight had vouchers. So, we book flight on Southwest to San Diego for a week vacation in the sun. What a Deal for $68.00. I just remember landing between and close to hangers.


I flew for $9 EACH WAY from DTW-MDW when they started operations at DTW. Had a great day of spotting at MDW


I flew on NWA for $14.00 from MDW-DTW on a 727-100 with maybe 20 people on the plane.
 
Dominion301
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:20 pm

klm617 wrote:
Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.


If Detroit had a downtown like Toronto, DET would be an ideal airport to set up a Q400 operation like PD at YTZ.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:54 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
If Detroit had a downtown like Toronto, DET would be an ideal airport to set up a Q400 operation like PD at YTZ.


That's quite the hypothetical, given that downtown Detroit is NOTHING LIKE downtown Toronto, and what there is of downtown Detroit is an easy 25-minute drive to DTW and its ~130 non-stop destinations. Well after WN left DET, a Continental affiliate was running props out of DET. Fail.
 
klm617
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:55 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
klm617 wrote:
Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.


If Detroit had a downtown like Toronto, DET would be an ideal airport to set up a Q400 operation like PD at YTZ.


It's getting there. Funny enough until Air Canada started DTW-YYZ the only Canadian airlines that served Detroit operated out of DET City Express on DET-YTZ and Skycraft on DET-YOO
Last edited by klm617 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:55 pm

Dominion301 wrote:
klm617 wrote:
Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.


If Detroit had a downtown like Toronto, DET would be an ideal airport to set up a Q400 operation like PD at YTZ.


We’ll take the lounge and those delicious cookies, but leave the torture props in Canada, please.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
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FCOTSTW
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:58 pm

I remember U. S. Air flying 737s to PIT
 
paysonmt77
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:22 pm

Any word on Metro Airways starting opps at DET?
 
aeropix
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:39 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
on a full 738 BNA-JAX yesterday that got off in well less than 5,000 feet.


You'd need a bunch more runway if the engine failed on the ground, both for accel/stop and accel/go distances. Add even more if the runway is wet or lightly contaminated. That's why just being able to get airborne from the runway with both running is never an indicator of required runway length for that operation.
 
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northstardc4m
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:59 pm

klm617 wrote:
Dominion301 wrote:
klm617 wrote:
Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.


If Detroit had a downtown like Toronto, DET would be an ideal airport to set up a Q400 operation like PD at YTZ.


It's getting there. Funny enough until Air Canada started DTW-YYZ the only Canadian airlines that served Detroit operated out of DET City Express on DET-YTZ and Skycraft on DET-YOO
Air Ontario flew YYZ-DTW and annouced YXU-DTW for a bit with dash 8s around 92 ( I remember the "Dash to Detroit" ads well). Air Toronto announced DET but never started it 1990ish. Canadian Regional did YYZ-DTW well with F28s then Dash 8-300s right up to the merger with AC... I think it stayed after the merger but was gone by late 2001. So there were others.

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bluefltspecial
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:01 pm

Curious, with DL (and formerly WN) operating into EYW with the 737-700, and now a number of regional E170/175 ops going into HHH/HXD - both with a runway of say 4800 feet, could we see commercial operations going into DET again to bypass DTW?

I guess more importantly, how is the 737-700 & E170/175 short field performance in comparison to what was available when WN previously operated to DET?

Certainly interesting.
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drdisque
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:24 pm

bluefltspecial wrote:
Curious, with DL (and formerly WN) operating into EYW with the 737-700, and now a number of regional E170/175 ops going into HHH/HXD - both with a runway of say 4800 feet, could we see commercial operations going into DET again to bypass DTW?

I guess more importantly, how is the 737-700 & E170/175 short field performance in comparison to what was available when WN previously operated to DET?

Certainly interesting.


This has been beaten into the ground in other threads, but basically, the terminal would need to be completely rebuilt because it's a total wreck. There would also be a need for new parking lots, rental car facilities, etc if commercial flights were to return to DET.

The 737-700 and E170/175 DO have better short-field performance than the 737-200's and -300's WN was flying and the -400's Pro Air flew.

Anecdotally, when Pro Air had a/c out of service they had Pan Am Clipper Connection 727-200's operate subservice and one blew over the fence at the end of the field. I imagine that the 727-200 took a HUGE weight restriction. Apparently Spirit also operated subservice for Pro Air with DC-9's.
 
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compensateme
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:26 pm

klm617 wrote:
Funny enough until Air Canada started DTW-YYZ the only Canadian airlines that served Detroit operated out of DET City Express on DET-YTZ and Skycraft on DET-YOO


For years, long before open skies, NC/RC/NW held one of the few route authorities into YYZ; NW regularly operated multiple daily 757 on the route well into the 1990s. Given the capacity that was in the market, coupled with the fact that Toronto is a stress-free 3 - 4 hour drive from most of Metro Detroit, it's not surprising there was a alack of competition.

Curious, with DL (and formerly WN) operating into EYW with the 737-700, and now a number of regional E170/175 ops going into HHH/HXD - both with a runway of say 4800 feet, could we see commercial operations going into DET again to bypass DTW?


No -- quite the opposite. There's an active push to permanently close the airport, despite the large amount of GA traffic....
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Cubsrule
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:51 pm

aeropix wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
on a full 738 BNA-JAX yesterday that got off in well less than 5,000 feet.


You'd need a bunch more runway if the engine failed on the ground, both for accel/stop and accel/go distances. Add even more if the runway is wet or lightly contaminated. That's why just being able to get airborne from the runway with both running is never an indicator of required runway length for that operation.


We can pile up hypotheticals that would make it impossible, but on well north of 99 percent of days a 73G could permissibly use a 5,100 foot runway on any of the flights I listed. Contamination would make it tight but still probably doable.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Dominion301
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:03 pm

klm617 wrote:
Dominion301 wrote:
klm617 wrote:
Many airlines came and went at DET

Central States
Skyline Motors Aviation
Skystream
Wright Airlines.
Pro Air.
City Express
Skycraft.
Comair
BAS (Beaver Air Service)

Was and still is a great little airport and it is amazingly close to the city center making it a very convenient option.


If Detroit had a downtown like Toronto, DET would be an ideal airport to set up a Q400 operation like PD at YTZ.


It's getting there. Funny enough until Air Canada started DTW-YYZ the only Canadian airlines that served Detroit operated out of DET City Express on DET-YTZ and Skycraft on DET-YOO


I also recall some DET-YOO flights made a pit stop in YQG. Wonder if you could buy a DET-YQG ticket...probably not. I've always been puzzled as to why air service has never returned to Oshawa. Would seem like a logical place for YUL, YOW and DET...although with GM going laregely bye bye soon in Oshawa, perhaps not.
 
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AVLAirlineFreq
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:11 pm

I actually flew from IND to MDW on WN connecting through DET. (It was a corporate ticket and the cheapest available way to fly between Indy and Chicago.) That was a weird experience. It was in the middle of the winter and snowing.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:58 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
The runway at Detroit City airport is only 1551 meters / 5090 feet. That must be one of the shortest runways ever to have seen regular 737 service. For comparison, the runway in Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont is 1323 meters / 4341 feet, so not that much shorter. Santos Dumont is really the shortest runway with regular 737 service. I bet Detroit City would make a good second.


Key West (EYW) has a runway that is just 4,801 ft (1,463 m) long - by far the shortest runway regularly handling 737s in the U.S. today. I believe Orange County (SNA) may have the next shortest runway seeing regular 737 service at 5,701 ft (1,738 m). However, airports like EYW, SDU and SNA certainly don't have to worry about all the ice and snow that DET does.

Now, an airport with a really short runway and challenging wet winter weather conditions that did see 737s was Dutch Harbor/Unalaska (DUT) in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The runway there is just 4,100 ft (1,250 m) long yet AS did regularly send 732 combis there until 2004. I think you'd be quite hard-pressed to find any American airport that routinely handled 737s (or any other kind of mainline service) on a runway shorter than that of DUT.

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Because of this short runway Southwest couldn't really do much at that airport. The aircraft couldn't carry too much fuel otherwise they'd be overweight. Therefor they could only fly short distances. For longer distances they needed the bigger airport. And when you're setting up operations at the bigger airport anyway, you might as well move all of your operations there.


A few others things to consider:

1) DTW drastically improved its facilities since the 90s, first with the McNamara Terminal for NW (later DL) and its partners in 2002. Then, WN and other carriers got fancy new North Terminal digs in 2008. Pretty hard to convince pax to forgo one of the nicest airports in the country for a dumpy old facility with virtually no amenities...

2) Few travelers, Michigan residents or otherwise, want to end up in the city of Detroit. Another major appeal of DTW is the fact that you can avoid the city altogether and head right to your suburban business, clients, family, friends, hotel etc.
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southwest1675
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:41 am

I don’t think a lot of people know this, but what they ended up doing with MDW, is what they actually wanted to do with DET. Detroit was planned to be their large Midwest focus, not Chicago. Interesting how things played out. I fly BNA-DTW about 3 times a year on WN. Flights packed both ways every time.
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B1168
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:30 am

Can the rumored Moxy try to make DET out? A220s (anticipatably their choice of plane) are (hopefully) able to reach Chicago or New York quite easily. There is no such thing called HSR, so competition is basically about peers (other than buses, but disregarded). They might just as well end up successful on that.
 
rexchase12
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:38 am

I remember flying WN from BNA-DET for $38 RT! I remember very few passengers on the plane. Landing at DET, my head almost hit the seat in front of me!
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:41 am

southwest1675 wrote:
I don’t think a lot of people know this, but what they ended up doing with MDW, is what they actually wanted to do with DET. Detroit was planned to be their large Midwest focus, not Chicago. Interesting how things played out. I fly BNA-DTW about 3 times a year on WN. Flights packed both ways every time.

Beyond the operational problems at DET, the last straw was the PR from the parking lot murders. Robberies and muddings were almost commonplace, once the locals figured out how much money was moving through there.
 
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compensateme
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:08 am

southwest1675 wrote:
I don’t think a lot of people know this, but what they ended up doing with MDW, is what they actually wanted to do with DET. Detroit was planned to be their large Midwest focus, not Chicago. Interesting how things played out. I fly BNA-DTW about 3 times a year on WN. Flights packed both ways every time.


That’s correct; they planned to model Midway Airlines’ MDW operations, but after Midway went bust WN successfully took over its operations, rendering DET unnecessary. They abandoned DET shortly thereafter, but funded an expansion of the “A” concourse at DTW that would enable them to significantly grow operations. That growth largely never mattalized.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
EWRandMDW
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:11 pm

A bit off topic in that I never flew WN in or out of DET. I did fly ProAir MDW-DET-EWR. The DET terminal was tiny and the 3 737s parked there seemed to overwhelm the place. My flight was on a 737-400. When it was our turn to take off the pilot set brakes, increased thrust until the plane shook, then released the brakes and we departed like a shell fired from a cannon. Very interesting indeed!
 
klm617
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:34 pm

SurfandSnow wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
The runway at Detroit City airport is only 1551 meters / 5090 feet. That must be one of the shortest runways ever to have seen regular 737 service. For comparison, the runway in Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont is 1323 meters / 4341 feet, so not that much shorter. Santos Dumont is really the shortest runway with regular 737 service. I bet Detroit City would make a good second.


Key West (EYW) has a runway that is just 4,801 ft (1,463 m) long - by far the shortest runway regularly handling 737s in the U.S. today. I believe Orange County (SNA) may have the next shortest runway seeing regular 737 service at 5,701 ft (1,738 m). However, airports like EYW, SDU and SNA certainly don't have to worry about all the ice and snow that DET does.

Now, an airport with a really short runway and challenging wet winter weather conditions that did see 737s was Dutch Harbor/Unalaska (DUT) in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The runway there is just 4,100 ft (1,250 m) long yet AS did regularly send 732 combis there until 2004. I think you'd be quite hard-pressed to find any American airport that routinely handled 737s (or any other kind of mainline service) on a runway shorter than that of DUT.

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Because of this short runway Southwest couldn't really do much at that airport. The aircraft couldn't carry too much fuel otherwise they'd be overweight. Therefor they could only fly short distances. For longer distances they needed the bigger airport. And when you're setting up operations at the bigger airport anyway, you might as well move all of your operations there.


A few others things to consider:

1) DTW drastically improved its facilities since the 90s, first with the McNamara Terminal for NW (later DL) and its partners in 2002. Then, WN and other carriers got fancy new North Terminal digs in 2008. Pretty hard to convince pax to forgo one of the nicest airports in the country for a dumpy old facility with virtually no amenities...

2) Few travelers, Michigan residents or otherwise, want to end up in the city of Detroit. Another major appeal of DTW is the fact that you can avoid the city altogether and head right to your suburban business, clients, family, friends, hotel etc.



Any east sider has to travel through Detroit to get to DTW unless you want to travel way out of your way by going to 275 and then 94 adding considerable travel to DTW which is already at 45 minutes from some places.
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...
 
303dk
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:36 pm

B1168 wrote:
Can the rumored Moxy try to make DET out? A220s (anticipatably their choice of plane) are (hopefully) able to reach Chicago or New York quite easily. There is no such thing called HSR, so competition is basically about peers (other than buses, but disregarded). They might just as well end up successful on that.

It's not HSR, but Amtrak is competitive to Chicago, especially from Ann Arbor and the northern suburbs.

Example: Ann Arbor to Chicago
Driving: 3 hours, 30 minutes (minimum, assuming no traffic)
Amtrak: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Fly: 30 min drive to DTW + arrive 2 hours before departure + block time 90 minutes + 30 min from MDW to Loop = 4 hours, 30 minutes
 
dtremit
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:45 pm

303dk wrote:
It's not HSR, but Amtrak is competitive to Chicago, especially from Ann Arbor and the northern suburbs.

Example: Ann Arbor to Chicago
Driving: 3 hours, 30 minutes (minimum, assuming no traffic)
Amtrak: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Fly: 30 min drive to DTW + arrive 2 hours before departure + block time 90 minutes + 30 min from MDW to Loop = 4 hours, 30 minutes


Amtrak's big problem is reliability. It's 4:15 except on the days when it's randomly 3 hours late. Admittedly I don't have statistics, but everyone has an anecdote.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:54 pm

Time to copy-paste my summary of why DET is a terrible choice for commerical air service:

There is no justification for the city/state/federal government to spend public money to make DET viable for commerical airline operations at this point. It is such an uphill battle it has all the hallmarks of becoming a giant porkbarrel project in light of the fact there is more than ample airfield, airside, and landside capacity at DTW with modern infrastructure and that the region has far more pressing public infrastructure needs that opening another airport for niche or token leisure quasi-charter like operations.

Here is a short list of all of the issues with DET:

Runway width - 100 ft, where most runways used by airlines are 150 ft, which causes significant crosswind limitations
Runway length - 5,090 ft, and has cemeteries located on adjacent properties at both ends. In the current political environment there is no justifiable reason to move grave-sites for a airport/runway that is not needed
Terminal - has been essentially mothballed for over 17 years, and also every furnishing or fixture would need replacing, not to mention likely infestation or mold damage. Who knows the state of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems
Jetbridges - highly unlikely they have been maintained to any sort of operable condition, likely need to be replaced
Security Screening / TSA - would need to invest millions to install modern security screening, systems, certify/inspect the terminal space and set-up back-office support. Not to mention actually staffing the TSA screening
Concessions - need to build-out basic airport concessions
Parking - very limited parking in and around the terminal, would need to set-up parking lots, repave lots, etc.
Rental Cars - would need to get rental car vendors established
ARFF - not sure that DET still have ARFF capabilities for airline service, might need upgraded equipment here
Access - need to install all sorts of directional signage from I-94, probably need to repave/rebuilt Conner Ave from I-94

All for a handful of token flights?

For as convenient as DET may be to Macomb County, its just as inconvenient to the other parts of Metro Detroit. If DTW were constrained in any aspect then there might be case for DET but with all of the capacity and infrastructure in place DTW its not a good use of public or private funds to make DET viable again for large-scale commercial flights.
 
jplatts
Posts: 2499
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:19 pm

compensateme wrote:
southwest1675 wrote:
I don’t think a lot of people know this, but what they ended up doing with MDW, is what they actually wanted to do with DET. Detroit was planned to be their large Midwest focus, not Chicago. Interesting how things played out. I fly BNA-DTW about 3 times a year on WN. Flights packed both ways every time.


That’s correct; they planned to model Midway Airlines’ MDW operations, but after Midway went bust WN successfully took over its operations, rendering DET unnecessary. They abandoned DET shortly thereafter, but funded an expansion of the “A” concourse at DTW that would enable them to significantly grow operations. That growth largely never mattalized.


WN is actually bigger by number of departures at MDW, STL, MCI, CMH, IND, MKE, MSP, CLE, and OMA in the Midwest than at DTW.

Here is the number of daily departures for the 10 largest WN stations in the Midwest in Summer 2019:
MDW - 251 daily departures to 63 destinations
STL - 121 daily departures to 45 destinations
MCI - 78 daily departures to 30 destinations
CMH - 36 daily departures to 17 destinations
IND - 34 daily departures to 16 destinations
MKE - 34 daily departures to 18 destinations
MSP - 26 daily departures to 9 destinations
CLE - 22 daily departures to 8 destinations
OMA - 20 daily departures to 10 destinations
DTW - 18 daily departures to 7 destinations

WN is unlikely to ever have a focus city operation at DTW since (a) WN has a smaller presence at DTW than in 9 other Midwestern markets, (b) DTW is one of the largest NK stations in NK's network, (c) DTW is still one of DL's major hubs, and (d) WN can still further expand at STL, MCI, MKE, CVG, and CMH in the Midwest.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 7225
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:35 pm

I always thought WN would grow DTW into a 30-35 flight/day operation but that has never materialized.
That was before NK really built-up in presence in the past few years and already has a good presence in several markets where WN would have been positioned to grow.
 
airlineworker
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:20 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:51 pm

bluefltspecial wrote:
Curious, with DL (and formerly WN) operating into EYW with the 737-700, and now a number of regional E170/175 ops going into HHH/HXD - both with a runway of say 4800 feet, could we see commercial operations going into DET again to bypass DTW?

I guess more importantly, how is the 737-700 & E170/175 short field performance in comparison to what was available when WN previously operated to DET?

Certainly interesting.


HHH now has a 5000 foot runway.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3280
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:46 pm

jplatts wrote:
compensateme wrote:
southwest1675 wrote:
I don’t think a lot of people know this, but what they ended up doing with MDW, is what they actually wanted to do with DET. Detroit was planned to be their large Midwest focus, not Chicago. Interesting how things played out. I fly BNA-DTW about 3 times a year on WN. Flights packed both ways every time.


That’s correct; they planned to model Midway Airlines’ MDW operations, but after Midway went bust WN successfully took over its operations, rendering DET unnecessary. They abandoned DET shortly thereafter, but funded an expansion of the “A” concourse at DTW that would enable them to significantly grow operations. That growth largely never mattalized.


WN is actually bigger by number of departures at MDW, STL, MCI, CMH, IND, MKE, MSP, CLE, and OMA in the Midwest than at DTW.

Here is the number of daily departures for the 10 largest WN stations in the Midwest in Summer 2019:
MDW - 251 daily departures to 63 destinations
STL - 121 daily departures to 45 destinations
MCI - 78 daily departures to 30 destinations
CMH - 36 daily departures to 17 destinations
IND - 34 daily departures to 16 destinations
MKE - 34 daily departures to 18 destinations
MSP - 26 daily departures to 9 destinations
CLE - 22 daily departures to 8 destinations
OMA - 20 daily departures to 10 destinations
DTW - 18 daily departures to 7 destinations

WN is unlikely to ever have a focus city operation at DTW since (a) WN has a smaller presence at DTW than in 9 other Midwestern markets, (b) DTW is one of the largest NK stations in NK's network, (c) DTW is still one of DL's major hubs, and (d) WN can still further expand at STL, MCI, MKE, CVG, and CMH in the Midwest.


We know, we were discussing an event that took place 32 years ago.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
User avatar
bluefltspecial
Posts: 493
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:27 pm

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:23 pm

airlineworker wrote:
bluefltspecial wrote:
Curious, with DL (and formerly WN) operating into EYW with the 737-700, and now a number of regional E170/175 ops going into HHH/HXD - both with a runway of say 4800 feet, could we see commercial operations going into DET again to bypass DTW?

I guess more importantly, how is the 737-700 & E170/175 short field performance in comparison to what was available when WN previously operated to DET?

Certainly interesting.


HHH now has a 5000 foot runway.


I thought they had planned on expanding but couldn't remember if it actually took place, thanks!
Save a horse, ride a Fly-boy....
 
departedflights
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 2:50 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:20 am

Image
Image
Image
Image
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 7225
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:39 am

I grew-up in Troy / Birmingham area and I remembering seeing the traffic in the pattern to DTW but I always distinctly remember the WN 737s going into DET since they'd be much lower in altitude and on a different heading going toward the SE toward DET where DTW traffic would be higher and turning toward the southwest.

My summers as a kid in the late 80s / early 90s at the neighborhood pool and where my parents would kick outside all day involved seeing the aircraft flying overhead into DTW and DET.
I always remember the roar of DC-10s making power adjustments on approach and the roar of all the JT8Ds. Then the A320s always had that distinct sound.
Oh the days of working at a golf course back in the day, you got to know the sound of aircraft and knew the arrivals based on the paper-copy flight schedules.
 
departedflights
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 2:50 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:25 am

Just a tiny bit of Southwest Airlines trivia...

The same day Southwest ended operations at Detroit City Airport (September 15, 1993) was the day Southwest began flying to Baltimore.
 
User avatar
compensateme
Posts: 3280
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:17 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:37 am

Pictures of DET’s terminal:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 7225
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

Re: Southwest at Detroit City Airport (DET)

Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:03 pm

Thanks for the pictures. I only remember being in the terminal there once, and like the pictures show is was very similar to the design and bland functional architecture of most early-1980 terminals that were build around the country in the similar era.

Saw this come across today:
https://www.crainsdetroit.com/transport ... eplacement

The City is going to invest $4M to repave the main runway and replace the airfield lighting with new LED lights.

The runway was last repaved in 1998 and at the end of its usable life.

I'm shocked the price tag is that cheap, compared to what most runway projects seem to cost these days.

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