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747megatop
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United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:26 pm

Could LAX have served as a better fortress hub for UA compared to SFO? Here are the following advantages i see with LAX (which of course happens to be by home airport and i love LAX because of very less weather related delays all year round)

1) Better runway configuration compared to SFO; which means lesser weather related delays and more througput.
2) Better year round weather which again translates to lesser weather related delays. SFO area is notorious for fog and rain. Yes, LAX does get fog & rain but doesn't seem as bad as SFO.
3) LAX serves one of the largest O&D catchment areas in the US and perhaps the world. Even if there is competition on most routes; wouldn't UA do better in LAX just based on the sheer O&D numbers combined with the fact that there would be connecting traffic if it made LAX the hub?

Of course, the only downside i see is that the united terminals in LAX suck.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:46 pm

Yes weather is better, and ATC capacity is much better as well at LAX, but remember UA's Pacific network was built on Pan Am, which at the time of transfer had a bigger operation at SFO. This worked out well for UA as it also was big at SFO with a maintenance base and all.

Fast forward, they have evolved into having majority market share at SFO on international flying, not something that they likely could have achieved at larger LAX.

Anyhow, the markets are also different. Due smaller local volume at SFO, the seat capacity they have exceeds local market demand so they have good deal of room for transfer flow. Similar to how IAD functions on the East Coast.

It worked out well imo for UA..
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N62NA
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:12 pm

Also, SFO is closer to most if not all of the Pacific destinations UA serves, compared to LAX.
 
modesto2
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:16 pm

Your points are all true, but keep in mind that SFO offers shorter flights to Asia than does LAX. While the local traffic is smaller than LAX, it's geographically more convenient for connections. When considering only geography and flight time, it's analogous to using a closer transatlantic connecting point such as JFK instead of ATL. Granted, one could also argue that SFO's frequent GDPs remove any time advantage associated with its closer proximity to Asia  

As LAXintl also mentioned, UA has a much better chance of dominance at SFO than in LAX. LAX's market share (domestic and international) is far more fragmented although one could argue that had UA established a larger LAX hub, then it would be more dominant there. Although that hypothetical is probably true, it's also fair to say that a larger LAX hub at UA would not yield the same type of dominant market share that UA enjoys at SFO.

I also agree with your comments about UA's subpar terminal facilities at LAX. I'll gladly take SFO's international terminal on any day but of course, that consideration was not present or relevant many years ago when UA selected its SFO hub.
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:18 pm

Going back to even well before the Pan Am Pacific routes acquisition, United has a long legacy in SFO. Initially when UA first started operating coast to coast in the late 20's/early 30's when the pistons of the day pretty much had to avoid any terrain taller than 8000-9000 ft., SFO was the West Coast end of the most direct air route to Chicago and New York. From here they branched up and down the coast. So initially, as far back as then, they had developed the precursor of a hub in SFO. The hub just never really lost its importance over the years, and they eventually built their MOC (Maintenance Operations Center) there, got the Pan Am routes, so on and so forth.
 
747megatop
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:26 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 2):
Also, SFO is closer to most if not all of the Pacific destinations UA serves, compared to LAX.

is that an important factor? LAX-HKG versus LAX-SFO for example is only 290 nm longer; doesn't seem that much of a difference to me when we are talking about a 14 hour intercontinental flight.

[Edited 2013-09-19 16:30:51]
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:35 pm

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 5):
is that an important factor? LAX-HKG versus LAX-SFO for example is only 290 nm longer; doesn't see that much of a difference to me when we are talking about a 14 hour intercontinental flight.

Again go back to Pan Am.

PA was doing SFO-HKG, not LAX-HKG at the acquisition. Only Far East flight Pan Am had at LAX at the time was NRT. South Pac was from LAX, but Far East was from SFO.

Could they have done different? Sure. Could they likely have been as successful at LAX? Probably.

But at the end UA kept and built upon what PA had, not reinvent the wheel at LAX.
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N62NA
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:51 pm

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 5):
is that an important factor? LAX-HKG versus LAX-SFO for example is only 290 nm longer; doesn't seem that much of a difference to me when we are talking about a 14 hour intercontinental flight.

It's about 45 minutes additional flying time. That's a somewhat significant fuel saving.
 
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RWA380
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:59 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):
UA's Pacific network was built on Pan Am,

As PA pioneered the Pacific, it was done from San Francisco because of the natural transportation hub that it already was. Ships from the Pacific rim and rail routes from the East often terminated in the bay area.

[Edited 2013-09-19 17:25:56]
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Viscount724
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:07 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
Quoting 747megatop (Reply 5):
is that an important factor? LAX-HKG versus LAX-SFO for example is only 290 nm longer; doesn't see that much of a difference to me when we are talking about a 14 hour intercontinental flight.

Again go back to Pan Am.

PA was doing SFO-HKG, not LAX-HKG at the acquisition. Only Far East flight Pan Am had at LAX at the time was NRT. South Pac was from LAX, but Far East was from SFO.

Many bilaterals only permitted transpacific service from/to SFO in those days.
 
SurfandSnow
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:20 am

Quoting 747megatop (Thread starter):
Could LAX have served as a better fortress hub for UA compared to SFO?

No. UA has been the dominant carrier at SFO since the 1930s, whereas LAX was always much more competitive - a hub or focus city or prominent international gateway for several different airlines throughout its history. Although UA has always been one of the strongest carriers at LAX, they could have never made it into a "fortress hub" with AA, DL, WN, AS, TW, and so many foreign carriers taking such great interest in the market.

Quoting 747megatop (Thread starter):
1) Better runway configuration compared to SFO; which means lesser weather related delays and more througput.

The runways are all long and parallel, but LAX has suffered from notorious issues with runway incursions. Although SFO's parallel runway pairs intersect, the airport still maintained a better safety record than LAX.

Quoting 747megatop (Thread starter):
2) Better year round weather which again translates to lesser weather related delays. SFO area is notorious for fog and rain. Yes, LAX does get fog & rain but doesn't seem as bad as SFO.

LAX certainly has better weather than SFO, but airlines will happily forgo operational efficiency for better yields. If good weather was UA's primary concern, rather than serving the most lucrative markets, they'd run their transpacific hub out of KOA.

Quoting 747megatop (Thread starter):
3) LAX serves one of the largest O&D catchment areas in the US and perhaps the world. Even if there is competition on most routes; wouldn't UA do better in LAX just based on the sheer O&D numbers combined with the fact that there would be connecting traffic if it made LAX the hub?

LAX is (or was, as of 2010) the number one O&D airport in the country, and the six busiest airport in the world in terms of overall passenger traffic. The market is huge, but the competition is fierce. Believe it or not, UA does a great job serving the needs of LAX travelers, without offering excess/redundant/loss-making capacity. An RJ to SEA or a connection en route to ATL may not be ideal for FFers (or a.net enthusiasts), but UA adequately serves all of the top domestic and international LAX markets nonstop - Austin, Boston, Cabo, Chicago, D.C., Denver, DFW, Guadalajara, Hawaii, London, Mexico City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Vegas. Plus they offer a whole bunch of other nonstop stuff from Boise and Wichita to Hilo and Pittsburgh, and plenty of Star Alliance/partner codeshares offering virtual nonstops to the likes of Auckland, Beijing, Frankfurt, Toronto, etc.

Bear in mind that nearly 3/4 of the Greater Los Angeles market traffic uses LAX (the remainder spread across BUR, LGB, ONT, and SNA), while less than 70% of the Bay Area market traffic uses SFO. The overall numbers for SFO may not be as impressive as LAX due to greater fragmentation across Bay Area airports, but SFO is also a much smaller and wealthier market, and these days doing quite a bit better economically than LA. Why battle numerous carriers for additional unnecessary market share at LAX, when you enjoy a huge chunk of SFO to yourself?

Quoting 747megatop (Thread starter):
Of course, the only downside i see is that the united terminals in LAX suck.

I wouldn't say SFO Terminal 3 (or Terminal 1) are any better. Both UA hub facilities at SFO and LAX are getting much needed makeovers, though.
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:26 am

Quoting 747megatop (Thread starter):
Could LAX have served as a better fortress hub for UA compared to SFO? Here are the following advantages i see with LAX (which of course happens to be by home airport and i love LAX because of very less weather related delays all year round)

1) Better runway configuration compared to SFO; which means lesser weather related delays and more througput.
2) Better year round weather which again translates to lesser weather related delays. SFO area is notorious for fog and rain. Yes, LAX does get fog & rain but doesn't seem as bad as SFO.
3) LAX serves one of the largest O&D catchment areas in the US and perhaps the world. Even if there is competition on most routes; wouldn't UA do better in LAX just based on the sheer O&D numbers combined with the fact that there would be connecting traffic if it made LAX the hub?

Of course, the only downside i see is that the united terminals in LAX suck.
UA supports all the major O&D market from LAX on a point to point basis.

Generally the West Coast is terrible for a hub for one significant insurmountable reason, there's nothing West or South. Hawaii is limited and Asia is too far. There's virtually no non tourist or VFR traffic to the South (Mexico and Central America). Cities are too far apart and have limited business traffic compared to the East Coast. SFO is just better positioned to capture 'some' of that connecting traffic in the West.

SFO is better given it's slightly closer to Asia, and it can support limited, although still tiny, North/South connectivity (PAC NW to Southern Cal). In addition, flying UA anywhere East via SFO to YVR/SFO/SAN/RNO/SBA/PDX/LAS/LAX/SNA/and the multitude of smaller regional airports in the region can all be supported bi-directionaly at SFO whereas at LAX it would be a long way out of the way.

That's pretty much the reason.

[Edited 2013-09-19 17:31:18]
 
SFOHORIZON
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:11 am

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 10):
I wouldn't say SFO Terminal 3 (or Terminal 1) are any better. Both UA hub facilities at SFO and LAX are getting much needed makeovers, though.

I will take United's Terminal 3 at SFO any day of the week over United's LAX terminals.

I generally fly United so I don't have much experience with Terminal 1 at SFO; Thus far, I have managed to avoid the few United flights that occasionally depart from Terminal 1.

That being said, SFO Terminal 1 is scheduled for a complete overhaul. One section is being totally rebuilt while the rest of it is geting gutted. Terminal 3 is getting some major upgrades, but they are mostly mechanical, HVAC, etc... and not cosmetic.
 
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SFOA380
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:15 am

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 10):
LAX is (or was, as of 2010) the number one O&D airport in the country

I was always wondered if this was based on percentages or raw numbers. I'd be curious to know the ranking of the top 10 CSAs O&D pax based on percentages vs. raw numbers...
 
Max Q
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:21 am

Furthermore UA does have a hub at LAX.


Not as big as SFO but they do have a hub there.
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washingtonflyer
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:27 am

I think part of the problem with LAX as a connecting hub is that its too far south to be effective. 100 miles from the border and far, far west.

SFO is a more natural flow through point IMHO.
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:31 am

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 10):
UA adequately serves all of the top domestic and international LAX markets nonstop - Austin, Boston, Cabo, Chicago, D.C., Denver, DFW, Guadalajara, Hawaii, London, Mexico City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Vegas.

  

Other than PDX and SEA, UA have a very decent network at LAX that is optimised for O&D. To be fair, that's precisely what LAX was envisaged as when the airport was built.

As for the PacNW, the up-and-down the coast flying is dominated by AS and WN. Other than some token flights to feed connecting banks, the other carriers are an afterthought in that market.
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platinumfoota
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:40 am

Not enough Space!       United could grow at LAX but there is not enough gates for them to grow. Every summer, flights increase and planes have to wait for a gate during peak hours, some are even sent to the hanger. Only 4 gates are big enough to fit a 777 and 3 a 747. Terminal 8 can't fit anything bigger than an A320.
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:31 am

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 10):
I wouldn't say SFO Terminal 3 (or Terminal 1) are any better. Both UA hub facilities at SFO and LAX are getting much needed makeovers, though.

...SFO T3 is a great facility. Completely open and uncongested inside with great food and seating options. The new pier in T3 will be great. The lobby areas are completely new - and while security could use some capacity, its not too bad anymore.

Concourse G is a world class facility. The FIS is a little slow.

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 15):
I think part of the problem with LAX as a connecting hub is that its too far south to be effective. 100 miles from the border and far, far west.

SFO is much farther West than LAX is.

NS
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:09 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):
PA was doing SFO-HKG, not LAX-HKG at the acquisition. Only Far East flight Pan Am had at LAX at the time was NRT. South Pac was from LAX, but Far East was from SFO.

IIRC, there used to be more Asian traffic through SFO than LAX, for various reasons noted above. Also, recall, UA pretty much dominated SFO long before there were planes that could fly to Hong Kong or other places non-stop. The 747SP was the first that could do some of those. Prior to that, shorter routes so perhaps SFO's location made more of a difference. Same for LAX and South Pacific. I recall seeing a 707 from China landing at SFO, back in the days when going to China was a major undertaking, had to be on an organized, tour, etc. That flight was a big deal, and it didn't go to LAX. Plus LAX had a more splintered set of airlines.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:20 am

Quoting platinumfoota (Reply 17):
Not enough Space!       United could grow at LAX but there is not enough gates for them to grow. Every summer, flights increase and planes have to wait for a gate during peak hours, some are even sent to the hanger. Only 4 gates are big enough to fit a 777 and 3 a 747. Terminal 8 can't fit anything bigger than an A320.

Yeah but UA LAX circa 2013 has nothing to do with circa 1985.

UA LAX could look very different the same manner SFO looks very different in 2013 vs 1985.
UA has funded 3 makeovers at LAX in the last 30-years and surely could have, and would have acted differently if LAX was its primary TransPac hub.

Looking back north, possibly without UA as a major tenant, SFO would not have gotten a new international terminal either...
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LH7478i
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:35 am

I think the simplest answer is history. There was something at SFO (Pan Am) and United build on it. It is not always pure economics.
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:05 pm

San Francisco has historically been the economically dominant city on the West Coast. Los Angeles did not really become important until the 1960's; well after UA/PA had established their Asian operations at SFO.
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:19 pm

Where at LAX could United duplicate what they have in SFO ? There is not enough real estate.
 
jayunited
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:36 pm

I agree that UA terminals at LAX need to be renovated and I believe UA has announced plans to do just that but I think LAXintl is right. UA was already strong at SFO and continued building upon their strength and that of Pan Am, while LAX does have better weather and a better layout when it come to runway design LAX also has a lot of competition from foreign carriers. If we go back to the mid 90's and look at all the international departures UA had from LAX and compare that to what we have now and what is to come you will see that UA has either down-gaged or canceled a lot a international flights out of LAX for many different reasons. LAX is one of those markets that is dominated by international carriers while most US legacy carriers seem reluctant to jump into the fight, and I don't understand why LAX is so different because if you look at JFK you will notice a correlation between LAX and JFK in that both of these airports are dominated by international carriers but the difference at JFK is both DL and AA have sizable international operations from JFK while at LAX all legacies seem to be comfortable with the international coverage they currently have.

If you were to use DL as a recent example instead of DL trying to push their way into the international market from LAX they decided to go with SEA and the same argument could be made there. Why has DL chosen SEA over LAX? I am going to assume that is was for the same reason why UA chose SFO over LAX and at this particular point in time I really don't believe that any US legacy carrier believe's that LAX if worth the fight especially when flying to Asia.

So for UA SFO just made better since they were already strong there they took over for Pan Am and although there is competition from international carriers UA clearly is the dominate carrier at SFO and they don't have to get involved in the fight over LAX.
 
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airzim
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:45 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 24):
If you were to use DL as a recent example instead of DL trying to push their way into the international market from LAX they decided to go with SEA and the same argument could be made there. Why has DL chosen SEA over LAX? I am going to assume that is was for the same reason why UA chose SFO over LAX and at this particular point in time I really don't believe that any US legacy carrier believe's that LAX if worth the fight especially when flying to Asia.

Sorry to re-state the obvious, this has everything to do with geography. Not legacy Pan Am, not terminals, or runway layouts. As a 'hub,' there is no other logical alternative west of the Rockies.
 
AADC10
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:38 pm

UA planned a real hub at LAX similar to SFO in the late 1990s. When it became clear that LAX was never going to build a fifth runway or increase terminal space, UA put the plans on hold and the bursting of the .com bubble killed it. UA calls LAX a hub anyway even though it does not have the transpacific routes envisioned earlier.
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:59 pm

Quoting airzim (Reply 25):

Sorry to re-state the obvious, this has everything to do with geography. Not legacy Pan Am, not terminals, or runway layouts. As a 'hub,' there is no other logical alternative west of the Rockies
Quoting RWA380 (Reply 8):

As PA pioneered the Pacific, it was done from San Francisco because of the natural transportation hub that it already was. Ships from the Pacific rim and rail routes from the East often terminated in the bay area.

Well said airzim, I requoted my own words, as it seems that it needs to be said again.

San Francisco bay, makes a perfectly natural transportation hub, it was there long before the advent of the aircraft.

San Francisco is also the banking center in the west, there is a US mint there. The only one west of the rockies.

[Edited 2013-09-20 09:01:29]
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:19 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 23):
Where at LAX could United duplicate what they have in SFO ? There is not enough real estate.

UA could have easily grown its real estate at LAX over the last 30-years since the Pacific take over.
Just like SFO grew from the cramped Intl terminal in 1985 into a new one, UA could have built whatever it wanted at LAX.

For example UA rebuilt the T-8 concourse in the 90s. This at one time handled up to DC-10's but UA reconfigured it for 737/320s because thats what they wanted.
Similar they also restructured T-7 gates and actually removed 747 capable gate, in favor of more narrow body gates.

Also UA had plans for an all new concourse (T-9) to be located at their hangars on the otherside of the Sepulveda tunnel, but passed on the idea after the Shuttle by United product died.

Lastly, UA could have made a deal with LAWA for use of the international terminal as well.

So at the end, things could have played out very different at LAX, if needed by UA. Terminals are set up the manner they are today as that is what their tenants wished for.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 26):
When it became clear that LAX was never going to build a fifth runway or increase terminal space,

Why would LAX ever require a 5th runway? It operates at far below physical capacity.

And for gate space, its all up to the airlines. United had opportunity to build whatever it wanted at LAX if it needed the real estate.
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milesrich
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:53 pm

United's West Coast hub has always been at SFO. Until 1947, their only entry into the LA basin was on the two north south routes from SFO, the inland route via SCK-MOD-MCE-FAT-VIS-BFL, and the coastal route via MRY-SLS-SBA. Flights could continue on to SAN, with a stop at LGB. In the DC-3 days, they had an interchange with Western Air Lines via SLC to service LA from the East. As has been pointed out, the LAX market was always much more competitive, where UA dominated the SFO market, especially for coast to coast travel and to Chicago. American only served SFO via DAL until the mid 50's when TWA got authority to DEN, UA was allowed back into MKC, and AA was allowed to serve SFO via CHI. Also, there is better feed into SFO, as there were more smaller cities that UA served to feed traffic from that were closer to SFO. United's main maintenance base has always been at SFO. And from 1947 to 1978, west of DEN, United could only serve LAS, and GJT on routes to the East from LAX. In the old days, there were only connections to the east through LAX from FAT, BFL, SBA, SAN, and HNL that didn't require a stop prior to LAX. United also served LGB with a once a day flight to and from LAX until about 1961. So when Deregulation came, the hub was already at SFO, and much bigger than the mini hub at LAX. There was no gate space to move it to at LAX, even if they wanted to. Therefore, they stayed at SFO. Cities with flights to SFO that connected east were SAC-SMF, SCK, MOD, MCE, FAT, SBA, MRY, MFR, SLE, EUG, RNO, HNL. There were also nonstops to BOI, GEG, PDX, SEA.
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:17 pm

If you compare the airport infrastructure in Los Angeles versus, for example, NY, there really isn't much of an alternative to LAX for the area whereas NY has more capacity and relative geographic equity. Nearby airports in LA are way too small (and not even particularly nearby in some cases) or so distant (ONT) that there just isn't a viable O&D base aside from LAX. Thus, every airline fights for as dominant a position in the market as is profitable. Plus, with capped growth on the lone airport that could potentially be a hub, any major attempt for a coup to build a connecting hub is going to be a massive uphill climb to pilfer market share from competitors.

In NY, with 3 airports and their own lists of pros and cons, but none being particularly convenient, there was enough capacity between the airports to build a connecting hub as well as alternatives for other airlines to maintain robust operations. CO lucked out to establish what it has at EWR to establish not only a large O&D base but an expansive connection opportunity without having to wage a war to have to crowd out the competition.

Another point: airline alliances have decreased the necessity for a hub to provide the traffic on both ends to work. They don't have to set up two large banks to support incoming and outgoing flights. Instead they can adjust to the fluctuations in traffic from partnered airlines as needed. This is particularly the case at LAX (though getting between terminals is not ideal) with many Int'l partner airlines serving LAX which could be seen as extensions to UA, AA, and DL's networks.
 
gigneil
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:23 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 27):
San Francisco is also the banking center in the west, there is a US mint there. The only one west of the rockies.

The Federal Reserve is also here.

NS
 
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RWA380
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:15 pm

Quoting gigneil (Reply 31):
The Federal Reserve is also here

Yes of course, I always think of the mint, since I used to live just across Market St from it, and it was always in my sights.
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tommy767
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:55 am

I don't think when LAX was expanded in the late 1990s by UA it really worked. Quite a few routes didn't survive and/or were dropped in frequency.

Routes like LAX: HKG, ATL, MIA, ACK, mainline to DFW, mainline to SEA are now toast.
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platinumfoota
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:47 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 28):
Lastly, UA could have made a deal with LAWA for use of the international terminal as well.

Why would UA use the international terminal?? Its far from T6/T7/T8 and LAX lacks the ability to connect passengers through out the terminals. One of the biggest complaints we get is not being able to connect to *A Flight without having to go through security again or taking a crowded bus to get there.
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:57 am

Because they did so in SFO for 15 years.

If UA did not want to build new larger home at LAX itself using international terminal was always an option also.
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Kaiarahi
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:29 am

There's a simple answer. The PA routes that UA acquired were governed by bilaterals that specified SFO. If UA had wanted to move the Asian/TransPacific flights to LAX, UA would have had to persuade the federal government to renegotiate the bilaterals with the other countries involved (and the other countries would have had to agree). Since there was no significant downside, it was far simpler to stay at SFO.
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bobnwa
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:11 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 14):
Not as big as SFO but they do have a hub there.

By what measurement are you saying this, surely notconnecting banks of flights which is the usual definition of a hub?
 
jfk777
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:42 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 28):
UA could have easily grown its real estate at LAX over the last 30-years since the Pacific take over.
Just like SFO grew from the cramped Intl terminal in 1985 into a new one, UA could have built whatever it wanted at LAX.

For example UA rebuilt the T-8 concourse in the 90s. This at one time handled up to DC-10's but UA reconfigured it for 737/320s because thats what they wanted.
Similar they also restructured T-7 gates and actually removed 747 capable gate, in favor of more narrow body gates.

Also UA had plans for an all new concourse (T-9) to be located at their hangars on the otherside of the Sepulveda tunnel, but passed on the idea after the Shuttle by United product died.

Lastly, UA could have made a deal with LAWA for use of the international terminal as well.

If United has to use the Bradley terminal, its becaiuse their own FIS has become too small. UA's LAX buildings are old, even if renovated, and something needs to be done at LAX for new terminals. The terminal 2 & 3 sights provide a huge site for redevelopment. Will all the airline mergers the only major airline on LAX's north side will be SW in termianl 1. DL, UA and AA are in their own terminals on the south side, so all the growth is in old buildings of limited capacity. The T2 and 3 site would be a great place for a Oneworld mega terminal including AA. Maybe its time LAWA buy land east of the airport for future expansion.
 
washingtonflyer
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:59 pm

Ive noticed a couple of things about LAX.

#1 LAX parking lots appear to be very inefficient - most of them not in the shoehorn of the terminal complex are all surface lots.

#2 LAX seems to have ownership of one lot to the immediate east of T1. That surface lot appears to me to be big enough for an entire terminal and apron. If they converted the parking lot at the corner of Sepulveda and 96th to a two story garage or Avion and 96th, they would make up for the lost parking space with the new T1 terminal.
 
warden145
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:26 am

Quoting Surfandsnow (Reply 10):
The runways are all long and parallel, but LAX has suffered from notorious issues with runway incursions. Although SFO's parallel runway pairs intersect, the airport still maintained a better safety record than LAX.

I could be wrong, but I think the OP was referring to the issue of SFO's parallel runways being too close together for simultaneous operations in poor visibility, which leads to constant (and sometimes downright nasty) delays.
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747megatop
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:23 pm

Quoting warden145 (Reply 40):
I could be wrong, but I think the OP was referring to the issue of SFO's parallel runways being too close together for simultaneous operations in poor visibility, which leads to constant (and sometimes downright nasty) delays.

   Yes, that is what i was referring to. I was wondering, how an airport with perpetual delays due to a bad runway configuration could support a fortress hub since it would definitely affect the airline (UA in this case) which led me to ask myself..why not LA and hence this thread. But, i guess LAXIntl and others have answered my questions.
 
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:35 pm

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 39):
#1 LAX parking lots appear to be very inefficient - most of them not in the shoehorn of the terminal complex are all surface lots.

You realize the LAWA lots off airport are under the approach path and thus have FAA height restrictions which makes surface lots perfect if you want to use the land.

Also there is no need to build structures as LAWA sits on tons of property that cant be used for much of anything around the airport.

Lastly, the airport has too much parking as is. The last revenue report I saw had something like mere 60% average lot occupancy.

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 39):
#2 LAX seems to have ownership of one lot to the immediate east of T1. That surface lot appears to me to be big enough for an entire terminal and apron. If they converted the parking lot at the corner of Sepulveda and 96th to a two story garage or Avion and 96th, they would make up for the lost parking space with the new T1 terminal.

Yes LAWA recently purchase Park-One's lot. There is a plan for a T-0 incase part of T-1 must be shaved off with a potential runway relocation. TBA....
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washingtonflyer
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:15 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):
You realize the LAWA lots off airport are under the approach path and thus have FAA height restrictions which makes surface lots perfect if you want to use the land.

Yep, thats why I envisioned a lot with one two two stories MAX - possibly with tapered parking tiers to accommodate glide slope.

Of course, glide slope and FAA requirements has never stopped airport authorities and developers before (see, e.g., the parking garage at the base of 27 at SAN)....
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:11 pm

But you are missing the point -- there is no need.

Plenty of space and parking already. Why double deck something for many millions when what there is not even being fully used..
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washingtonflyer
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:21 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 44):

But you are missing the point -- there is no need.

Plenty of space and parking already. Why double deck something for many millions when what there is not even being fully used..

I understand that, on average, there is no need. However, assuming 1) a new Terminal Zero, and 2) periods of peak demand, the need for airport parking is likely well above 60%.

IAD has oodles of empty parking for 90% of the year. Its the 10% of the year that winds up constricting demand (Xmas, Thanksgiving, etc.).
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:34 pm

Quoting washingtonflyer (Reply 45):
2) periods of peak demand, the need for airport parking is likely well above 60%.

You are mixing up private and city run parking.

LAWA is not interested and will not build any more parking.

What private vendors do off airport is their business. But its a very cut throat biz due to glut of capacity, and strong pricing competition.

Anyhow - this has nothing to do with the topic at hand of UA Pacific hub.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
747megatop
Topic Author
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:38 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):
Lastly, the airport has too much parking as is. The last revenue report I saw had something like mere 60% average lot occupancy.

Not true for TBIT at least. Past 6 to 7 months i have been to TIBIT 4 times either to pickup or drop off family. Had to spend minimum of 20 minutes going round and round to the various levels to find parking. One of thos instances i was almost about to head out of the parking structure opposite TBIT without finding a spot before i got lucky when someone pulled out of a spot. Obviously lot C etc. have ample parking but i am talking about the parking structure serving TBIT at least and that is not enough.
 
Beardown91737
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:20 am

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 23):
Where at LAX could United duplicate what they have in SFO ? There is not enough real estate.

Of course there is, LAWA knows where to find the bulldozers.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 28):
Why would LAX ever require a 5th runway? It operates at far below physical capacity.

Agreed, but in 1998 it probably looked more necessary than it does now, with the idea of UA adding hub level traffic.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 46):

Trust me, distant a.netters with Google Maps, Wikipedia, and info from other a.net posts will argue with you all day about your home airport.

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 47):

Parking at Lot C (which is actually closer to ONT than LAX) does count in the figure. The airport price rations their lots, meaning that you can spend big bucks to park in the structure for days, and it only takes a couple hundred who can afford it to put that many spaces out of commission for several days.
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: United Hub; Why SFO And Why Not LAX?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:35 am

They just announce a 2nd 787 base. It will be LAX. Paints picture of what future flying will be.

It was previously announced LAX 744 base would be closing as the Australia flying moves to the 777.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California

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