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MSYtristar
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Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:50 pm

As of 9/9/03, Southwest will no longer fly the RDU-MCI route nonstop. If i'm not mistaken, this is the 2nd RDU route that has been cut in the past couple of years.


Steve in New Orleans
 
Guest

RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:53 pm

This should be titled:

"Southwest finds out why Midway failed".

RDU is an odd market. There's business demand, but the customers are loyal to the major carriers.
 
Ryefly
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:11 am

I don't buy that BoingGoingGone, Midway failed for several different reasons, but one of them is because Southwest arrived. At one point RDU had flights offered by Delta Express, Metrojet, Southwest, Airtran, in which Midway had to match prices against.
 
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B747-437B
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:17 am

Oh no. This is terrible news.
 
MSYtristar
Topic Author
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:20 am

I personally believe Midway failed due to massive overexpansion towards the end of its existence. It seemed like every month they were adding a new city. The CRJ's and 73G's were probably just too expensive to operate profitably for their route system. If JI chose not to add some long-haul flights from RDU...and not be so aggressive in terms of expansion...they could very well be around today. Their "bread-and-butter" Northeast/Southeast service was profitable for them...should have just stuck with that for a while longer.


Steve in New Orleans
 
Ryefly
Posts: 1328
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:22 am

Yes, Midway over expanded at the time when the economy started to drop off. They were also building a stronger hub to try and fight off low fare carriers like Southwest. Their major expansion occurred when American Airlines dropped them as a codeshare partner. Believe it or not, I think AA was annoyed by Midway's success at a hub in which they pulled out of a few years before. The regional jets were a very successful tool for Midway in which AA did not have while RDU was being used as a hub of their own. Now a few years later American Eagle started receiving regional jets, and American figured they could do what Midway was doing right but with their own planes. They did in fact still own the entire terminal C, and were leasing to Midway. At this point Midway fought back by joining Continental, and Northwest as a codeshare partner. Midway started expanding into markets that they were once codesharing with AA out of RDU such as RDU-MIA to start competing with AA. They next started expanding further west after US and UA started talking major mega hub over at CLT and UA offering nonstop flights out of RDU to western cities. American started playing tricks like blocking Midway gates to delay flights. Parking Eagle jets at Midway gates. They didn't care, what was Midway going to do, American owned the terminal not the airport. Midway asked the airport for an extension of their own, and was granted it, but at this point it was to late. They had to many battles to fight against the LCC and the majors and were loosing big time. They just bought new Boeing aircraft and were taking a huge hit in by returning Fokker aircraft early. Finally, September 11th happened and Midway was gone Sept 12th.
 
atcboy73
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:39 am

Doesnt this RDU-MCI flight continue on to SJC?
 
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modernArt
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:00 am

This is actually the third Raleigh route chopped this year.

Both Austin and San Antonio nonstops were halted in the spring.
 
WNfan
Posts: 198
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:35 am

I have a coworker in Raleigh who is a Delta die-hard. They have stranded him at Hartsfield several times due to a variety of issues, and their fares are higher and he has to change planes at ATL almost anywhere he goes, but he still loves his Delta medallion thing and being able to board early. He only considers flying Southwest on trips to Washington DC, using BWI of course.

We just had a meeting in Phoenix and instead of non-stops on WN for $210 roundtrip he paid $300 on DL and changed at ATL; unbelievably, he was pleased with his fare and his itinerary. *sigh* I've kept preaching Southwest to him, but he just doesn't listen.

I hope WN is able to succeed and thrive at RDU but this isn't a good sign.
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:39 am

WNFan - to those folks, I guess I have to say you reap what you sow. Imagine if SWA wasn't present in the market at all and your coworker had to pay $800 instead of $300. Most likely, they'd be crying for a low fare carrier. Much like the good folks in CVG did and Vanguard started service for them. But the good folks in CVG walked right past the Vanguard counter and boarded their Delta and United jets to Chicago. So Vanguard pulled out. It would appear that people must love Delta there as AA tried offering "hub" service out of RDU and pulled back. All I can say is that if the allegience to Delta means that it would behoove SWA to move out of the market, then the locals deserve what they get.
 
Paul777
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 3:04 am

Just an observation, no airport is immune to losing flights/gaining flights! I don't believe losing WN flights means that RDU will suffer for long. Someone else will add a flight, WN could even add flights to other destinations. Bottom line is if a flight is not profitable, (demand not there) why continue? Let the replies fly!
 
MAH4546
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:32 am

The flight operated RDU-MCI-SJC, and MCI-SJC is also discontinued.
a.
 
Guest

RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:48 am

This is CLEARLY the result of capacity dumping and predatory pricing on behalf of American Airlines who seeks to increase their market share at RDU to astronomical proportions and stomp out any LCC competition.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:59 am

Goingboeing writes: Imagine if SWA wasn't present in the market at all and your coworker had to pay $800 instead of $300.

From the post to which Goingboeing's reply is directed, it is assumed that these are roundtrip fares RDU-MCI-RDU.

A correction may be in order... Lacking SWA to keep DL and the network/cartel airlines honest in a market like RDU-MCI, the "business" fare (walkup fare) of DL et al would probably be more like $800 one way.
 
AirVB
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:41 am

Oh no. This is terrible news
That was classic, B747-437B!  Big thumbs up

Seriously, I was wondering if RDU is a profitable market for SWA, with them dropping these couple of flights. Is there a lot of demand for RDU?
 
AA777MIA
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:46 am

Im confused, how is AA responsible for SW getting rid of the RDU MCI flights, they do not even operate RDU MCI non-stop?
 
trey
Posts: 231
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:48 am

some of the better news i've had all day- this in no way whatsoever effects my life, which is more than i can say for most of the crap i get on a daily basis. to bad though, in case i ever flew KC to Raleigh it would have been nice to have a lower fare on one of the majors.
 
Midway2AirTran
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:05 am

One word to totally sum up the Midway situation....
"Bad Leadership!" or is that two! Mismanagement would be the other..
Hence the attempt months before the bankruptcy to put it back in private hands!

Moving on to the topic now..
From my experience at RDU I have not seen much success in the RDU-MCI market, talk about empty planes. Midwest Express had it going for a while with a connections to their hub there, AA picked it up a couple of times and Southwest ran it for a while. Even with it going on to SJC, it probably wasn't doing as well as other markets WN could fly. To add to that, JI's direct flights to SJC did not go as well, even with the discounted fares and corporations backing it. Some say that was b/c of the coming recession. AA was supposed to attempt the direct SJC flight too recently, but never initiated it and pulled out of it all together.

Maybe WN will find a better flight to replace it, like the direct LAS service starting October 5th!
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
ncflyer
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:40 am

I think folks are way over-analyzing this. Look at the markets they dropped: RDU-MCI, RDU-AUS, RDU-SAT??? Those are horrible markets-- maybe RDU-AUS was an OK idea before the tech bubble burst, but both are second tier markets at this point compared to let's say a BWI (serving Washington) or MDW. The bigger question is "what was WN thinking in adding those routes in the first place?" RDU-BWI is getting a new frequency, so it must be doing OK, WN is hardly abandoning ship.

To say RDU fliers prefer the majors as compared to any other WN market in the country is nonsense, WN had an incredibly fast and successful start-up at RDU, they attract folks from all over the state, but the choice of routes was questionable at best. From Texas and West, I believe RDU only has nonstop service to DFW, maybe LAS and Phoenix-- all huge markets, yet here WN tried to introduce 3 small west/even with Texas markets? I was skeptical from the beginning. RDU has no DEN, no LAX, SFO and SJC have been a bust, no SEA, you get the idea.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:12 am

I think folks are way over-analyzing this. Look at the markets they dropped: RDU-MCI, RDU-AUS, RDU-SAT??? Those are horrible markets-- maybe RDU-AUS was an OK idea before the tech bubble burst, but both are second tier markets at this point compared to let's say a BWI (serving Washington) or MDW. The bigger question is "what was WN thinking in adding those routes in the first place?" RDU-BWI is getting a new frequency, so it must be doing OK, WN is hardly abandoning ship.

That's what I was thinking. Kansas City and Raleigh are second-tier markets a long distance apart. I too am surprised that even WN started it in the first place. Raleigh has been hit hard by the tech bubble burst too, from what I've read.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
brons2
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:19 am

Both Austin and San Antonio nonstops were halted in the spring.

That sucks, I flew AUS-RDU last fall on a Friday and it was packed. A lot of that was probably due to the UT-UNC football game the next day though Big grin
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
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modernArt
Posts: 524
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:21 am

Both the Austin and San Antonio flights were designed to give Raleigh additional direct flights westward...I believe one flight one-stopped to LAX and the other to San Diego.
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
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RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:34 am

From an MCI point of view, ever since NJ died, fares have been going up and service has been cut back by all carriers. It's like there was an agreement between them to price NJ out of existence. Obviously, Vanguard had a lot of managerial problems to overcome, and frequently priced itself out of markets, but by the end it seemed like they had overcome those particular issues.

In any event, RDU-MCI is no great loss. USAir serves the route direct MCI-CLT-RDU with no change of aircraft, and WN serves it one-stop through BNA, IND, MDW, and others. However, RDU losing several n/s flights on WN does strike me as odd.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:03 am

Just a few thoughts....

WN just ran a 73.2% load factor for August. That's real high for them. It means they are carrying some psgrs somewhere.

If the RDU-SJC via MCI or RDU-AUS flights were light, due to the decline in the tech biz, it makes sense to redeploy the aircraft elsewhere.

Anybody ever think they may be trying to get some planes from someplace so that they are able to put them somewhere.....like maybe STL ???
 
deltairlines
Posts: 7108
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: Southwest: No More RDU-MCI

Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:22 pm

I too am a little surprised by this. It seemed to me that MCI and RDU were going to be growing spots in the WN system...for example, WN offers MHT-MCI, which I don't see much of a market for, and there had been strong speculation a few years back that MHT-RDU was coming up. While the tech bubble might have something to do with it, I don't think you can blame it all on that. In Northern Massachusetts/Southern New Hampshire, there is/was a strong tech business. However, MHT (which is just as convinent as BOS for many of these companies) has grown in terms of both flights and passengers since 2000 (I don't have exact numbers, but I think MHT has grown around 7-10% since this time), and while BOS has taken some cuts, they have been rebounding. While I am not that familiar with the RDU area (I will be making my first visit to Raleigh/Durham next week), I am sure there is more than the tech industry there.

Jeff

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