N649DL wrote:Regarding UA at CLE, it's ancient history and anyone's guess I suppose. But recall CO dumped DEN in favor of CLE back in the mid-1990s so obviously there was potential even back then. And CO had a great setup at the new DIA in Terminal A but probably couldn't afford it. Perhaps UA and before that CO had issues with CLE's overall costs which made hub not profitable (if I had to guess) but with high fares and a locally very hub captive audience, they should've been able to make CLE work on paper. Also they had a nice terminal there as well and made for a great reliever hub when s*** hit the fan at EWR or ORD. Which as we all know Pre-CoronaVirus, happens almost weekly.
BTW in terms of CO's service into IAH and EWR back in the day, they were very single class ERJ connecting heavy into those hubs and there really wasn't much in terms of fleet upgrades at all (if anything more downgrading to ERJ from 737 as time went on). That, and also their 757 fleet were tied up on TATL routes out of EWR as well.
In the 1990s, having a Midwestern hub was seen as essential given its proximity toward and the ability to serve the population center, given the range of turboprops. In the past 20 years, the population center has shifted, and the advert of long range regional jets has given the legacies greater options. Simply put, IND, CMH, PIT, CLE and CVG vanished as hubs because their geographic reach was no longer essential, and they lacked sufficient local traffic to support a large hub. DTW survived because it had 2.5x - 3x the local traffic, and strong corporate spending. The endless narrative that PIT, CLE and CVG were profitable hubs, and it's unfair that DTW kept its hub is driven by emotion and not fact, and largely driven by the same core users. For the sake of younger users who come here to grow their knowledge capital, I wish it would end. Some people are upset that the hub in their home market or state closed -- I get it. But it shouldn't mean that manufactured realities are passed on.