Simple Flying did an article on United wanting to keep a larger leisure domestic footprint. (I know its Simple flying and how people on this site feel about them the feeling is mutual but sometimes they do put out an article or two that raises few questions).
In the article United is quotes saying they intend to not only keep leisure flying but United wants to increase leisure routes and frequency moving forward. One market in particular that was mentioned is Florida which is probably one if not the largest leisure market in the lower 48, California could rival Florida as well I'm not sure.https://simpleflying.com/united-larger- ... rint/After
reading the article the
We are now nearing the end of July 2021 we have been in this pandemic since March of 2020 other airlines have made some aggressive moves in Florida throughout this pandemic and while United has made some moves we have not been as aggressive as perhaps could have been (maybe should have been). After reading the article my questions are, it is too little too late for United in Florida, has the ship sailed and we've missed the boat? Just about every other major carrier whether they are legacy, LCC, ULCC, or niche have all made some major moves in the Florida market and the article touches on it and how United didn't perform as well financially in Q1 as our peers because we are still lagging in leisure markets but obviously United is seeing some good financial numbers out of Florida.
At this point in the pandemic I don't see how or where United can set up a mini-hub or even a focus station in Florida the airports on both the east and west coasts of Florida are already full with the competition. With so many establish players already in the market are there any airports with gates available where United could scale up its operation? Lastly why has it taken United this long to realize the importance of FLORIDA in an airlines domestic network?
I feel like the route planners are very disciplined in terms of metrics. Gauge is probably more effective than trying to do xxx-mco/fll/tpa/mia etc nonstop.
I personally think they ought to stick with their game plan of higher yielding customers/experience.
I had to fly Delta yesterday and it was disastrous from check in to boarding to misconnect etc. i was surrounded by Florida bound passengers on the first leg and it was not the most pleasant experience personally.
The majority of Florida bound passengers have different priorities than I do in terms of travel experience. Not saying one is superior to the other.
I think you are conflating two things here:
Just because ULCCs/LCCs fly to Florida doesn't mean high-yielding customers don't fly there....
You think AA is operating close to 30 widebodies a day domestically
now from MIA in a play for low-yielding customers??
As far as the EXTREMELY tiresome argument about United not having a SE hub, I simply say ‘so what’? To get people to Florida from 7 states? Every other state has adequate connections via IAD, EWR, ORD, and DEN.
Look at the Florida destination counts (and frequencies, and seats) of DL at ATL and AA at CLT -- they perform aggregation functions to the Southeast that UA just can't get out of IAH/ORD/IAD/EWR. Aggregation is the key to higher destination counts (which becomes self-reinforcing); it's also key to upgauging for lower CASM, as explicitly acknowledged in United Next.
Exactly, I pulled the top 35 markets from MCO (similar map for TPA/FLL/RSW/MIA/e.t.c) and it's abundantly clear UA's hub placement is very weak in serving the Florida market (obviously it serves benefits in other realms).
Ideally IAD would serve as the Northeast connector to Florida, but IAD has so few banks that it is difficult to provide the right timings for a large portion of trips. And, UA has said they want EWR to focus on O&D, not that it is a good connector to Florida regardless.
Ignoring the whole SE hub piece, UA's service to Florida is terrible. You can't even fly United from California to all of South Florida since they keep pushing back the restart of SFO-FLL/MIA.
I think the solution remains to focus on p2p flights during peak season, not build a new hub. In the Q1 2021 fare performance for some of the p2p routes they operated to Florida, they vastly outperformed the competition on some of those routes, not a chance that happens without nonstop options available with the connection selection they have in some of these markets.