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clrd4t8koff
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TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:31 pm

I searched for a thread about this and didn’t see one. Mods feel free to merge if I missed it. Just came across an article from a few weeks ago announcing UA will cut TLH on Oct 1st after less than 10-months of service. They launched TLH-IAH in late Nov. 2020 with 1x daily CRJ service departing around 5pm. Didn’t feel like they even tried to compete considering AA Eagle operates TLH-DFW 3x daily with larger equipment and more convenient schedules throughout the day.

I found the following quote from Tallahassee’s mayor interesting: “We know this was a strong route for United and their decision is a result of a global rebalancing in the airline industry due to the pandemic," Dailey said. "I am confident in the fundamental strength of the Tallahassee International Airport. We are quickly closing in on pre-pandemic levels of passenger travel and we are well on our way to meeting our five year strategic plan goal of a million passengers a year.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.tallah ... 8191962002

An airport that’s closing in on 1-million passengers annually that only gets service on DL & AA to hubs on CR7/9’s predominantly with a few flights a week on Silver Airways to TPA seems very underserved. Comparatively - How can markets like AMA, which the MSA is almost 125k smaller and sees over 200k less passengers annually support mainline service on AA, G4 and WN? Why is TLH so underserved compared to smaller markets like Amarillo, TX or Appleton, WI?

TLH Airport - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

AMA Airport - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Hu ... al_Airport

ATW Airport - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appleto ... al_Airport
 
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Polot
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:45 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Why is TLH so underserved compared to smaller markets like Amarillo, TX or Appleton, WI?

TLH bleeds traffic to JAX and PNS, and is neither a major tourist or business destination.
 
clrd4t8koff
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:55 pm

Polot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Why is TLH so underserved compared to smaller markets like Amarillo, TX or Appleton, WI?

TLH bleeds traffic to JAX and PNS, and is neither a major tourist or business destination.


So that makes it all the more confusing. If TLH is closing in on 1-million passengers *and* bleeding passengers to JAX & ECP, then TLH realistically has over 1-million total passengers. TLH is def not a place one would call a tourist destination, but just shy of 1-million passengers annually is making it some sort of destination, which I would argue is business driven from being the Capital and having 2 large universities (FSU & FAMU) plus a large state college (Tallahassee State College).

To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.
 
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usdcaguy
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:12 pm

In some ways, TLH is like CAE in that they are both state capitals and university cities. CAE has military and federal government traffic that TLH doesn't, so they are able to feed UA's flights to IAD. Still, I don't understand why CAE has been able to support so many flights to ORD while TLH apparently cannot. There are no connections from TLH to the Upper Midwest currently, so UA might do better by adding service to ORD instead of IAH, which competes with ATL and DFW in terms of traffic flows.
 
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Polot
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:12 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Polot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Why is TLH so underserved compared to smaller markets like Amarillo, TX or Appleton, WI?

TLH bleeds traffic to JAX and PNS, and is neither a major tourist or business destination.


So that makes it all the more confusing. If TLH is closing in on 1-million passengers *and* bleeding passengers to JAX & ECP, then TLH realistically has over 1-million total passengers. TLH is def not a place one would call a tourist destination, but just shy of 1-million passengers annually is making it some sort of destination, which I would argue is business driven from being the Capital and having 2 large universities (FSU & FAMU) plus a large state college (Tallahassee State College).

To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.

The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:24 pm

It looks like this small market is heavily dominated by AA with flights to Charlotte, DFW, Miami, and Washington DC.

Delta flies mainline and regional to Atlanta.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

It look like between established competition, coronavirus, and traffic bleeding to other more established airports, that UA's RJ service just wasn't competitive.

Tallahassee will grow and I would bet UA will return, but only when profitable.

The issue with college towns is very peaky demand. The 2010 census had only 297k in the county.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallahassee,_Florida


The real question is, why no ULCC service?
Lightsaber
 
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Polot
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:30 pm

lightsaber wrote:
It looks like this small market is heavily dominated by AA with flights to Charlotte, DFW, Miami, and Washington DC.

Delta flies mainline and regional to Atlanta.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

Although it’s been a few years since I lived there I’d say DL is the main airline in town, AA by no means heavily dominates. AA has more destinations thanks to US merger but there is a lot of loyalty to DL and their near hourly ATL service (at least pre covid), especially with them using mainline (which use to see practically every narrow body that DL had minus 757/739/A321s, but I think in recent years has tended more to 717s especially with MD retirements).
 
MIflyer12
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:32 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Didn’t feel like they even tried to compete considering AA Eagle operates TLH-DFW 3x daily with larger equipment and more convenient schedules throughout the day.


UA @ IAH isn't in the same league as AA @ DFW. See flight counts and seat counts.

clrd4t8koff wrote:
An airport that’s closing in on 1-million passengers annually that only gets service on DL & AA to hubs on CR7/9’s predominantly with a few flights a week on Silver Airways to TPA seems very underserved.


Gee, it's a 70-80 minute flight to the biggest hub in the country and non-stops onward to 180+ destinations. CLT is pretty good, too.

Ask what IAH brings, relevant to TLH travelers, that ATL and CLT don't. What are the ten largest O&D markets to/from TLH? (Not enplanements - O&D.)

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Comparatively - How can markets like AMA, which the MSA is almost 125k smaller and sees over 200k less passengers annually support mainline service on AA, G4 and WN?


AMA is a lot more remote than TLH. There isn't much within 300 miles of AMA. For a lot of TLH trip destinations the overwhelming competition is a car, and planes often lose out to cars for journeys under 300 miles.

Underserved is a ridiculous, moronic airport management term. Yeah, the ten largest airlines in America, domestically fully deregulated for nearly forty years, each with at least sixty mainline aircraft -- they're all doing it wrong!
 
clrd4t8koff
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:34 pm

Polot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Polot wrote:
TLH bleeds traffic to JAX and PNS, and is neither a major tourist or business destination.


So that makes it all the more confusing. If TLH is closing in on 1-million passengers *and* bleeding passengers to JAX & ECP, then TLH realistically has over 1-million total passengers. TLH is def not a place one would call a tourist destination, but just shy of 1-million passengers annually is making it some sort of destination, which I would argue is business driven from being the Capital and having 2 large universities (FSU & FAMU) plus a large state college (Tallahassee State College).

To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.

The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


I get TLH is not a tourist destination and I’m in agreement with you about that. But whether it’s a tourist destination or a business destination airlines are after one thing - traffic - which TLH has a respectable size traffic base yet is batting way below markets that also aren’t tourist destinations (AMA and ATW as examples) and are receiving way more service.

If I’m an airline like G4 (or any airline for that matter) and I see AMA with 675k annual passengers or ATW with 400k annual passengers and then TLH with 875k annual passengers why would I launch AMA or ATW when my propensity to fill planes is higher at TLH? G4 isn’t all leisure market focused. Their new(ish) IND-BOS route is an example of their expanded strategy. TLH-FLL/DEN/MDW/LAS on an A319 2-3x week are all examples of routes that would work.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:41 pm

Polot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Polot wrote:
TLH bleeds traffic to JAX and PNS, and is neither a major tourist or business destination.


So that makes it all the more confusing. If TLH is closing in on 1-million passengers *and* bleeding passengers to JAX & ECP, then TLH realistically has over 1-million total passengers. TLH is def not a place one would call a tourist destination, but just shy of 1-million passengers annually is making it some sort of destination, which I would argue is business driven from being the Capital and having 2 large universities (FSU & FAMU) plus a large state college (Tallahassee State College).

To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.

The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


JAX is 2 1/2 hours drive time from TLH and ECP is a 2 hour drive, so I doubt too much traffic from Tallahassee is bleeding in those directions.

I used to fly in and out of TLH frequently on business and learned that the airline that is granted the state government's air travel contract tends to dominate that market. I imagine UA Express (Skywest) decided they were at a disadvantage flying to IAH when competing with AA/Eagle (who I believe has the current state contract) which offers more frequent flights to 3 hubs - CLT, DFW and MIA. Also, DL still flies limited mainline (usually B717's), along with Endeavor's CR9 flights to ATL.
Last edited by FLALEFTY on Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:43 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Comparatively - How can markets like AMA, which the MSA is almost 125k smaller and sees over 200k less passengers annually support mainline service on AA, G4 and WN?


AMA is a lot more remote than TLH. There isn't much within 300 miles of AMA. For a lot of TLH trip destinations the overwhelming competition is a car, and planes often lose out to cars for journeys under 300 miles.

Underserved is a ridiculous, moronic airport management term. Yeah, the ten largest airlines in America, domestically fully deregulated for nearly forty years, each with at least sixty mainline aircraft -- they're all doing it wrong!


Agreed. It’s also important to remember that much demand to Tallahassee is intrastate, and flying isn’t meaningfully competitive for that demand even though the distances to MCO and points south are sufficient that with different geography and/or service patterns people might fly.
 
clrd4t8koff
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:46 pm

Polot wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
It looks like this small market is heavily dominated by AA with flights to Charlotte, DFW, Miami, and Washington DC.

Delta flies mainline and regional to Atlanta.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

Although it’s been a few years since I lived there I’d say DL is the main airline in town, AA by no means heavily dominates. AA has more destinations thanks to US merger but there is a lot of loyalty to DL and their near hourly ATL service (at least pre covid), especially with them using mainline (which use to see practically every narrow body that DL had minus 757/739/A321s, but I think in recent years has tended more to 717s especially with MD retirements).


I grew up in and lived in Tallahassee also for 22-years (moved after college). DL dominated TLH until the recession in 2008. Around 2002-2003 DL had almost 25-daily departures to ATL, DFW, FLL, MCO, MIA, CVG & JFK. After the recession and pre-pandemic DL topped out in TLH at 7 daily flights all to ATL. That’s now down to 6 and only 2 are mainline 717’s. AA, while all AA Eagle, has 11 daily flights (4x CLT, 3x DFW, 3x MIA, 1x DCA). AA’s footprint is larger in TLH today than DL and so is their capacity.
 
clrd4t8koff
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:08 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Gee, it's a 70-80 minute flight to the biggest hub in the country and non-stops onward to 180+ destinations. CLT is pretty good, too.

Ask what IAH brings, relevant to TLH travelers, that ATL and CLT don't. What are the ten largest O&D markets to/from TLH? (Not enplanements - O&D.)


:scratchchin: So using your logic UA shouldn’t serve ATW-DEN n/s (which it does) because of their massive hub a 30-min flying time down the road @ ORD. Nor should ATW have any n/s service west of ATL since they also have non-stop flights to the biggest hub in the country and everyone can just connect there? What am I missing?

I would question why anyone flying west of ATL from TLH prefer to first fly North (ATL) or Northeast (CLT) to not make any traction west and then have to backtrack west to get their destination? ATL & CLT are perfectly suitable for anyone flying to the Midwest or Northeast from TLH.

In terms of your last question - it was less about what IAH brought and more about what increased competition of having UA service brought. UA might have been more successful offering TLH-ORD or TLH-EWR which are two major markets unserved from TLH. I believe NYC is a larger market than IAH was.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:57 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
Polot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:

So that makes it all the more confusing. If TLH is closing in on 1-million passengers *and* bleeding passengers to JAX & ECP, then TLH realistically has over 1-million total passengers. TLH is def not a place one would call a tourist destination, but just shy of 1-million passengers annually is making it some sort of destination, which I would argue is business driven from being the Capital and having 2 large universities (FSU & FAMU) plus a large state college (Tallahassee State College).

To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.

The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


I get TLH is not a tourist destination and I’m in agreement with you about that. But whether it’s a tourist destination or a business destination airlines are after one thing - traffic - which TLH has a respectable size traffic base yet is batting way below markets that also aren’t tourist destinations (AMA and ATW as examples) and are receiving way more service.

If I’m an airline like G4 (or any airline for that matter) and I see AMA with 675k annual passengers or ATW with 400k annual passengers and then TLH with 875k annual passengers why would I launch AMA or ATW when my propensity to fill planes is higher at TLH? G4 isn’t all leisure market focused. Their new(ish) IND-BOS route is an example of their expanded strategy. TLH-FLL/DEN/MDW/LAS on an A319 2-3x week are all examples of routes that would work.

The Appleton area has three Fortune 1,000 HQ’d within 45 minute drive, as well as the North American HQ for Kimberley-Clark, it can support a lot of biz traffic, even in these times. It is a vacation gateway to the lakes and the Northwoods, and the area is home to a couple of very large worldwide events.

While the area may only be average economically, there is a LOT of wealth in the area, and I mean A LOT…

It is a very different market than Tallahassee.
 
CitrusCritter
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 5:29 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
Polot wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:

So that makes it all the more confusing. If TLH is closing in on 1-million passengers *and* bleeding passengers to JAX & ECP, then TLH realistically has over 1-million total passengers. TLH is def not a place one would call a tourist destination, but just shy of 1-million passengers annually is making it some sort of destination, which I would argue is business driven from being the Capital and having 2 large universities (FSU & FAMU) plus a large state college (Tallahassee State College).

To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.

The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


JAX is 2 1/2 hours drive time from TLH and ECP is a 2 hour drive, so I doubt too much traffic from Tallahassee is bleeding in those directions.

I used to fly in and out of TLH frequently on business and learned that the airline that is granted the state government's air travel contract tends to dominate that market. I imagine UA Express (Skywest) decided they were at a disadvantage flying to IAH when competing with AA/Eagle (who I believe has the current state contract) which offers more frequent flights to 3 hubs - CLT, DFW and MIA. Also, DL still flies limited mainline (usually B717's), along with Endeavor's CR9 flights to ATL.


There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.
 
sxf24
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 6:51 pm

CitrusCritter wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
Polot wrote:
The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


JAX is 2 1/2 hours drive time from TLH and ECP is a 2 hour drive, so I doubt too much traffic from Tallahassee is bleeding in those directions.

I used to fly in and out of TLH frequently on business and learned that the airline that is granted the state government's air travel contract tends to dominate that market. I imagine UA Express (Skywest) decided they were at a disadvantage flying to IAH when competing with AA/Eagle (who I believe has the current state contract) which offers more frequent flights to 3 hubs - CLT, DFW and MIA. Also, DL still flies limited mainline (usually B717's), along with Endeavor's CR9 flights to ATL.


There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.


AA carries more passengers than DL out of TLH.
 
CitrusCritter
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:19 pm

sxf24 wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

JAX is 2 1/2 hours drive time from TLH and ECP is a 2 hour drive, so I doubt too much traffic from Tallahassee is bleeding in those directions.

I used to fly in and out of TLH frequently on business and learned that the airline that is granted the state government's air travel contract tends to dominate that market. I imagine UA Express (Skywest) decided they were at a disadvantage flying to IAH when competing with AA/Eagle (who I believe has the current state contract) which offers more frequent flights to 3 hubs - CLT, DFW and MIA. Also, DL still flies limited mainline (usually B717's), along with Endeavor's CR9 flights to ATL.


There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.


AA carries more passengers than DL out of TLH.


That doesn't surprise me if that has changed given the different destinations and levels of service AA has been offering the past several years. I'd be curious to know what FF market share is like - TLH has been a very loyal DL market for a long time, dating back to when state employees went out of their way to justify not using the state contract granted to FL so that they could keep their DL FF benefits.

AA has done a good job for TLH. Several different options for connecting flights. I never flew for work enough to worry about FF status, so I switched from DL to AA based on the flights. Being able to go through CLT if going north/east or DFW if going west was great versus everything going to ATL. And AA was using a lot of E170s, which were the nicest plane options regularly available IMO.
 
sxf24
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:04 pm

CitrusCritter wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:

There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.


AA carries more passengers than DL out of TLH.


That doesn't surprise me if that has changed given the different destinations and levels of service AA has been offering the past several years. I'd be curious to know what FF market share is like - TLH has been a very loyal DL market for a long time, dating back to when state employees went out of their way to justify not using the state contract granted to FL so that they could keep their DL FF benefits.

AA has done a good job for TLH. Several different options for connecting flights. I never flew for work enough to worry about FF status, so I switched from DL to AA based on the flights. Being able to go through CLT if going north/east or DFW if going west was great versus everything going to ATL. And AA was using a lot of E170s, which were the nicest plane options regularly available IMO.


It doesn’t matter what the FF share is if the traffic shows a different pattern.
 
clrd4t8koff
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:07 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Polot wrote:
The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


I get TLH is not a tourist destination and I’m in agreement with you about that. But whether it’s a tourist destination or a business destination airlines are after one thing - traffic - which TLH has a respectable size traffic base yet is batting way below markets that also aren’t tourist destinations (AMA and ATW as examples) and are receiving way more service.

If I’m an airline like G4 (or any airline for that matter) and I see AMA with 675k annual passengers or ATW with 400k annual passengers and then TLH with 875k annual passengers why would I launch AMA or ATW when my propensity to fill planes is higher at TLH? G4 isn’t all leisure market focused. Their new(ish) IND-BOS route is an example of their expanded strategy. TLH-FLL/DEN/MDW/LAS on an A319 2-3x week are all examples of routes that would work.

The Appleton area has three Fortune 1,000 HQ’d within 45 minute drive, as well as the North American HQ for Kimberley-Clark, it can support a lot of biz traffic, even in these times. It is a vacation gateway to the lakes and the Northwoods, and the area is home to a couple of very large worldwide events.

While the area may only be average economically, there is a LOT of wealth in the area, and I mean A LOT…

It is a very different market than Tallahassee.


Hey that’s great ATW has three Fortune 1,000 HQ’d within 45 minute drive, as well as the North American HQ for Kimberley-Clark as well as a gateway to the lakes and Northwoods, but still doesn’t change the fact ATW has almost 500k less annual passengers than TLH. So that doesn’t really answer anything.
 
CitrusCritter
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:49 pm

sxf24 wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

AA carries more passengers than DL out of TLH.


That doesn't surprise me if that has changed given the different destinations and levels of service AA has been offering the past several years. I'd be curious to know what FF market share is like - TLH has been a very loyal DL market for a long time, dating back to when state employees went out of their way to justify not using the state contract granted to FL so that they could keep their DL FF benefits.

AA has done a good job for TLH. Several different options for connecting flights. I never flew for work enough to worry about FF status, so I switched from DL to AA based on the flights. Being able to go through CLT if going north/east or DFW if going west was great versus everything going to ATL. And AA was using a lot of E170s, which were the nicest plane options regularly available IMO.


It doesn’t matter what the FF share is if the traffic shows a different pattern.


No reason to get defensive. I didn't challenge what you said. I posed a question as part of a discussion about whether AA was growing more off of a FF base or more casual travelers.
 
sxf24
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:02 pm

CitrusCritter wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:

That doesn't surprise me if that has changed given the different destinations and levels of service AA has been offering the past several years. I'd be curious to know what FF market share is like - TLH has been a very loyal DL market for a long time, dating back to when state employees went out of their way to justify not using the state contract granted to FL so that they could keep their DL FF benefits.

AA has done a good job for TLH. Several different options for connecting flights. I never flew for work enough to worry about FF status, so I switched from DL to AA based on the flights. Being able to go through CLT if going north/east or DFW if going west was great versus everything going to ATL. And AA was using a lot of E170s, which were the nicest plane options regularly available IMO.


It doesn’t matter what the FF share is if the traffic shows a different pattern.


No reason to get defensive. I didn't challenge what you said. I posed a question as part of a discussion about whether AA was growing more off of a FF base or more casual travelers.


I’m stating facts, not opinions.
 
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FLALEFTY
Posts: 1078
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:43 am

CitrusCritter wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
Polot wrote:
The only difference is the presence of G4. TLH is not a tourist destination and most of that traffic bleed is leisure pax so G4 doesn’t want to serve the airport. Not helping is that many residents driving to JAX often have friends or family in JAX and PNS so it is not always about raw price.

AMA has WN but that is mostly because of historical reasons (WN starting out as an intraTexas carrier)-WN serves a lot of small cities in Texas that they would never start today or serve if outside the state.


JAX is 2 1/2 hours drive time from TLH and ECP is a 2 hour drive, so I doubt too much traffic from Tallahassee is bleeding in those directions.

I used to fly in and out of TLH frequently on business and learned that the airline that is granted the state government's air travel contract tends to dominate that market. I imagine UA Express (Skywest) decided they were at a disadvantage flying to IAH when competing with AA/Eagle (who I believe has the current state contract) which offers more frequent flights to 3 hubs - CLT, DFW and MIA. Also, DL still flies limited mainline (usually B717's), along with Endeavor's CR9 flights to ATL.


There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.


Go to page 30 & 31 of this document and you will see that there was a state-contracted airline agreement as recent as 2019. The legislature modified this in 2021 with a weasel-worded passage in the Statue governing state travel that says basically, while you can use whatever airline you wish, their fares must be within guidelines of each agency's travel budget. US Airways used to have this contract and I believe it passed over to AA after they merged. While state employees could still fly on say, Delta, or Silver, they had to get additional paperwork approved justifying it. The recent changes eliminated this additional paperwork.

http://www.floridahealth.gov/provider-a ... g.2019.pdf

I would wonder about the sanity of Tally vacation travelers choosing to drive the (awful) 2, to 2 1/2-hour drives to either JAX or ECP to save a few bucks on airfare.
 
skymiler
Posts: 332
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:13 am

I do not think that losing UA will make much of a difference, TLH is basically a DL town although AA has made some inroads on routes such as MIA

I live in TLH. I am DL Lifetime Diamond (6MM) and still have my plaque from their inaugural flight - November 1, 1983

There is indeed bleed to JAX and ECP. Sometimes a little to VPS.
I am a bleeder and it is based on cost and routings.
The difference on a simple round trip to certain destinations -- YYZ notably -- can be up to $600 with TLH vs ECP or JAX.
DL has very good yield management and there is a constant stream of lobbyists, consultants and contractors on flights into TLH -- and I have observed some gladly pay up to $700 for the day trip ATL-TLH and return.
I just returned from a trip to Eastern Europe (Delta One) and using JAX instead of TLH saved $3,000.
ECP is an easy drive and often offers fares that make it very attractive.
I do not begrudge DL one bit -- but I am a shopper and planner. Before Covid I was doing up to 25 - 30 round trips a year and the cost difference added up, even when balanced against the time.
 
ADM94
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:29 am

clrd4t8koff wrote:
They launched TLH-IAH in late Nov. 2020 with 1x daily CRJ service departing around 5pm. Didn’t feel like they even tried to compete considering AA Eagle operates TLH-DFW 3x daily with larger equipment and more convenient schedules throughout the day.


Important to note here that this was a SkyWest at-risk market, so OO was responsible for initiating (and terminating) the service, not UA. At-risk flying is restricted to a fixed number of CRJ-200s, so it couldn't be moved to a different equipment type, and adding frequencies would be difficult without taking from other at-risk markets. In this case, upgrading the service would be easier said than done.
 
Boof02671
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:39 am

Polot wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
It looks like this small market is heavily dominated by AA with flights to Charlotte, DFW, Miami, and Washington DC.

Delta flies mainline and regional to Atlanta.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

Although it’s been a few years since I lived there I’d say DL is the main airline in town, AA by no means heavily dominates. AA has more destinations thanks to US merger but there is a lot of loyalty to DL and their near hourly ATL service (at least pre covid), especially with them using mainline (which use to see practically every narrow body that DL had minus 757/739/A321s, but I think in recent years has tended more to 717s especially with MD retirements).

AA carries more passengers at TLH than DL. DL only serves one city.

Image
Image
 
ytib
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:53 am

Boof02671 wrote:
Polot wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
It looks like this small market is heavily dominated by AA with flights to Charlotte, DFW, Miami, and Washington DC.

Delta flies mainline and regional to Atlanta.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

Although it’s been a few years since I lived there I’d say DL is the main airline in town, AA by no means heavily dominates. AA has more destinations thanks to US merger but there is a lot of loyalty to DL and their near hourly ATL service (at least pre covid), especially with them using mainline (which use to see practically every narrow body that DL had minus 757/739/A321s, but I think in recent years has tended more to 717s especially with MD retirements).

AA carries more passengers at TLH than DL. DL only serves one city.

Image
Image


Based on the July numbers United was carrying 30 passengers outbound and 33 inbound year-to-date. Numbers were better for the month of July with about a 75% LF.
 
flyfresno
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:48 am

Reading this thread, I was wondering if DL would ever offer another destination, but nearly all of their hubs would involve basically overflying ATL (assuming LAX SLC and SEA would never happen), so they all seem unlikely (if I had to guess, I'd say LGA or DTW would be the most likely, but still unlikely).
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:29 am

clrd4t8koff wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:

I get TLH is not a tourist destination and I’m in agreement with you about that. But whether it’s a tourist destination or a business destination airlines are after one thing - traffic - which TLH has a respectable size traffic base yet is batting way below markets that also aren’t tourist destinations (AMA and ATW as examples) and are receiving way more service.

If I’m an airline like G4 (or any airline for that matter) and I see AMA with 675k annual passengers or ATW with 400k annual passengers and then TLH with 875k annual passengers why would I launch AMA or ATW when my propensity to fill planes is higher at TLH? G4 isn’t all leisure market focused. Their new(ish) IND-BOS route is an example of their expanded strategy. TLH-FLL/DEN/MDW/LAS on an A319 2-3x week are all examples of routes that would work.

The Appleton area has three Fortune 1,000 HQ’d within 45 minute drive, as well as the North American HQ for Kimberley-Clark, it can support a lot of biz traffic, even in these times. It is a vacation gateway to the lakes and the Northwoods, and the area is home to a couple of very large worldwide events.

While the area may only be average economically, there is a LOT of wealth in the area, and I mean A LOT…

It is a very different market than Tallahassee.


Hey that’s great ATW has three Fortune 1,000 HQ’d within 45 minute drive, as well as the North American HQ for Kimberley-Clark as well as a gateway to the lakes and Northwoods, but still doesn’t change the fact ATW has almost 500k less annual passengers than TLH. So that doesn’t really answer anything.

Average Household Income in Neenah County, Wi is just shy of $60,000 in 2019. Leon County, FL is $46,000. Pretty self-explanatory.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:55 am

Boof02671 wrote:
Polot wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
It looks like this small market is heavily dominated by AA with flights to Charlotte, DFW, Miami, and Washington DC.

Delta flies mainline and regional to Atlanta.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallaha ... al_Airport

Although it’s been a few years since I lived there I’d say DL is the main airline in town, AA by no means heavily dominates. AA has more destinations thanks to US merger but there is a lot of loyalty to DL and their near hourly ATL service (at least pre covid), especially with them using mainline (which use to see practically every narrow body that DL had minus 757/739/A321s, but I think in recent years has tended more to 717s especially with MD retirements).

AA carries more passengers at TLH than DL. DL only serves one city.

Image
Image


I think that historically DL has been the primary carrier for business traffic from TLH and most other airports in FL except MIA. A lot has changed in the last 5/6 years so that is not necessarily the case anymore.

1) AA has been able to make inroads by offering a larger breadth of destinations especially non-stop MIA and DCA flights.

2) DL has cut capacity quite a bit due to aircraft retirements.
 
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stl07
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:27 am

Cubsrule wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Comparatively - How can markets like AMA, which the MSA is almost 125k smaller and sees over 200k less passengers annually support mainline service on AA, G4 and WN?


AMA is a lot more remote than TLH. There isn't much within 300 miles of AMA. For a lot of TLH trip destinations the overwhelming competition is a car, and planes often lose out to cars for journeys under 300 miles.

Underserved is a ridiculous, moronic airport management term. Yeah, the ten largest airlines in America, domestically fully deregulated for nearly forty years, each with at least sixty mainline aircraft -- they're all doing it wrong!


Agreed. It’s also important to remember that much demand to Tallahassee is intrastate, and flying isn’t meaningfully competitive for that demand even though the distances to MCO and points south are sufficient that with different geography and/or service patterns people might fly.

Which is why AA does well there
 
hpff
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:10 am

Also the above chart shows TLH is far from "closing in on a million." They were at less than half that in 2019. UA simply can't make a fairly minor outstation work once a day in 2021, doesn't seem that surprising.
 
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Polot
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:31 am

hpff wrote:
Also the above chart shows TLH is far from "closing in on a million." They were at less than half that in 2019.

When airports report passenger numbers they are reporting both enplanements and deplanements together.
 
hohd
Posts: 1040
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:13 pm

UA should have launched TLH-EWR and will do better than IAH. New York area has lots of traffic and EWR is a major international airport with extensive international connections, far more than ATL, DFW or even MIA and will have no nonstop competition to the NY area. If UA comes back (to EWR) they should do at least 2x day for the sector to succeed
 
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Polot
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:24 pm

hohd wrote:
UA should have launched TLH-EWR and will do better than IAH. New York area has lots of traffic and EWR is a major international airport with extensive international connections, far more than ATL, DFW or even MIA and will have no nonstop competition to the NY area. If UA comes back (to EWR) they should do at least 2x day for the sector to succeed

Most of TLH demand is domestic that EWR is poorly located to capture, and there is not enough O&D traffic between Tallahassee and New York area to support 2x daily flights.

EWR may have more international connections than ATL, DFW, and CLT, but those airports hit enough of the major international markets (eg LHR, CDG, FRA, MAD etc) to satisfy your typical TLH flyer.

There is a reason UA doesn’t connect many of the smaller southeast cities to EWR.
 
CitrusCritter
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:02 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

JAX is 2 1/2 hours drive time from TLH and ECP is a 2 hour drive, so I doubt too much traffic from Tallahassee is bleeding in those directions.

I used to fly in and out of TLH frequently on business and learned that the airline that is granted the state government's air travel contract tends to dominate that market. I imagine UA Express (Skywest) decided they were at a disadvantage flying to IAH when competing with AA/Eagle (who I believe has the current state contract) which offers more frequent flights to 3 hubs - CLT, DFW and MIA. Also, DL still flies limited mainline (usually B717's), along with Endeavor's CR9 flights to ATL.


There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.


Go to page 30 & 31 of this document and you will see that there was a state-contracted airline agreement as recent as 2019. The legislature modified this in 2021 with a weasel-worded passage in the Statue governing state travel that says basically, while you can use whatever airline you wish, their fares must be within guidelines of each agency's travel budget. US Airways used to have this contract and I believe it passed over to AA after they merged. While state employees could still fly on say, Delta, or Silver, they had to get additional paperwork approved justifying it. The recent changes eliminated this additional paperwork.

http://www.floridahealth.gov/provider-a ... g.2019.pdf

I would wonder about the sanity of Tally vacation travelers choosing to drive the (awful) 2, to 2 1/2-hour drives to either JAX or ECP to save a few bucks on airfare.


That DOH document is simply referencing a state contract, if one exists. But in this case, it doesn't. A search of the Vendor Bid System finds that the last competitive solicitation for air travel was in 2007. The Scott administration was so anti-air travel, it would have been pointless to have even solicited one. It was nearly impossible to get air travel approved and many requests for air travel had to be vetted through the Governor's Office directly for several years.
 
CitrusCritter
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:03 pm

sxf24 wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:
sxf24 wrote:

It doesn’t matter what the FF share is if the traffic shows a different pattern.


No reason to get defensive. I didn't challenge what you said. I posed a question as part of a discussion about whether AA was growing more off of a FF base or more casual travelers.


I’m stating facts, not opinions.


Again, with the being defensive. I asked what the FF market is like and whether AA's growth is in that market segment. I didn't propose that the growth was or wasn't in that segment.
 
IFlyVeryLittle
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:30 pm

Seems not long ago (but it was 20 years ago) that intra-state service to TLH was often aboard an airplane built by . . . wait for it . . . Cessna. Maybe Delta hopped up to Atlanta a couple times a day, but traffic was largely linked to football games and the legislative session.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:05 pm

It really is too bad that TLH failed for CO (back in 2008) and then the UA brand 13 years later.

Then again, Florida has always been more or less of a challenge for UA, and the Florida Panhandle has typically been more of a place people drive rather than fly to, so I guess this isn't really surprising at all.

If DL sees no need to serve, say, Santa Barbara there's certainly no reason UA needs to serve Tallahassee under its own branding. Does UA still codeshare with Silver Airways, though?
 
IADCA
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:22 pm

hpff wrote:
Also the above chart shows TLH is far from "closing in on a million." They were at less than half that in 2019. UA simply can't make a fairly minor outstation work once a day in 2021, doesn't seem that surprising.


I'm not sure what's surprising at all about this. TLH serves a mid-size city in a region UA serves poorly, largely because their hubs are located in places that are extremely inefficient for serving them compared to those of their competitors. UA's closest hub to TLH is more than 650 miles away. UA, like those competitors, is reducing 50-seat flying. So what are they supposed to do, upgauge a flight to a hub that's 650 miles away?
 
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FLALEFTY
Posts: 1078
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:25 pm

CitrusCritter wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:

There's no longer a state air service contract. State employees can fly either of the options. United has never been a player in TLH and this meager effort failing is unsurprising. For years, United "served" Tallahassee by connecting with Silver in TPA or MCO. The idea that they can't sustain a few IAH flights is laughable; they simply haven't tried. TLH is dominated by DL, but I think AA's level of service is increasing their market share. The last business trip I took out of TLH, I flew AA to DFW to go west instead of going through ATL on DL. The E-170s are nice planes to ride on.

The bleed in Tallahassee to JAX and ECP (not PNS as OP said) is primarily vacation traffic. Very little business traffic bleeds out. In fact, I'd say if there is any business traffic bleeding to JAX/ECP, it's United FFs headed to Tallahassee. And if there were say a few B6 E-190s to MCO/FLL per day, they'd stop a good portion of the vacation bleed, which is primarily to those airports for WN service.


Go to page 30 & 31 of this document and you will see that there was a state-contracted airline agreement as recent as 2019. The legislature modified this in 2021 with a weasel-worded passage in the Statue governing state travel that says basically, while you can use whatever airline you wish, their fares must be within guidelines of each agency's travel budget. US Airways used to have this contract and I believe it passed over to AA after they merged. While state employees could still fly on say, Delta, or Silver, they had to get additional paperwork approved justifying it. The recent changes eliminated this additional paperwork.

http://www.floridahealth.gov/provider-a ... g.2019.pdf

I would wonder about the sanity of Tally vacation travelers choosing to drive the (awful) 2, to 2 1/2-hour drives to either JAX or ECP to save a few bucks on airfare.


That DOH document is simply referencing a state contract, if one exists. But in this case, it doesn't. A search of the Vendor Bid System finds that the last competitive solicitation for air travel was in 2007. The Scott administration was so anti-air travel, it would have been pointless to have even solicited one. It was nearly impossible to get air travel approved and many requests for air travel had to be vetted through the Governor's Office directly for several years.


Here's an interesting tidbit. FL Gov. DeSantis now has a brand-new, state-financed, Textron Cessna Citation Latitude to serve as the state's (his) plane.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/32 ... llahassee/

He was previously using a Beech King Air that was registered to the state's FDLE:

https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politi ... ate-plane/
 
keithvh2001
Posts: 53
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:27 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Gee, it's a 70-80 minute flight to the biggest hub in the country and non-stops onward to 180+ destinations. CLT is pretty good, too.

Ask what IAH brings, relevant to TLH travelers, that ATL and CLT don't. What are the ten largest O&D markets to/from TLH? (Not enplanements - O&D.)


Wouldn't that logic also hold for a whole bunch of smaller markets in the South? JAN, MGM, MOB, MLU, SHV, AEX, GPT (just to name a few).

I know IAH isn't the greatest connecting spot in the world ---- but there's a lot of potential traffic from these markets in aggregate, and UA should try to fight for it. I find this TLH move weird, because if they give them up, why not give up on all the markets like them?
 
ScottB
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Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:32 pm

clrd4t8koff wrote:
To my last point - AMA & ATW are neither tourist nor business destinations and much smaller but receive more service. Doesn’t make sense.


It seems more like your beef is that AMA and ATW get service from G4 while TLH does not. And in both of those markets, G4 is generally taking passengers from those airports to vacation destinations. In the case of TLH, most of the normal leisure/vacation markets are drive markets. You've got no shortage of beaches within an hour or two and Orlando is a drive market from TLH. If you want to gamble, Biloxi is similarly within driving distance. It's not a vacation destination -- while there are plenty of beaches within a couple of hours, there are also airports which are much closer to those beaches, like ECP, VPS, or JAX.

Because Tallahassee is the state capital, there's certainly going to be demand for government business -- but a large part of the state is again within driving distance. Southern Florida is not, and you do have TLH-MIA service, but the lack of legacy airline hubs in places like TPA, RSW, FLL, or MCO makes point-to-point service on an acceptable schedule to business travelers (at least 2-3x daily) unsustainable apart from on small aircraft like what 3M operates. There just isn't enough volume. The schools will drive some traffic, but it's highly seasonal and much of the student bodies at FSU/FAMU are in-state so they're driving anyway.
 
CIDFlyer
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:19 am

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:47 pm

Well for one thing, using ATW is probably not the best comparison since you have GRB airport up the road literally 35 miles away, that pre pandemic was also pulling in 600k or so passengers. So the entire Appleton Green Bay region serves over 1 mil pax. The major airlines AA DL and UA split their services in between both while the LCCS set up shop at either one or the other (G4 at ATW and F9 and SY at GRB). ATW gets the nod with some additional destinations from the majors since it tends to be more business oriented. (Ex AA to CLT and DFW UA to DEN). There as always been discussions as to why the airports just don’t combine to one single regional airport to serve the bustling NE Wisconsin region but they prefer their own airports for now. Also, the combined population of the two metro areas that are 30 miles apart is over 700,000. Green Bay was over 300k and Appleton Fox Cities over 400k
 
LAXdude1023
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:54 pm

I hate to say it but my home airport isnt a jack of all trades hub like DFW, ATL, or ORD. We exist to:

1) Funnel traffic to Latin America and to a lesser degree domestically
2) Cater to high O&D markets

TLH doesnt create a lot of international demand nor is it a high O&D market to the Houston area. I guess Im not surprised that it (along with SJT, ABI, and CHA) got cut. UA's weak spot is the Southeast and its simply going to be that way.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4325
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:04 pm

keithvh2001 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Gee, it's a 70-80 minute flight to the biggest hub in the country and non-stops onward to 180+ destinations. CLT is pretty good, too.

Ask what IAH brings, relevant to TLH travelers, that ATL and CLT don't. What are the ten largest O&D markets to/from TLH? (Not enplanements - O&D.)


Wouldn't that logic also hold for a whole bunch of smaller markets in the South? JAN, MGM, MOB, MLU, SHV, AEX, GPT (just to name a few).

I know IAH isn't the greatest connecting spot in the world ---- but there's a lot of potential traffic from these markets in aggregate, and UA should try to fight for it. I find this TLH move weird, because if they give them up, why not give up on all the markets like them?


UA is a minor player in all of the listed markets (I don't think they fly to MGM at all) and all of those are significantly closer to IAH than TLH is.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2382
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:09 pm

keithvh2001 wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
clrd4t8koff wrote:
Gee, it's a 70-80 minute flight to the biggest hub in the country and non-stops onward to 180+ destinations. CLT is pretty good, too.

Ask what IAH brings, relevant to TLH travelers, that ATL and CLT don't. What are the ten largest O&D markets to/from TLH? (Not enplanements - O&D.)


Wouldn't that logic also hold for a whole bunch of smaller markets in the South? JAN, MGM, MOB, MLU, SHV, AEX, GPT (just to name a few).

I know IAH isn't the greatest connecting spot in the world ---- but there's a lot of potential traffic from these markets in aggregate, and UA should try to fight for it. I find this TLH move weird, because if they give them up, why not give up on all the markets like them?


It's not "relevance," it's just cost to provide equivalent service levels. Most passengers in these places are connecting, no matter what the hub you choose is. Getting the passenger to and from a hub, any hub, cheaply and happily is the name of the game. It's a lot cheaper to fly someone 300 miles to a hub than it is to fly them 600. Which is why, broadly, you will see a lot more UA service to places like those on your list the closer they get to IAH or ORD and the further they get from ATL in particular.

To pick the easiest example (at least for me, and illustrative because it's so extreme in this regard), use my home airport CHA. Chattanooga's a medium sized city with an MSA approximately the same size as JAN's, between 550 and 600k. Not a huge place, but not a zero. But it's also a 30-45 minute hop to either ATL or CLT, which are barely 100 and less than 250 air miles away, respectively. In order to pick up me - a former UA Plat when I lived elsewhere - and fly me anywhere, UA has to spend a lot more money getting me to a hub than either AA or DL does. And make no mistake, that's all they want to do. Hence it's not surprising that they choose their closest hub - ORD, almost exactly 500 miles away - and funnel everyone there (now that they're axing IAH). This has a chance of working for them for a certain class of people, though: those flying to Midwest and West Coast, because no competitor has a closer hub in that direction. But that's pretty much their market opportunity in CHA. Everywhere else, someone else has a better located hub, and there's not enough traffic to justify fighting over the scraps.

Apply that to TLH. Who is the customer UA can reliably win from DL and AA there? There's just zero competitive advantage anywhere except people who are literally flying to Houston.
 
NLINK
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:30 pm

We will see more of these small cities that United services (by small I mean market share by UA, not city size) with the 50 seat RJ's cut since UA is planning to retire all 50 seat single class RJ's in the near future. Back in the 1998/99/2000 CO also tried a lot of these markets such to IAH such as CHA, TLH and a few other ones and they didn't work then either with a 50 seat plane. At that time Delta and US Airways was too large to really compete against. NWA did decent (never great) to Memphis in these markets because it was closer. The 3 bank hub was just to few frequencies (short lived 4 bank) for most business travelers.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 3547
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:00 pm

NLINK wrote:
We will see more of these small cities that United services (by small I mean market share by UA, not city size) with the 50 seat RJ's cut since UA is planning to retire all 50 seat single class RJ's in the near future. Back in the 1998/99/2000 CO also tried a lot of these markets such to IAH such as CHA, TLH and a few other ones and they didn't work then either with a 50 seat plane. At that time Delta and US Airways was too large to really compete against. NWA did decent (never great) to Memphis in these markets because it was closer. The 3 bank hub was just to few frequencies (short lived 4 bank) for most business travelers.


United never said all 50 seat single class. They said roughly 50% of the single class 50 seat flying.
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5551
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:12 am

Re: TLH losing UA service

Mon Sep 13, 2021 10:05 pm

People also forget that TLH despite its size doesn’t generate as much demand as one might expect. The universities there and the state government generate mostly intrastate travel.

Factor that in with UAs poorly positioned hubs for the Deep South and it’s no surprise TLH doesn’t work.

The reason places like ATW get a bit more traffic is simply from the leisure traffic of people who want to go to places like Florida. TLH doesn’t generate a lot of leisure traffic as an origin or destination.
 
CitrusCritter
Posts: 817
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:36 am

Re: TLH losing UA service

Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:43 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
CitrusCritter wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

Go to page 30 & 31 of this document and you will see that there was a state-contracted airline agreement as recent as 2019. The legislature modified this in 2021 with a weasel-worded passage in the Statue governing state travel that says basically, while you can use whatever airline you wish, their fares must be within guidelines of each agency's travel budget. US Airways used to have this contract and I believe it passed over to AA after they merged. While state employees could still fly on say, Delta, or Silver, they had to get additional paperwork approved justifying it. The recent changes eliminated this additional paperwork.

http://www.floridahealth.gov/provider-a ... g.2019.pdf

I would wonder about the sanity of Tally vacation travelers choosing to drive the (awful) 2, to 2 1/2-hour drives to either JAX or ECP to save a few bucks on airfare.


That DOH document is simply referencing a state contract, if one exists. But in this case, it doesn't. A search of the Vendor Bid System finds that the last competitive solicitation for air travel was in 2007. The Scott administration was so anti-air travel, it would have been pointless to have even solicited one. It was nearly impossible to get air travel approved and many requests for air travel had to be vetted through the Governor's Office directly for several years.


Here's an interesting tidbit. FL Gov. DeSantis now has a brand-new, state-financed, Textron Cessna Citation Latitude to serve as the state's (his) plane.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/32 ... llahassee/

He was previously using a Beech King Air that was registered to the state's FDLE:

https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politi ... ate-plane/


Yes, Daddy Warbucks Rick Scott sold off the state planes. He used his own personal jet for state travel. But it left agency secretaries as well as the other three statewide elected officials without convenient plane options. They occasionally used FDLE or FWCC air assets, but it mostly led to lengthy drives if a commercial flight didn't work. I worked high up in one of the largest departments in state government, and we lost I don't know how many hours with the secretary driving back and forth across the state. The people of Florida would have been much better served if we'd had a King Air or something for him to use to get to important business in South Florida.

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