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DCA350
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Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:32 am

I know United has a monster hub up the road at SFO, but San Jose is actually the bigger city and the gateway to Silicon Valley. The Airport would need some development, but it has a CBP operation and appears to be able to handle a bump in its current traffic.. It is obviously one of the most affluent areas in the country, so premium traffic wouldn't be an issue..

Why has it pretty much been left to Southwest and Alaska. There would seem to be a major opportunity for Delta or AA to siphon some of the traffic that's driving right past SJC to SFO.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:44 am

AA tried it when they bought AirCal and inherited their SJC hub. Besides, why spend money building SJC again from scratch when it’s already a focus city for your newest oneworld partner, AS?
 
jetwet1
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:45 am

AA has tried to build a hub there a couple of times, each time drawing it back down. I agree that logically it should be able to support more than it does, but it doesn't seem to be the case.
 
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KLMatSJC
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:38 am

Delta was working on making SJC a focus city but nixed the idea because of the pandemic. Hopefully there's a chance it will come back when we are all on the other side of it.
 
umichman
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:59 am

Yes, DL had mentioned both SJC and BNA as focus cities prior to pandemic, but later said they were dropping them and limiting focus to AUS and RDU. AUS hasn't really seen much action from DL (they only fly to hubs and RDU from there) despite the claim that it is still a focus city. WN is a pretty heavy fixture in most of these markets (save RDU) and I suspect DL is going to have a tough time trying to get WN pax to switch.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:20 pm

DCA350 wrote:
I know United has a monster hub up the road at SFO, but San Jose is actually the bigger city and the gateway to Silicon Valley.


The 'bigger city' thing isn't very useful in forecasting traffic. Airports aggregate traffic across MSAs and CSAs. SFO, OAK and SJC all compete for traffic of the population of 9.7 million of the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland CSA in their own way.

https://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/metroa ... ar2020.pdf

UA has the SFO TPAC hub that neither DL nor AA is ever going to replicate at SJC, and that leaves SFO a great advantage.

SJC as a focus city for DL wasn't a bad idea - it could be the full-service carrier and global carrier against WN - but Covid killed it for now. If it even grew to 1/5 of UA's ~320 flights at SFO in 2019, it would have been lucky.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1420611
 
DaCubbyBearBar
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:25 pm

AA tried SJC with both AirCal and Reno Air and backed down both times. Times are different now, but why not let your codeshare partners do your work for you. Never say never in the airline business
 
USAirALB
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:49 pm

IIRC, traffic to/from SJC is actually lower-yielding than one would expect for a region like Silicon Valley, and unlike the LA Basin, where some seem to loathe LAX and have a preference for BUR/SNA/ONT/LGB, travelers in the Bay Area seem to overwhelmingly prefer SFO over OAK and SJC, even if their final destination is closer to SJC. In addition, traffic up/down the West Coast is already low-yielding in general thanks to the presence of WN, who essentially sets the price and the legacies match.

Transcon routes tend to do poorly ex SJC as well. AA attempted CLT which only lasted a season IIRC. AS dropped JFK and EWR, and I recall reading that SJC-EWR was one of their worst performing transcon routes. UA dropped EWR, and I believe they also used to do IAD-SJC years ago at one point. DL dropped JFK.

I'm not quite sure SJC was going to be a full-fledged focus city for DL, but rather it was going to be one in name simply as a marketing strategy. You might have seen an increase in flights to the hubs, and maybe some flights to Cabo, SNA, LAS, PVR, etc, but I doubt it was going to be anything more than that.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:57 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
AA tried it when they bought AirCal and inherited their SJC hub. Besides, why spend money building SJC again from scratch when it’s already a focus city for your newest oneworld partner, AS?

I am not suggesting that they try again, but a reason AS's focus city wouldn't necessarily deter them is that AS's focus city brings them close to zero revenue, while a successful AA focus city would bring in significant revenue.
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:03 pm

AA tried to make SJC a hub after it bought Air Cal and then spent more money building it out further with the assets acquired from Reno Air. It didn't work out. It also didn't work for Delta, which was looking at it from a focus operation perspective, and which has since retrenched. Transcon markets don't do well out of SJC and international is a nice market, and fairly limited, better served by foreign flag carriers. The UA hub at SFO is critical mass, and the depth and breadth of coverage can't be easily replicated. Corporate contracts in the Bay Area also probably skew SFO, not SJC.
 
COSPN
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:25 pm

Does SJC still have a curfew ?? Kind of hard to run a serious operation when your airport is not open 24/7
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:31 pm

AA or DL would be competing against Southwest on the top 10 routes (assuming DAL and DFW are considered the same market) from SJC. Alaska also has a strong presence with flights in the western US and Mexico from SJC. The yields aren’t strong enough to justify a bloodbath against Southwest. If AA or DL went after high O/D flights from SJC like PHX, SEA, LAS, DEN or SAN, they’d lose money (except to their hubs). Without those routes, they won’t earn much loyalty from local passengers.
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:39 pm

DCA350 wrote:
I know United has a monster hub up the road at SFO, but San Jose is actually the bigger city and the gateway to Silicon Valley. The Airport would need some development, but it has a CBP operation and appears to be able to handle a bump in its current traffic.. It is obviously one of the most affluent areas in the country, so premium traffic wouldn't be an issue..

Why has it pretty much been left to Southwest and Alaska. There would seem to be a major opportunity for Delta or AA to siphon some of the traffic that's driving right past SJC to SFO.


Affluent areas and premium traffic value facilities, flat bed seats coast to coast and lots of international premium connectivity. An AA 738 or DL 220/320 will not give you that, neither does a LH Cityline flight.

ContinentalEWR wrote:
AA tried to make SJC a hub after it bought Air Cal and then spent more money building it out further with the assets acquired from Reno Air. It didn't work out. It also didn't work for Delta, which was looking at it from a focus operation perspective, and which has since retrenched. Transcon markets don't do well out of SJC and international is a nice market, and fairly limited, better served by foreign flag carriers. The UA hub at SFO is critical mass, and the depth and breadth of coverage can't be easily replicated. Corporate contracts in the Bay Area also probably skew SFO, not SJC.


Quite right. Even AA, DL, and their respective alliance partners have more critical mass at SFO than at SJC. AA and DL presence at SJC is mostly funneling traffic to their respective hubs, that's all. Affluent customers / premium traffic will want non-stops on a competitive product, not a stop in ORD, DFW, LAX or SLC when flying to the East Coast or Transcontinental. SJC works well for short hops like BUR / SNA or leisure routes like LAS, Hawai'i and Mexico for people who are closer to SJC than to SFO, much like OAK does for parts of the Bay Area. But again, that's mostly an economy product.
 
RobertS975
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:42 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
AA tried it when they bought AirCal and inherited their SJC hub. Besides, why spend money building SJC again from scratch when it’s already a focus city for your newest oneworld partner, AS?


Because believe it or not, airlines in your alliance are still your competitors unless there is a JV in place! An alliance partner is NOT a business partner!
 
ScottB
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:49 pm

One other problem at SJC is that you're never going to have enough space to build a proper hub which can compete against SFO. The two parallel runways are 700 feet apart and there's little room to expand the terminal -- which is already a mile long for only 36 contact gates. WN and the other carriers aren't going away, so you'd be looking at trying to run a hub that competes with SFO out of at most 20 gates.

It definitely works as a focus city if business traffic returns at some point. That remains to be seen.
 
IADCA
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:57 pm

One piece of this that people not so familiar with the Bay Area should keep in mind is that SFO itself is down the peninsula from the city. Thus from the big-money places on the Peninsula it is faster to get to SFO than to SF itself, and the highway and transit links are better there than at SJC.

RobertS975 wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
AA tried it when they bought AirCal and inherited their SJC hub. Besides, why spend money building SJC again from scratch when it’s already a focus city for your newest oneworld partner, AS?


Because believe it or not, airlines in your alliance are still your competitors unless there is a JV in place! An alliance partner is NOT a business partner!


Yes, but if you have mileage earning and codeshares, alliances can still be a way to keep your FFs happy (fill a box on the network well) without massive investment of your own. They're still competitors, but much less...competitive.
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:38 pm

Apart from catering to their own frequent flier bases, what competitive advantage would DL or AA have in building up an operation at SJC (AA especially now that they have such a strong alliance with AS who also has a significant presence in the Bay Area)? Neither could begin to remotely compete with UA's massive operation and AS's smaller but still formidable presence. It would take many years (likely over a decade) and millions upon millions in losses to make inroads. I think DL and AA have bigger fish to fry defending their own hubs and building/enhancing focus city operations, many of which are in the same cities for both (SEA, BOS, NYC, RDU, AUS, LAX). SJC would offer nothing for DL or AA that their current operations at LAX and SEA don't already provide, within reason. Simply put, AA and DL are just not realistically going to ever be able to compete with the size, scale and scope of UA's SFO hub, and they know this.

Jeremy
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:40 pm

RobertS975 wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
AA tried it when they bought AirCal and inherited their SJC hub. Besides, why spend money building SJC again from scratch when it’s already a focus city for your newest oneworld partner, AS?


Because believe it or not, airlines in your alliance are still your competitors unless there is a JV in place! An alliance partner is NOT a business partner!


Yes, but there is absolutely an unwritten rule in the corporate world to never intentionally piss off your partners. AA has too many bigger fish to fry than trying to start up a money-losing operation to compete with one of their biggest partners at one of their largest operations. Why would AA ever do this? Too much to lose and too little to gain.

Jeremy
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:53 pm

AA tried it at the height of the dot-com bubble and people still didn't come.
I'm not from there so I can't explain why SJC doesn't seem to work for full service carriers, or most of them at least. One possibility is that SFO attracts more premium passengers. While Silicon Valley gets all the attention the real money is in Finance and those people are in San Francisco, not in Silicon Valley.
SESGDL wrote:
Yes, but there is absolutely an unwritten rule in the corporate world to never intentionally piss off your partners.

I guess SQ never got the memo :D
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:16 pm

I guess history has forgotten that AA bought RenoAir to restablish it's SJC presence and even flew SJC-NRT/TPE/CDG for a period.
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:20 pm

DCA350 wrote:
I know United has a monster hub up the road at SFO, but San Jose is actually the bigger city and the gateway to Silicon Valley. The Airport would need some development, but it has a CBP operation and appears to be able to handle a bump in its current traffic.. It is obviously one of the most affluent areas in the country, so premium traffic wouldn't be an issue..

Why has it pretty much been left to Southwest and Alaska. There would seem to be a major opportunity for Delta or AA to siphon some of the traffic that's driving right past SJC to SFO.


SJC may not be as attractive as you think despite the 'gateway' and all that. The biggest money in the Bay Area outside SF city and Marin County is between Los Altos and Hillsborough, and from those locations, it's fairly easy to run up 280 and cut over to SFO. Not a problem for them most of the time. SJC would actually be somewhat out of the way as it means slogging in traffic on 101. Even for folks down in Saratoga and Los Gatos it's fairly easy to use 280.

SJC has fine facilities and can get one to most places people in the South Bay might need to get to for family/friends. But for transcon connections, SFO is infinitely superior, and as I said, the moneyed crowd isn't generally going to use WN or AS to do it.
 
subramak1
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:51 pm

DCA350 wrote:
I know United has a monster hub up the road at SFO, but San Jose is actually the bigger city and the gateway to Silicon Valley. The Airport would need some development, but it has a CBP operation and appears to be able to handle a bump in its current traffic.. It is obviously one of the most affluent areas in the country, so premium traffic wouldn't be an issue..

Why has it pretty much been left to Southwest and Alaska. There would seem to be a major opportunity for Delta or AA to siphon some of the traffic that's driving right past SJC to SFO.


San Jose is actually the bigger city is a statistic. In reality the entire stretch of land from Santa Rosa south to Gilroy and arc from Walnut Creek, Livermore and San Jose has a base is one big city. It has 3 geographically convenient airports - SFO, SJC and OAK. SFO has been the long haul and international destination for a while. Now SJC has few routes it can support. However depending on where you live, one of these three airports( along with Sacremento) is going to be your most convenient airport for domestic travel. Since most international travel in US has connecting traffic to it, SFO leads the way.

Best, Subramanian
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:56 pm

DCA350 wrote:
I but San Jose is actually the bigger city

Which means absolutely nothing, in an aviation context.

The money, in terms of air travel, is at SFO. Several airlines have been able to eek out a justifiable premium by flying longhaul to or attempting to hub at SJC, but plenty of others (notably AA and LH) struggled and ultimately failed.
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:00 pm

USAirALB wrote:
IIRC, traffic to/from SJC is actually lower-yielding than one would expect for a region like Silicon Valley, and unlike the LA Basin, where some seem to loathe LAX and have a preference for BUR/SNA/ONT/LGB, travelers in the Bay Area seem to overwhelmingly prefer SFO over OAK and SJC, even if their final destination is closer to SJC. In addition, traffic up/down the West Coast is already low-yielding in general thanks to the presence of WN, who essentially sets the price and the legacies match.

Transcon routes tend to do poorly ex SJC as well. AA attempted CLT which only lasted a season IIRC. AS dropped JFK and EWR, and I recall reading that SJC-EWR was one of their worst performing transcon routes. UA dropped EWR, and I believe they also used to do IAD-SJC years ago at one point. DL dropped JFK.

I'm not quite sure SJC was going to be a full-fledged focus city for DL, but rather it was going to be one in name simply as a marketing strategy. You might have seen an increase in flights to the hubs, and maybe some flights to Cabo, SNA, LAS, PVR, etc, but I doubt it was going to be anything more than that.

As someone who lives right in between SFO and SJC (~30/35 minutes to each for me), I have to say that this hits the nail on the head. Traffic is much lower-yielding, purely due to the different uses of the airports in consumers' eyes. I think I can back this up with solid reasons that show why there are some pretty bad logistical issues at SJC that would impact this.

I use SJC purely for intra-California and shorter regional hops to LAS/SLC/PHX/SEA, and nothing more. I use SFO for literally anything else.

Why? SFO has world-class amenities. It has better staffing, meal options, etc etc etc, not to mention that SFO has great lounges, too. Yes, SFO has capacity constraints, but if you think SFO is the worst of it, take a look at SJC on Google Maps (which I'll get into in a little bit).

SJC on the other hand comes with great prices and relative convenience. Flying WN down to LAX/BUR/ONT/SNA/SAN is very easy. However, there are some critical things that I detest about SJC.

1. I loathe walking the 1 mile, 2 miles, however the heck long the concourse is. It's quite frankly insane how they have kept stretching and stretching the terminal until they have quite literally run out of space on both ends.

2. Security Struggles at SJC: TSA seems to be perpetually understaffed, but maybe COVID has helped this.

3. There's no "premium" option that would attract me to the airport. The entire airport does look very nice, but it's not practical at all in that it's not walkable and has no lounges. The only premium thing about it IMO is the architecture.

So I think these factors critically change the landscape of the "SFO vs SJC" debate. Partly because of the above reasons as well as the appeal of SFO, SJC does better as a lower-yielding, medium-volume Bay Area hub serving largely origin traffic. Corporate contracts are all heavily skewed towards SFO because the pre-existing offerings at SJC are quite poor, while UA up the road at SFO has a lounge every 3 feet.

You can always just pull up SJC on Google Maps to see some of the issues I've identified. Firstly, some important things to notice are the Guadalupe River, which sometimes floods and basically enforces a southern and eastern perimeter around the airport. Then there's 101, 880, and De La Cruz Blvd that basically constrain the rest of the airport's space. So there isn't much horizontal space to begin with. That said, it seems like the airport designers went with a linear terminal layout to make the best use of horizontal space for airport ops & runway use, but SJC has really grown considerably. The type of terminal structure it has is the kind that you see at regional airports - where it's just a couple, max maybe 10 gates spread out in a linear direction. No way was the current layout ever meant to fit in 36 (!) gates, and it's now become quite an inefficient use of space which is why there were so many capacity issues pre-COVID. The current layout of the airport is just not fit for connecting pax due to the extreme distances you'd have to walk. They've stretched the structure to its limits and there's really just no space left over.

I apologize if this is not cohesive, but these are just some of the spontaneous thoughts I've had while writing this. Anyone have anything to add?
 
n9801f
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:13 pm

What a great topic.

A personal take on the short answer is the following:

    1) the core, top O-D markets from SJC are short-haul and have enjoyed intensive LCC service for decades (but this keeps yields low), and
    2) satellite airports in general (in both LA and SF) struggle to break out of the shadow of the main airport for longer-haul service -- the frequency and product gaps to the main airport are vast.

Regarding short haul, American's acquisitions of AirCal* and Reno Air were interesting lessons. And I'd add USAir's acquisition of PSA. A few years after these mergers they looked like failures from the perspective that the routes were all gone and the planes (both AA and US) redeployed elsewhere. My takeaway is simple -- when you raise an LCC cost structure to legacy levels, you lose viability in lower yielding markets.

On the longer haul, my perception is that SJC's momentum in east-west markets peaked in the late -90's with a good volume of some of the highest-yield business traffic in the US. But all this collapsed with the NASDAQ bubble and never fully recovered. Since then SJC has largely retreated to its historical role as a commuter airport for short hauls.

Looking forward, I could easily imagine this question reemerging in a decade or so. Capacity of the SFO airport looks capped to me as I'm pretty sure bay infill is now prohibited. And today's companies like Apple, Google, etc.are sustainable "real" companies and not flash-in-the-pan temporary sensations like many of the NASDAQ bubble were.

Also, recently the Air Service Development department for SJC has done an extraordinary job of putting focus on SJC, attracting a remarkable number of international carriers. So I feel confident SJC will not be overlooked.

* my recollection is that AirCal was at least as much about access to Orange County (SNA) as SJC
 
NickLAX
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:28 pm

WN is positioned well, AA has made attempts at this before direct and through partner/acquisitions.

SJC is more O&D and it does well for it with a wide variety of carriers
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:30 pm

I don't have too much to add beyond what has already been said, though I also think that people overlook OAK's potential. OAK has plenty more room to expand, and it has a decent BART connection now. The only thing of course is that the area around it is terrible, and the city doesn't seem to manage anything well.

With all that said, it's really hard to beat SFO for most things. While it is a big and busy airport, it's a pleasant passenger experience. It's not a big demand to get people from the south bay and east bay to go there.
 
n9801f
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 4:46 pm

Aliqiout wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
AA tried it when they bought AirCal and inherited their SJC hub. Besides, why spend money building SJC again from scratch when it’s already a focus city for your newest oneworld partner, AS?

I am not suggesting that they try again, but a reason AS's focus city wouldn't necessarily deter them is that AS's focus city brings them close to zero revenue, while a successful AA focus city would bring in significant revenue.

So here's a variation on the partnership theme. I think there is some natural complementarity of strengths and competitiveness.

AS' cost structure makes it viable in lower-yielding markets where AA would be unsustainable. AA has a far deeper east-west network offering points that would be unsustainable for AS.

If I you made the AA/AS partnership effective enough that customers were relatively indifferent as to which they flew, AS could potentially be a development tool for an eventual AA SJC focus city.

Both might win because their combined portfolio increases attractiveness to their respective customers. AA can attract SJC corporate customers to the East Coast because it has a virtual presence in West Coast markets and vice versa.

The tricky bits would be partnership effectiveness and perceived antitrust compliance.
 
Prost
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:08 pm

intotheair wrote:
I don't have too much to add beyond what has already been said, though I also think that people overlook OAK's potential. OAK has plenty more room to expand, and it has a decent BART connection now. The only thing of course is that the area around it is terrible, and the city doesn't seem to manage anything well.

With all that said, it's really hard to beat SFO for most things. While it is a big and busy airport, it's a pleasant passenger experience. It's not a big demand to get people from the south bay and east bay to go there.


And you’ll have plenty of time to experience those amenities once you see a raindrop in the vicinity and flow control comes in to effect.
 
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:20 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
I guess history has forgotten that AA bought RenoAir to restablish it's SJC presence and even flew SJC-NRT/TPE/CDG for a period.


Didn't AA use the MD-11 on some of those flights? I got a pic of one at SJC while taxiing on an (ironically) Reno Air flight to LAX (obviously was before the merger).
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:24 pm

It's about Geography, no one in SF or Marin or a good portion of the East Bay is going to go to SJC it is not connected well to mass transit and frankly is too far. Oakland honestly has more potential because of a central location and transit friendly. So although SJ is the largest bay area city it geographically not ideal for the bay area as a whole.
 
SurfandSnow
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:26 pm

AA *absolutely* took a "real swing" at SJC back in the 90s and early 2000s. As you might recall, there were long haul flights to CDG, NRT and even TPE before 9/11. Domestic services included nonstops to popular destinations like Hawaii, MIA and SNA. 20 years later, nonstop services have yet to resume to a number of markets that AA served back then from SJC.

Of course, 9/11 dealt a heavy blow to AA's focus city operations and smaller, weaker hubs: BOS, RDU, SJC, SJU and STL. To its credit, SJC managed to keep a p2p SJC-NRT service around for a few years even after the domestic feed operation had been gutted. All the more remarkable when you think of how weak AA was to Asia back then relative to UA and NW. By the time the merger with US began, AA had fully retrenched to its "cornerstone" hubs of DFW, LAX, MIA, NYC (JFK/LGA) and ORD. AA had beefed up its key hubs at the expense of once prominent operations in other markets - like SJC.

DL has never done much from SJC. Back in the days of AA's SJC hub, DL served Asia from an international gateway at PDX. These days, of course, SEA is DL's West Coast gateway to Asia. Once DL has a respectable terminal facility at LAX, folks might connect through there as well. Once carriers like AA and DL decided to focus on serving Asia from their primary hubs, rather than smaller West Coast gateways like SJC, SJC began to court Asian carriers like NH and Hainan Airlines to fill the transpacific service void. Any idea if these carriers will end up returning to SJC?
 
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STT757
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:35 pm

ANA was set to launch HND-SJC prior to COVID, hopefully when international travel bounces back they will go forward with the launch. With United's large accounts in the Bay Area I think besides WN that United and their Star Alliance partners are probably best positioned to grow at SJC. Perhaps Lufthansa to Frankfurt.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:46 pm

Prost wrote:
intotheair wrote:
I don't have too much to add beyond what has already been said, though I also think that people overlook OAK's potential. OAK has plenty more room to expand, and it has a decent BART connection now. The only thing of course is that the area around it is terrible, and the city doesn't seem to manage anything well.

With all that said, it's really hard to beat SFO for most things. While it is a big and busy airport, it's a pleasant passenger experience. It's not a big demand to get people from the south bay and east bay to go there.


And you’ll have plenty of time to experience those amenities once you see a raindrop in the vicinity and flow control comes in to effect.


The way the Bay Area microclimates hit actually means OAK has much better weather than SFO. It's not rain, but fog that's the primary issue at SFO. The marine layer can blanket the peninsula but not reach the East Bay quite as often.
 
sfojvjets
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:00 pm

STT757 wrote:
ANA was set to launch HND-SJC prior to COVID, hopefully when international travel bounces back they will go forward with the launch. With United's large accounts in the Bay Area I think besides WN that United and their Star Alliance partners are probably best positioned to grow at SJC. Perhaps Lufthansa to Frankfurt.

ANA launched NRT-SJC in 2013. HND is just an airport switch if you will. And yes, regarding UA/*A Bay Area presence, we all thought SJC was primed for growth in that sector. But with Air China (PVG) and LH (FRA) having cut SJC long before covid, it definitely questions that view. Admittedly, an A340 in a high-density leisure configuration was NOT the aircraft that LH should have placed on FRA-SJC. I'm hopeful regarding a relaunch with the 789.
 
acavpics
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:15 pm

I'd say even tourism-related traffic also plays a role into this. We all know that San Francisco and areas north of it (like Redwood, Napa etc) draw in a large amount of vacationers from within the US and abroad.

On the other hand, i haven't met anyone who has gone on vacation to San Jose. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't a whole lot for tourists to do in the southern part of the Bay Area. Most of the attractions seem to be in SF and north of the city. Thereby enticing such travelers to largely choose SFO over SJC.
 
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usmcav8tor
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:22 pm

One thing that comes to mind regarding SJC is the fact that larger legacy carriers have tried. Though, it seems each time their timing is horrible. For example, British Airways operated a flight LHR-SJC on the 787-9 and there were even plans to being the 747 in (https://simpleflying.com/british-airway ... -san-jose/) but COVID hit and as for now, BA has suspended service into SJC and retired the 747. If memory serves me right, AA used to fly SJC to CDG, but I believe it ended shortly after 9/11.

SJC is a convenient airport for those who live in the South Bay but in the big picture, it's really not that great. Flights are always more expensive than SFO, the types of connections offered by the majority of carriers are not the most convenient and lastly, airlines rarely deploy aircraft with premium products at this airport. For example, are flying transcontinental and not on a budget will likely spend the 45-minutes in the car to SFO and fly United or JetBlue for that experience.
 
N1120A
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:23 pm

SJC is convenient for people in San Jose and the immediate area, but really not anyone else (maybe MRY, if someone is desperate to save money). Both SFO and OAK are actually better located to the center of the Bay Area population. Yes, San Jose is the largest city by population in the Bay, but that does not account for the geographic population center of the region. If you actually looked at a weighted population center on the map, SFO would probably fall right smack in the middle. Remember that it isn't all that far from San Jose even.

COSPN wrote:
Does SJC still have a curfew ?? Kind of hard to run a serious operation when your airport is not open 24/7


SJC is open 24/7. Most of the aircraft that use SJC can use it 24/7. Stage II jet aircraft can't schedule flights between 2300 and 0700 LCL. Certain Stage III jet aircraft CAN schedule flights between 2330 and 0630 LCL, including the vast majority of modern mainline narrowbody airliners and a big chunk of business jets. Also, anything operating below 89 db, which includes most light GA aircraft flown by non-morons.

Interestingly, the E170/175/190/195 is not on this list. I wonder if that is an oversight?

https://www.flysanjose.com/sites/defaul ... on%202.pdf
 
ucdtim17
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:26 pm

You can look at the MSAs to get a better idea of where most people in the Bay Area live (it is closer to SFO/OAK):

San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA MSA 4,749,008
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA 2,000,468

SJC was doing better the past few years. OAK is more of a conundrum as they've never been able to get any momentum with anyone beyond WN, despite being the most convenient airport to the most people of the three. Pre-Covid I assumed at some point capacity constraints at SFO would really start to bite and force airlines to use OAK but now that's likely been pushed further into the future.
 
jeffrey1970
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:30 pm

I guess ethier DL or AA would have to heavily invest in redeveloping SJC, and also run a major PR campaign.
 
ManoaChris
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Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:49 pm

I'm with you on everything except for this:

IADCA wrote:
Thus from the big-money places on the Peninsula it is faster to get to SFO than to SF itself, and the highway and transit links are better there than at SJC.


Highway access is fine (great even by Bay Area standards), but transit connectivity from the south is pretty awful despite plenty of infrastructure. Let me count the ways:
    • Caltrain stops at Millbrae, which has BART to airport. Except for a few hours in the evening and on the weekends, you need to double connect (going to.a station north of the airport) to get to a third train that will take you south again to SFO.
    • San Mateo county runs (ran?) a shuttle bus to connect Millbrae to the terminal, but it was so comically out of sync with Caltrain's schedule as to generally require a 45 minute wait -- absolute worst was to get off the train, walk over to the adjoining drive to see the minibus exiting oblivious to caltrain timing
    • In the last two years, BART has started running a train between Millbrae and SFO during the day. After some initial problems like the shuttle, this has been better, and they seem to be mostly matching Caltrain's schedule (at least the hourly milk run). But you can still get stuck with an extra 30 minute wait whenever Caltain is delayed

Contrast that with SJC, where they have a shuttle meet Caltain, actually in sync with the train's arrival. Much more limited infra, but 10x better experience.
 
sfojvjets
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:31 pm

N1120A wrote:
Interestingly, the E170/175/190/195 is not on this list. I wonder if that is an oversight?

https://www.flysanjose.com/sites/defaul ... on%202.pdf

It's in fact not an oversight. Alaska/SkyWest has been fined for this in the past.
 
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intotheair
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Re:

Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:38 pm

ManoaChris wrote:
• In the last two years, BART has started running a train between Millbrae and SFO during the day. After some initial problems like the shuttle, this has been better, and they seem to be mostly matching Caltrain's schedule (at least the hourly milk run). But you can still get stuck with an extra 30 minute wait whenever Caltain is delayed


Is the most recent update in the last month or so any better? I live in the East Bay so I don't pay much attention to anything South Bay. I don't really see how the red line train now going to Millbrae and then SFO helps me at all, but I thought it might make things better for the Caltrain crowd.
 
Lootess
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:07 pm

SFO is where the financial center is, Wells Fargo and the like. This isn't rocket science. SJC is just so out of the way unless you want to drive to Apple, and even then Apple is UA's biggest corporate contract, those global flights from SFO.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:19 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
AA has tried to build a hub there a couple of times, each time drawing it back down. I agree that logically it should be able to support more than it does, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

Just staff it with small jets. No schedule, just on demand flying to any destination in the country, whether it has a station or not.

Kinda of like they do right now….
 
Western727
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:39 pm

sfojvjets wrote:
N1120A wrote:
Interestingly, the E170/175/190/195 is not on this list. I wonder if that is an oversight?

https://www.flysanjose.com/sites/defaul ... on%202.pdf

It's in fact not an oversight. Alaska/SkyWest has been fined for this in the past.


Intriguing. Why aren't the E jets on the list? They're certainly not loud.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:42 pm

Lootess wrote:
SFO is where the financial center is, Wells Fargo and the like. This isn't rocket science. SJC is just so out of the way unless you want to drive to Apple, and even then Apple is UA's biggest corporate contract, those global flights from SFO.


And Apple employees don’t really live in the South Bay. They live in San Francisco or on the Peninsula where it’s at best a tossup between the two airports.
 
sfojvjets
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:48 pm

Western727 wrote:
sfojvjets wrote:
N1120A wrote:
Interestingly, the E170/175/190/195 is not on this list. I wonder if that is an oversight?

https://www.flysanjose.com/sites/defaul ... on%202.pdf

It's in fact not an oversight. Alaska/SkyWest has been fined for this in the past.


Intriguing. Why aren't the E jets on the list? They're certainly not loud.

I don't know how the screening process works, but I'm sure that E jets are pretty darn loud compared to other similar-sized aircraft, having been around them recently. Anyone have stats for this in terms of db's?
 
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Aaron747
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:59 pm

intotheair wrote:
Lootess wrote:
SFO is where the financial center is, Wells Fargo and the like. This isn't rocket science. SJC is just so out of the way unless you want to drive to Apple, and even then Apple is UA's biggest corporate contract, those global flights from SFO.


And Apple employees don’t really live in the South Bay. They live in San Francisco or on the Peninsula where it’s at best a tossup between the two airports.


Mmmm I dunno about this one, I’d say they’re likely to live in all three zones you mention. I know four people at Apple and last I checked, they live in: Mountain View, Los Gatos, San Jose and Santa Clara.
 
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intotheair
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Re: Why hasn't AA or Delta taken a real swing at SJC?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:12 pm

Aaron747 wrote:
intotheair wrote:
Lootess wrote:
SFO is where the financial center is, Wells Fargo and the like. This isn't rocket science. SJC is just so out of the way unless you want to drive to Apple, and even then Apple is UA's biggest corporate contract, those global flights from SFO.


And Apple employees don’t really live in the South Bay. They live in San Francisco or on the Peninsula where it’s at best a tossup between the two airports.


Mmmm I dunno about this one, I’d say they’re likely to live in all three zones you mention. I know four people at Apple and last I checked, they live in: Mountain View, Los Gatos, San Jose and Santa Clara.


Hah, fair enough. The three I know live in San Francisco and Redwood City. I guess my point is maybe that a lot of people not in the Bay Area presume that tech workers overwhelmingly live in the South Bay (or “Silicon Valley”) when that’s not necessarily the case.

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