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lhpdx
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Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:56 pm

Now that Seattle has 3 functioning runways and much of it's focus is for passengers to connect thru it's Seattle hub, Is there truly a need for a secondary hub at PDX?
 
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:04 am

PDX is profitable, and as long as the current operations there continue to remain profitable (or show there's even more demand there), expect it to remain a sizable operation for AS.
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HPRamper
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:28 am

Considering how small the AS network is, all their major stations almost seem like hubs compared to the majors. PDX falls in that gray area, sort of like a focus city but not quite a hub, although connections across the region can be made via QX. If SEA flights are full, pax can also transit PDX to SEA via the QX shuttle which runs numerous times through the day and even has a dedicated line through security. Simply put, another hub isn't needed so close to SEA, and hubs at SEA, ANC and arguably LAX is quite enough for the West Coast.

All that said, it would be nice to see some QX expansion at PDX. Currently (as a general rule, not an absolute one) QX seems to serve mainly destinations in Washington from SEA and only destinations in Oregon from PDX.

Side note/question: Does QX only operate the Q400 now, or do they have anything smaller?
 
doug_or
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:50 am

Quoting lhpdx (Thread starter):
Now that Seattle has 3 functioning runways and much of it's focus is for passengers to connect thru it's Seattle hub, Is there truly a need for a secondary hub at PDX?

I believe most of Alaska's traffic is O&D, not connections. Even Horizon had something like only 30% connecting passengers last time I saw published info (2007is?)
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toobz
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:18 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 2):
Side note/question: Does QX only operate the Q400 now, or do they have anything smaller?

No. Only the Q400s.

I believe AS will not be shrinking their PDX operations. They do very well here.
 
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RWA380
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:13 am

Portlanders love their AS, it as much of a hometown airline as we'll ever have. And in turn anyone who really flies inand from the NW is a loyal AS flyer, others have tried, WN, AA (twice) even UA has taken away flights where they compete with AS, while AS has increased. I would be surprised if Q400 capable routes would go mainline any time soon, but I think AS is fully committed to PDX, heck they are the major support of the Portland Timbers MLS soccer franchise.
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alasizon
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:49 am

As someone who travels through PDX on AS and QX a lot, I can tell you that PDX is needed and serves some very important routes (and actually doesn't have enough gates between 7p-10a). I often will make a connection in PDX just to avoid SEA if possible (or avoid SEA for a longer period of time) as I find PDX to be a very nice airport and the internet at PDX is very fast and reliable (unlike many airport WiFi networks). Likewise, fares connecting through PDX are also cheaper out of SNA and LAX (from which I fly to PDX most often) but the flights are almost always full during spring, summer and winter. During the fall, the PDX-So Cal flights are often much emptier in my experience (once had a plane to SNA with only 47 pax). Overall though, it is my opinion, combined with the now cutback QX operation that PDX is needed because it provides a link for most of Oregon and also provides secondary connecting options and overflow. (Not to mention that PDX has some of the highest yields for AS in the lower 48)
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toobz
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:14 am

Forgot to add AS has a very huge FF base in PDX. Trust me it will remain a "hub".
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:02 am

Quoting lhpdx (Thread starter):
Now that Seattle has 3 functioning runways and much of it's focus is for passengers to connect thru it's Seattle hub

SEA, like other coastal hubs, has relatively little focus on connections. Most of the flights thrive because of strong O&D, and do not rely on much connecting traffic. Connecting through SEA really only makes sense if you are headed to smaller cities in the Pacific Northwest (i.e. GEG, YYJ, BLI), or are en route to Alaska or Asia. You'd have to be pretty crazy to do something like SFO-SEA-DEN or LAX-SEA-ORD, that's for sure!

Quoting lhpdx (Thread starter):
Is there truly a need for a secondary hub at PDX?

Let's get one thing clear. You make it sound as if SEA was a notoriously congested airport before the third runway opened, leading AS to develop a secondary hub at PDX akin to CO's CLE and AA's STL, which took pressure off those carriers' EWR and ORD hubs respectively. That was never the case, AS has long been a local favorite of the Pacific Northwest - strong local loyalty allowed them to develop hubs at both SEA and PDX, while even YVR was an impressive "focus city" until fairly recently.

PDX, like SEA, caters primarily to local O&D. In fact, it seems most AS/QX/OO connections are routed via SEA, with the notable exception of secondary Oregon markets. I'd say the hub is quite sustainable as is, and flights are upgauged/increased/added as per the needs of Portland itself, and downgraded/downgauged/cut for the same reasons. For example, we saw ORD added when AA dropped it; ditto for HNL after DL quit flying there. Meanwhile, AS ended DEN after WN jumped in to that market nonstop from PDX. This is why I do not think PDX-LIH will happen anytime soon: Portland simply is too small a market to be supporting its own nonstop service to the beautiful (but far less popular) Kauai island.

Bottom line - so long as Portlanders keep supporting AS, the hub will be fine. It is largely dependent on O&D as oppose to connecting traffic, which makes for a very sustainable operation.
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:40 am

In fact PDX was only the second city AS flew to in the lower 48 states when they started to expand.

As far as PDX being the connecting point for Oregon, only LMT is not available non-stop from SEA, RDM, EUG & MFR all are, IIRC, AS has dropped PDT & OTH.
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doug_or
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:13 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 9):
only LMT is not available non-stop from SEA, RDM, EUG & MFR all are, IIRC, AS has dropped PDT & OTH

They've also dropped LMT.
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HPRamper
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:43 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 9):
As far as PDX being the connecting point for Oregon, only LMT is not available non-stop from SEA, RDM, EUG & MFR all are, IIRC, AS has dropped PDT & OTH.
Quoting doug_Or (Reply 10):
They've also dropped LMT.

Casualties of the Dash-8-200 dismissal   Q400 is simply too much plane for those markets.
 
chrisair
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:28 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 5):
And in turn anyone who really flies inand from the NW is a loyal AS flyer, others have tried, WN, AA (twice) even UA has taken away flights where they compete with AS, while AS has increased.

Not to nitpick, but flying inland from PDX means you're flying east. For that you're on WN, DL, UACO or a lesser extent AA/F9.

Down the coast where AS flies out of PDX, I wouldn't consider switching PDX-SJC/OAK/SFO from 737s to Q400s to be "increasing" service....Everything else has had frequency cuts over the years. I want my 800p PDX-PHX flight back on AS. Right now, I have to take a 630p WN flight or a 145p flight on AS.
 
HPRamper
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:58 pm

Quoting chrisair (Reply 12):
Not to nitpick, but flying inland from PDX means you're flying east. For that you're on WN, DL, UACO or a lesser extent AA/F9.

I think RWA meant "in and from" not "inland." It makes a lot more sense that way  
Quoting chrisair (Reply 12):
Down the coast where AS flies out of PDX, I wouldn't consider switching PDX-SJC/OAK/SFO from 737s to Q400s to be "increasing" service....

I have found the Q400s in fact to be more comfortable than 737s. Maybe not as quick, but a flight from PDX to the Bay Area isn't terribly long in any case. Unless you have an aversion to props...
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:33 pm

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 8):
SEA, like other coastal hubs, has relatively little focus on connections. Most of the flights thrive because of strong O&D, and do not rely on much connecting traffic. Connecting through SEA really only makes sense if you are headed to smaller cities in the Pacific Northwest (i.e. GEG, YYJ, BLI), or are en route to Alaska or Asia. You'd have to be pretty crazy to do something like SFO-SEA-DEN or LAX-SEA-ORD, that's for sure!

I have seen pax making connections to/from the east coast through SEA. I was on a DCA-SEA flight some time ago and amongst the vast majority making connections at SEA and ANC to places in AK, there were some that were going to places like PDX, OAK and SJC...bag tags give it away. Maybe it's those hardcore AS supporters that are willing to take those flights.

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 3):
I believe most of Alaska's traffic is O&D, not connections. Even Horizon had something like only 30% connecting passengers last time I saw published info (2007is?)

There are more pax making connections through PDX to SEA than you think.
 
nutsaboutplanes
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:38 pm

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 14):
There are more pax making connections through PDX to SEA than you think.

A good portion of the seats on the more than hourly Q service between PDX and SEA are filled with them.
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lhpdx
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 14):
There are more pax making connections through PDX to SEA than you think.

A good portion of the seats on the more than hourly Q service between PDX and SEA are filled with them.

This is definitely news to me, but good to hear...Alaska aparently utilizes both airport quite efficently..............
 
lhpdx
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:15 pm

Just curious....Does Alaska plan to expand out of PDX in the near future or it primary focus is more expansion at Sea//tac?
 
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:52 pm

Quoting lhpdx (Reply 17):
Does Alaska plan to expand out of PDX... ..or it primary focus is more expansion at Sea//tac?

Yes.  
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QXatFAT
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:02 pm

PDX will not fade away by any means. People living in the Portland area love their airport and love AS being there also. I fly a lot between PDX and FAT being that my company has our two main facilities here and there. These flights are full almost all the time (even when we had the CRJ flying an extra flight), but so are the other flights heading south. I don't quite understand though the service between PDX and SMF being only on a Q400. Are the yields that bad that you can't run a Boeing bird on it?

I have noticed though fewer and fewer larger aircraft here and of course pulling into the airport the first thing you see are all the nice UA 737's and 757's. UA's presence is still very much alive at PDX with the mainline and also UAX service. It is a battle ground for the two carriers which goes to show, AS is not moving anytime soon.
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HPRamper
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:23 am

Quoting QXatFAT (Reply 19):
I have noticed though fewer and fewer larger aircraft here and of course pulling into the airport the first thing you see are all the nice UA 737's and 757's. UA's presence is still very much alive at PDX with the mainline and also UAX service. It is a battle ground for the two carriers which goes to show, AS is not moving anytime soon.

UA is a bit down the list of competition for AS. WN is by far the closest competitor, but AS/QX beats them in enplanements by quite a bit. Behind WN is a distant UA+CO and DL, which enplane similar numbers but only a fraction of what AS/QX takes.

Sadly, the UAX minihub at PDX is gone, taking with it almost all connecting opportunities at the airport via UA.
 
CGKings317
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:36 am

Im kind of curious that AS has yet to start PDX-LIH. Its the only airport not currently served from PDX by AS. Any plans to expand to that Island and fill a void?

Reardless, AS does have a excelent menu of destinations served from PDX. If they just expanded to LIH and YYC (and DCA if additional slots get opened up) then that would make the situation even more great.

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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:21 am

I would expect that if AS gets another perimeter exclusion, it will be used for PDX-DCA service, not SJC-DCA like others have speculated in other threads. I'm also expecting PDX-LIH to be announced 2012.

PDX-SEA is full hourly because AS does connect PDX passengers through SEA to the many destinations they or any partner don't serve non-stop from PDX, MCO, MIA, AUS, DCA etc..... Any loyal PDX AS flier will connect in SEA, we have been doing it for many years back. The 30 min hop to SEA is nothing if you can go non-stop from there.

A big O/D market will always exist between the two cities, but don't discount the amount of connections AS does for themselves and many other carriers.



Quoting HPRamper (Reply 13):
Quoting HPRamper (Reply 13):
I think RWA meant "in and from" not "inland." It makes a lot more sense that way

Thanks HPRamper, that is exactly what I meant, yes it does make much more sense.

Oh yeah, since we're talking about PDX and AS, is BOI-PDX the only route WN operates from BOI after Jan 2012? If so, why didn't AS squash them in this market as well?
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chrisair
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:01 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 22):
Oh yeah, since we're talking about PDX and AS, is BOI-PDX the only route WN operates from BOI after Jan 2012?

Looks like they will also operate BOI-GEG. WN also has the standard non stops to LAS, DEN, PHX and OAK from Boise.

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 22):
PDX-SEA is full hourly because AS does connect PDX passengers through SEA to the many destinations they or any partner don't serve non-stop from PDX, MCO, MIA, AUS, DCA etc..... Any loyal PDX AS flier will connect in SEA, we have been doing it for many years back. The 30 min hop to SEA is nothing if you can go non-stop from there.

The shuttle runs every 30 minutes during the commute times in the morning and evening. I know several regulars on the shuttles that live in PDX and work in SEA or vice versa. A lot of times I'll route through Seattle just to get the extra segments/EQMs. It only adds an hour and typically $10 to the ticket cost, plus there's a better schedule a lot of times...

They used to run those flights every 30 minutes all day when they had the Q200s. It was (and still is, somewhat) the most stress free way to get to Seattle. I haven't tried Sea Port though...
 
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:03 am

I think PDX is safe as is. I doubt it would grow much or shrink much. I think its pretty right sized to get o&d and be a backup for SEA as a mini hub. I just wish the delta mini hub was still there too
 
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:21 am

Quoting chrisair (Reply 23):
Quoting chrisair (Reply 23):
A lot of times I'll route through Seattle just to get the extra segments/EQMs. It only adds an hour and typically $10 to the ticket cost, plus there's a better schedule a lot of times...

I have a good friend that does this about 12 times a year to get gold status PDX-SEA-SMF, gets a jet to upgrade on as well
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:53 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 22):


PDX-SEA is full hourly because AS does connect PDX passengers through SEA to the many destinations they or any partner don't serve non-stop from PDX, MCO, MIA, AUS, DCA etc..... Any loyal PDX AS flier will connect in SEA, we have been doing it for many years back. The 30 min hop to SEA is nothing if you can go non-stop from there.

I wonder how many pax connect the other way? SEA-PDX-XXX? With different schedules out of SEA/PDX a SEA pax might find a connection at PDX more timely at certain times of the day.
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gunsontheroof
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:05 pm

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 26):
I wonder how many pax connect the other way? SEA-PDX-XXX? With different schedules out of SEA/PDX a SEA pax might find a connection at PDX more timely at certain times of the day.

They'll pop up on suggested itineraries here and there, particularly if you're searching for something from Seattle to California/Nevada/Arizona. I've seen some decent fares here and there (even some that included a further connection in California), but I doubt AS puts much focus on funneling Seattle-West Coast traffic through PDX given the available options they have at SEA.
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BlatantEcho
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:12 pm

PDX is its own market that AS serves its loyal travelers like me quite well.

I think we all hope that Alaska can add a few more long haul non stops (Florida and Denver coming back would be amazing, but I know unlikely), but for the most part I think we are a happy lot.

Rarely do I have to connect to Seattle to get where I want to go. With the tie in with Delta (and to a much lesser extent out of Portland, American) I can get to most places with one stop.

We don't have the same frequencies, we don't have nearly the same destinations, but our town is also a lot smaller.
At the same time, the economy in Portland is terrible and likely not to get better for a while. If I'm flying out of a tier 2 city, I make sure to appreciate the quick, efficient and very painless airport that is PDX.

Last night I came in SMF-PDX. I was plane to train (MAX light rail), in just under 5 minutes.
 
HPRamper
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Quoting BlatantEcho (Reply 28):
Last night I came in SMF-PDX. I was plane to train (MAX light rail), in just under 5 minutes.

I think that's only possible flying AS...closest gates to that side of the terminal   Primo spot, if I say so myself. The US Airways gates are quite a hike from security.
 
doug_or
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:42 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 20):
Sadly, the UAX minihub at PDX is gone, taking with it almost all connecting opportunities at the airport via UA.

What do you mean? UAX still serves SEA, EUG, RDM, OTH, and LMT from PDX (plus LAX and and some of the SFO and DEN flights).
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chrisair
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:44 pm

Quoting OzarkD9S (Reply 26):
I wonder how many pax connect the other way? SEA-PDX-XXX? With different schedules out of SEA/PDX a SEA pax might find a connection at PDX more timely at certain times of the day.

I've done this quite a bit as well. A lot of times the night SEA-SAN flight will be full, or more expensive than the SEA-PDX-SAN run.
 
HPRamper
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 30):
What do you mean? UAX still serves SEA, EUG, RDM, OTH, and LMT from PDX (plus LAX and and some of the SFO and DEN flights).

I meant only the Brasilia hub - not counting any UAX jets to LAX, SFO etc. And I'm jumping ahead of myself a bit. It does feel like a lot of Brasilia flying out of PDX has already switched to CRJ or been cut in frequency.
 
BlatantEcho
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:49 pm

Oddly enough, I just a few minutes ago booked my first Portland flight with a tag to Seattle.

PDX-SEA-LGB. There is a direct PDX-LGB flight on JetBlue (and I almost always take the most direct flights available), but as MVPGold, Alaska takes care of me enough for me to route through SEA, add a couple hours of transit time and etc.

I wasn't thinking of this thread when I booked up, but it's funny how they get their claws in you.

--
I'm working on a few day trip to Antigua in February, and although United/Continental have a good routing via EWR, I'm sticking to AA and Delta even though it's a little more complex because of perks with Alaska.


I guess there are enough people like me in PDX that make sure Alaska makes a tidy profit locally.
 
doug_or
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:56 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 32):
I meant only the Brasilia hub - not counting any UAX jets to LAX, SFO etc. And I'm jumping ahead of myself a bit. It does feel like a lot of Brasilia flying out of PDX has already switched to CRJ or been cut in frequency.

MFR was cut in FEB of this year, but SEA, RDM, and EUG are all still going. OTH and LMT were both additions probably in 2008 or 2009. Not sure about RDM and EUG, but SEA has increased in frequencies overall over the last few years (it fluctuates seasonally, but on average there seems to be more flights).
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:07 am

Quoting BlatantEcho (Reply 33):
Quoting BlatantEcho (Reply 33):
I guess there are enough people like me in PDX that make sure Alaska makes a tidy profit locally.

Exactly my point, there are many of travellers just like you here in Portland, there will have to be an act of God to keep loyal AS fliers from going that extra step to remain on AS when it's feasible. I am guilty to a lesser extent of it too, and it feels good. AS has been loyal to PDX and PDX has been loyal to AS.

There are always those that WN, B6 or NK now, will attract, but when it comes down to it, you just get more from your experience flying AS than you do the others AS has found the magical mix of good service, good management, good aircraft and destination choices in a part of the country large enough that flying is much more nessisary to get around and forged good relations with those who use and needs their services. Kudos AS, and PDX for such a nice facility.
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RE: Portland: Alaska's Secondary Hub 2011

Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:46 am

Honestly, how many carriers have the luxury of having a fully functioning hub 30 mins down the road from their main base, just in case there are diversions at the other point? I have been SEA bound and ended up in PDX and vice-versa. A few times a 3 1/2 hour motorcoach ride was the solution when there was no hope of flying in the near future. PDX & SEA are both awesome for AS.
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
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