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airliner371
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Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:42 am

AirTran is officially gone and all operation are now Southwest. I think this would be an interesting time to talk about Atlanta and what it is for Southwest. Obviously, they have slightly decreased their presence in Atlanta. They are now around 130 daily flights. They have said that this is pretty much what it will stay around. It's also been a while since we've seen any cuts so all indications say that it will probably stay in this area.

Another interesting thing I noticed, tomorrow, all Southwest flights from ATL will use the C gates, not flights are scheduled to use the D gates. Ever since the integration began, Southwest has stayed in C and only AirTran has used the D gates. I wonder what the plan is for those gates. As we now see, Southwest really doesn't need them, I wonder if they hold on to them so another can't use them, or if they try to make a deal with another airline to get something else. Maybe DL would give up a few slots at DCA or something.

Apparently the hangar at ATL should be receiving the Southwest logo sometime next year. The rest of ATL already has transitioned to the new Southwest heart theme. All ticket counters, gate areas, jet bridges, etc.. have the new Southwest look.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:39 pm

Quoting airliner371 (Thread starter):
Obviously, they have slightly decreased their presence in Atlanta. They are now around 130 daily flights. They have said that this is pretty much what it will stay around.

It would be great to see not just flight count but seat count and even ASMs from Atlanta by WN+FL in a multi-year comparison. O&D passenger counts from ATL, too, while I'm asking favors from the data gurus.
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:43 pm

at 130 a day WN is still a pretty sizeable operation...that said I am surprised they cut back there so much from the over 200 dailies AirTran had. I would have thought WN would use ATL like they use MDW & LAS as a big station to make connections. But it looks like they still like to use BNA for funneling traffic in and out of the southeast (i.e. they moved PNS-ATL to PNS-BNA) so I suppose BNA & ATL will co function in that regard.

As for the empty D gates, I suppose maybe NK could think about adding some flights or F9. Or perhaps B6 could come back and try some BOS flights. At some point they will be back to ATL imho.
 
N126DL
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:27 pm

I have often wondered if the drawdown will cost ATL its "World's Busiest" title to PEK in the upcoming year(s)...
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rtalk25
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:09 pm

I think the ATL strategy is interesting going forward as it's keeping a sizeable operation in the same airport that is a much larger DL hub.

I think WN is trying to get the O&D number up on those flights while slightly dissuading connection type of pax. However, in my local market, it flies PHL-ATL and will still sell PHL-ATL-JAX cheaper than PHL-ATL for advance purchase. While it's trying to attain business pax, likely moreso at the ATL end, the flight's are all still timed old AirTran style way with it actually better for PHL based pax and they can also connect in ATL. But ATL based pax might not find a great schedule on WN heading up to PHL.

This is unlike say JetBlue in BOS where majority of BOS-XXX market flights (almost all in the East and Midwest except BOS-ORD) are timed for BOS pax in mind.

I think if the scheduling on routes like ATL-PHL and ATL-PIT is inferior for those ATL based pax, WN will struggle to get high yielding pax based out of ATL; but, that is point of having a sizeable operation in ATL for the local market rather than the connections.
 
wnflyguy
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:09 pm

I think WN in ATL at 130 flts a day is a comfortable amount of flts to work with for about a year.
I think if loads stay strong next year you could see WN increase to about 150.
I truly don't see any new markets coming out of ATL. The increase to 150 flts would mostly come from seasonal demand within the current markets flown.

I regards to the D gates For long time now speculation was WN will return those gates to the ATL airport.

I truly believe if WN didn't have such a outdated computer system. Over the last 4 years they would have grown ATL and built on the connections with the code share.

ATL could have become the connection point for everything tropical island and south America destinations.
But now I think HOU and FLL will fill that void in the future.

Flyguy
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Airspeed772
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:28 pm

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 4):
I think the ATL strategy is interesting going forward as it's keeping a sizeable operation in the same airport that is a much larger DL hub.

I think WN is trying to get the O&D number up on those flights while slightly dissuading connection type of pax. However, in my local market, it flies PHL-ATL and will still sell PHL-ATL-JAX cheaper than PHL-ATL for advance purchase. While it's trying to attain business pax, likely moreso at the ATL end, the flight's are all still timed old AirTran style way with it actually better for PHL based pax and they can also connect in ATL. But ATL based pax might not find a great schedule on WN heading up to PHL.

This is unlike say JetBlue in BOS where majority of BOS-XXX market flights (almost all in the East and Midwest except BOS-ORD) are timed for BOS pax in mind.

I think if the scheduling on routes like ATL-PHL and ATL-PIT is inferior for those ATL based pax, WN will struggle to get high yielding pax based out of ATL; but, that is point of having a sizeable operation in ATL for the local market rather than the connections.

You forget to mention they still need to implement a baggage tracking system.
Airspeed772
 
WDBRR
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:39 pm

Are there enough D gates for their operations?
Maybe they will negotiate with DL to move from
C councourse to D concourse in exchange for
a few slots somewhere or another concession.
The C concourse is prime real estate and DL
would love to get their hands on that.
 
airliner371
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:44 pm

Quoting WDBRR (Reply 7):
Are there enough D gates for their operations?

No, not even close.

Quoting WDBRR (Reply 7):
The C concourse is prime real estate and DL would love to get their hands on that.

And Southwest would love to keep it... Southwest isn't leaving C, the question is whether they get rid of the D gates.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:02 pm

It seems like WN has found a comfortable size in ATL now. Hopefully O&D numbers will keep rising and lead to expansion in the future. It's nice having all operations on C. It's a nice concourse and means quick, easy connections.

I did notice all the new WN signage last night. It looked very nice.
 
AST1Driver
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:23 pm

If I remember correctly, the gates on the south end of D concourse are city owned. AirTran/Southwest just has priority on them. Delta has used D1 and D3 when they were redoing the gates on the north end of D, and they share D9 and D11 with Spirit and Frontier. I think they also share a gate with United on the even side.

Once the construction on the T gates is finished and United moves their operations, the south end of D will be a ghost town.
 
globalflyer
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:24 pm

Yes these are CUTE or Common Use gates. City owned.
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
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msp747
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:22 am

Quoting WDBRR (Reply 7):
The C concourse is prime real estate and DL
would love to get their hands on that

I haven't been to ATL in decades, so forgive me... but what makes the C concourse so much more valuable than D? C isn't all that much closer to terminal (like say A). How come FL and DL never made a deal to consolidate operations, giving one all of C and the other all of D?
 
atlengineer
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:51 am

Quoting msp747 (Reply 12):
but what makes the C concourse so much more valuable than D?

C concourse is much wider, same as A and B.

ATLengineer
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:04 am

Concourse D has always been the redheaded stepchild of ATL; it is narrow and cramped, and has historically taken a back seat to the other concourses in terms of amenities. Also, I think Concourse D was the last to have its CRT arrival/departure boards replaced by flat-panel displays, as well as the last to have its old carpet replaced by tile.

[Edited 2014-12-29 20:09:21]
 
DDR
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:13 am

D concourse, for many years, was the home of ASA. Other airlines such as Air South, Presidential, etc shared the other end of the D concourse. It was always the concourse for the less desirable carriers.
 
michman
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:38 am

I believe only 2 gates in D are currently common use. However, Airtran's lease deal allows their D gates to be used under common use protocols by anyone who does not already have 10 or more gates at ATL. Airtran's current lease deal was signed in 2010 and is a 7 year agreement. Here are my sources --

http://www.atlanta-airport.com/docs/...ies/airport_complan_update1210.pdf
http://m.ajc.com/news/business/airtr...ort-send-lease-deal-to-city/nQhJq/

So I would expect WN to formally shed the D gate leases when they expire in 2017. No reason for the airport to let them out of the lease early if the gates can already be allocated under common use.

[Edited 2014-12-29 20:45:18]
 
INFINITI329
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:01 am

I dont see the rationale for cutting ATL-AUA/MBJ/SJU
 
pezzy669
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:59 am

I think we are watching death by 1,000 cuts for WN at ATL.

WN has not been very well received by the old AirTran loyals in Atlanta, when you strip away domestic F and assigned seating from business travelers they get pretty steamed. On top of this DL is so entrenched with the locals and WN has zero reputation here (except for disgruntled ex-FL loyals) so IMO they are fighting a losing battle with their ATL project.

Delta is loving every minute of it!
 
bjorn14
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:09 pm

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 2):
As for the empty D gates,

Maybe the new Eastern will have an hourly shuttle to MIA?

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 18):
Delta is loving every minute of it!
DL would have to raise their fares to match WN's too. 

DL beat them back at SLC why should they be afraid of them at their fortress?

[Edited 2014-12-30 04:11:59]
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:37 pm

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 18):
WN has not been very well received by the old AirTran loyals in Atlanta, when you strip away domestic F and assigned seating from business travelers they get pretty steamed.

Is there any factual basis for your statement about assigned seating? I live in a big WN city and fly them (and legacies) a lot for business and have never heard any business traveler complain about the lack of assigned seating on WN. If anything, it's an advantage for customers with status, as they are virtually guaranteed a window or aisle. Not so on the legacies if booking a few days out.

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 5):
ATL could have become the connection point for everything tropical island and south America destinations. But now I think HOU and FLL will fill that void in the future.

With stronger local markets in Houston and South Florida, how would that have made sense?

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 2):
But it looks like they still like to use BNA for funneling traffic in and out of the southeast (i.e. they moved PNS-ATL to PNS-BNA) so I suppose BNA & ATL will co function in that regard.

I'm not sure there's anything intentional about the service patterns at ATL and BNA. Here are the "exclusive" domestic cities for each:

ATL only: BDL, CAK, IND, MKE, OKC, PBI, RIC, SJU

BNA only: CHS, ECP, EWR, PNS

We can explain IND and CHS by distance (each has service to the farthest city, and the closer city is an easy enough drive that it depresses O&D). Except for BDL, PNS and arguably SJU the rest are easily explained by history (those with a history of FL service to ATL see ATL service--most have never had WN to BNA or were not WN stations pre-merger, and those without a history of FL service to ATL see BNA service).

To be fair, though, if we look at some other places with service to both ATL and BNA (JAX comes to mind), much more ATL service has been lost than BNA service.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
TWA85
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:23 pm

When/If WN vacates the D gates at ATL, could there be an opportunity for the new Eastern Airlines to rebuild part of the old Eastern hub?
 
SWADawg
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:58 pm

Quoting TWA85 (Reply 21):

Absolutely. I actually think it would be a very good move by Eastern. I'm sure they still would have a loyal following there locally.
My posts are my opinion only and do not reflect the views of Southwest Airlines
 
pezzy669
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:21 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
Is there any factual basis for your statement about assigned seating? I live in a big WN city and fly them (and legacies) a lot for business and have never heard any business traveler complain about the lack of assigned seating on WN. If anything, it's an advantage for customers with status, as they are virtually guaranteed a window or aisle. Not so on the legacies if booking a few days out.

So I suppose you speak to every business traveler on every flight you take?

I did not exactly do a survey but I am just using logic and first and second party accounts from ex-FL flyers who have switched to Delta. I am acquaintances and friends with many regular business travelers in Atlanta and many were FL loyal and even more are DL loyal, pretty much all the ex-FL flyers have moved over to DL.

#1) Southwest had ZERO presence or reputation in Atlanta prior to the FL acquisition. Comparing business travelers from an entrenched WN hub to one where their home carrier FL was gobbled up by an unknown is just silly. Except for some billboards and a winter time skating rink WN has done nothing to reach out to the locals.

#2) Let's say business traveller A with no status has to book a 6:00AM departure, do you really think it is pleasurable to have to wake up at 6:00AM the day before to jockey for a good boarding card? Even if its a late morning/afternoon flight, most traveling on business do not have time to watch the clock at work to make sure they get a decent place in the queue.

#3) No option of last minute boarding, assigned seating allows you to roll to the gate right before the door closes and still have your chosen seat. Not so on WN, must crowd around the cattle stands with 75+ other people at boarding time to ensure you are in place for a decent seat.

#4) DL offers complimentary E+ all status holders. Silver is available @ check-in, Gold @ 72 hours, Platinum and Diamond at booking. No premium economy at all on WN. As a DL Silver I get E+ 95% of the time and the very rare F upgrade.

#5) DL considers most seats in the first 1/4 of the aircraft preferred which are complimentary at all times for Medallion and available for purchase for non-status holders. DL blocks a large chunk of Preferred and E+ until T-minus 24 hours. If a Medallion member on DL cannot get a decent seat of choice booking more than 24 hours out they are doing something entirely wrong or they walked up day of departure and bought a ticket.

#6) As WN cuts destinations what incentive is there for an ATL business or leisure traveller to stay loyal if they have to connect when DL can carry them non-stop on their redemption trips. You start making your acquired local members start connecting to go anywhere using miles/points do you think they are going to stick around?

Don't get me wrong, while I am DL loyal I have to say I am sad to see FL go and see WN slashing destinations. FL kept DL honest on competing routes. My regular route (ATL-ORF) would generally be $250-300 R/T buying 2 weeks out, since WN cancelled the route you would be hard pressed to find it for less than $400. Luckily the company pays and as of 2015 I get more SkyPesos because of the higher price.

Clearly the ATL O&D market it speaking based on the continuous cuts. I don't see the WN hub lasting.
 
airliner371
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:40 am

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
Let's say business traveller A with no status has to book a 6:00AM departure, do you really think it is pleasurable to have to wake up at 6:00AM the day before to jockey for a good boarding card? Even if its a late morning/afternoon flight, most traveling on business do not have time to watch the clock at work to make sure they get a decent place in the queue.

Well, if you're that much of a business traveler, you probably have status which at WN, means you get a preferred boarding position.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
As WN cuts destinations what incentive is there for an ATL business or leisure traveller to stay loyal if they have to connect when DL can carry them non-stop on their redemption trips. You start making your acquired local members start connecting to go anywhere using miles/points do you think they are going to stick around?
Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
Clearly the ATL O&D market it speaking based on the continuous cuts.

WN has enhanced their schedule from FL's to make it more convenient for local ATL passengers. WN is carrying many more local Atlanta passengers than FL did per flight, and that is a fact directly from Southwest.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
since WN cancelled the route

Keep in mind FL started the route after they were bought by WN. So without WN, this route would never have existed. So yeah, they canceled it, but the only reason it was there was because of SWA.
 
pezzy669
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:46 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 24):
Well, if you're that much of a business traveler, you probably have status which at WN, means you get a preferred boarding position.

Which is great but you still must be at the gate right at boarding time to take advantage of then sit on the plane while everyone else boards. When I don't have a carryon to go in the overhead which is 98% of my work trips I show up well after Zone 3 has finalized and the gate area is empty, I am usually the last to board and settle comfortably in my window E+ seat after everyone has been sitting on the plane for 15+ minutes. This would never be possible on WN no matter what your status.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 24):
WN has enhanced their schedule from FL's to make it more convenient for local ATL passengers. WN is carrying many more local Atlanta passengers than FL did per flight, and that is a fact directly from Southwest.

But did WN indicate whether that was over the same # of available seats per route? You could carry 50 O&D passengers over 3 daily flights but greatly increase your O&D % on that route if you trim it to 1x daily. Sure they are moving away from the connecting hub but you start cutting frequencies and don't offer the schedule an O&D passenger wants they will defect.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 24):
Keep in mind FL started the route after they were bought by WN. So without WN, this route would never have existed. So yeah, they canceled it, but the only reason it was there was because of SWA.

I'll give you this one, was not aware it was a post merger addition. Regardless it is no longer operating.
 
rtalk25
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:12 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 24):
WN has enhanced their schedule from FL's to make it more convenient for local ATL passengers.

I presume that is more for ATL to west markets where WN is strong, than ATL to FL's former east markets? Atleast PIT and PHL have seen cuts to scheduling, and IAD-ATL was originally cut altogether.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 25):
I'll give you this one, was not aware it was a post merger addition. Regardless it is no longer operating.

I think it was a loose attempted replacement of ATL-PHF. Atleast WN has been intent on keeping ATL-RIC at 3x daily departures and by not introducing a MDW-RIC, it can still keep RIC based connection traffic through the ATL "hub" and frequencies also, rather than dilute it through other hubs.

In my opinion, WN is putting PIT-ATL in a precarious position with only 2x daily. Delta's 8x daily will be far more attractive, esp. with WN not being the preferred or advantaged carrier at either end. I checked load factors during last winter and some routes like PIT-BNA were low. If there is PIT-HOU, BNA and ATL and BWI, they are somewhat all competing for connecting traffic to the South as well. I'd think it'd make more sense to have 3x PIT-ATL while keeping 2x PIT-BWI rather than the other way. That might mean not having as many low PIT-BWI-BOS fares at low WGAs, however, but I doubt that is super crucial anyways, with exception of making it difficult for JetBlue to attain better yields on it's nonstops.

[Edited 2014-12-30 18:19:12]
 
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msp747
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:14 am

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 19):
DL beat them back at SLC why should they be afraid of them at their fortress?

I think you are giving DL a little too much credit for WN drawing back in SLC. While I'm sure they had an impact, I think the changes in SLC had more to do with WN's shift in strategy away from short hops to longer flights. The build-up of the more lucrative DEN market as their mountain west "hub" also made SLC less important, so they most likely shifted their focus there to more O&D and fewer connections.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
Let's say business traveller A with no status has to book a 6:00AM departure, do you really think it is pleasurable to have to wake up at 6:00AM the day before to jockey for a good boarding card?

Well, a business traveler would most likely be traveling on a higher fare, and WN Business Select fares come with an automatic A boarding group, so that wouldn't be an issue. Even if the traveler was on a cheaper ticket, you can buy Early Bird check-in for $12.50 each way, which automatically checks you in 24 hours in advance, giving you the A boarding group. Still cheaper than the bag fees DL would hit that same non-elite traveler with. I would also think it would be easier to earn elite status with WN, since DL has watered down Silver Elite to almost worthless and is slowly doing the same to Gold.
 
airliner371
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:18 am

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 26):
I presume that is more for ATL to west markets where WN is strong, than ATL to FL's former east markets? Atleast PIT and PHL have seen cuts to scheduling, and IAD-ATL was originally cut altogether.

Making it more convenient doesn't necessarily mean adding flights, it means improving flight times for local ATL passengers.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 25):
But did WN indicate whether that was over the same # of available seats per route? You could carry 50 O&D passengers over 3 daily flights but greatly increase your O&D % on that route if you trim it to 1x daily. Sure they are moving away from the connecting hub but you start cutting frequencies and don't offer the schedule an O&D passenger wants they will defect.

I don't remember the exact numbers, so I am going to use a guesstimate just so you get the trend of the numbers. Prior to the acquisition, 25% of FL's ATL hub was O&D, 75% was connecting, now with the changes, 40% are O&D while only 60% are connecting. While those aren't the exact numbers, you understand the trend that they described. If I find the true numbers, I will post them, but they are around this range.
 
usflyguy
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:53 am

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#2) Let's say business traveller A with no status has to book a 6:00AM departure, do you really think it is pleasurable to have to wake up at 6:00AM the day before to jockey for a good boarding card? Even if its a late morning/afternoon flight, most traveling on business do not have time to watch the clock at work to make sure they get a decent place in the queue.
Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#3) No option of last minute boarding, assigned seating allows you to roll to the gate right before the door closes and still have your chosen seat. Not so on WN, must crowd around the cattle stands with 75+ other people at boarding time to ensure you are in place for a decent seat.

Says the person that has never flown WN... Oy!
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
ScottB
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:23 am

Quoting SWADawg (Reply 22):
Absolutely. I actually think it would be a very good move by Eastern. I'm sure they still would have a loyal following there locally.

Really? Eastern has been gone for a quarter-century. While there's still going to be some brand recognition, any frequent flyer loyalty has long since been transferred to DL, WN (via FL), or UA (via the EA frequent flyer program being merged with CO in OnePass).

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#4) DL offers complimentary E+ all status holders. Silver is available @ check-in, Gold @ 72 hours, Platinum and Diamond at booking. No premium economy at all on WN. As a DL Silver I get E+ 95% of the time and the very rare F upgrade.

But DL doesn't offer priority security access to Silvers; WN does offer that perk to A-List and above. And an A boarding pass on WN virtually guarantees a window or aisle seat in the front half of the plane. Moreover, the new changes to SkyPesos make the WN program far more rewarding for lower-tier elites who might want to actually redeem points for award travel.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#3) No option of last minute boarding, assigned seating allows you to roll to the gate right before the door closes and still have your chosen seat.

That's not quite true. If you haven't boarded a DL flight by 15 minutes prior to departure (5 minutes for the Shuttle), gate agents can and WILL give your seat away.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
FL kept DL honest on competing routes. My regular route (ATL-ORF) would generally be $250-300 R/T buying 2 weeks out, since WN cancelled the route you would be hard pressed to find it for less than $400. Luckily the company pays and as of 2015 I get more SkyPesos because of the higher price.

And WN still keeps DL honest in competing markets. ATL-DAL a week out is about a quarter the price of ATL-SHV. But fortunately for you, the company pays, and DL's new program rules benefit you at your company's expense.

Quoting msp747 (Reply 27):
DL has watered down Silver Elite to almost worthless and is slowly doing the same to Gold.

Yep. Gold is the new Silver and Silver is the new nothing.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:42 pm

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
So I suppose you speak to every business traveler on every flight you take?

Not at all, and I suspect that the FL to WN product change (like the product changes in most mergers) drove some people away. But I'm not convinced that that is true of most passengers.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#2) Let's say business traveller A with no status has to book a 6:00AM departure, do you really think it is pleasurable to have to wake up at 6:00AM the day before to jockey for a good boarding card?

No need to jockey with status, with a business elite fare or with purchasing early bird. And if you purchase ("on average") an anytime fare, it's only $3,500 of spend to get to low-level elite status.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#3) No option of last minute boarding, assigned seating allows you to roll to the gate right before the door closes and still have your chosen seat. Not so on WN, must crowd around the cattle stands with 75+ other people at boarding time to ensure you are in place for a decent seat.

You seem sort of stuck in 2007 here. With gate-to-gate Wifi (free to Preferred and above on WN), I can get more done on board a WN airplane than in the terminal, especially at a place like ATL where the free Wifi is low-quality, the cell signal can be iffy and finding a seat is virtually impossible at peak times.

Quoting pezzy669 (Reply 23):
#4) DL offers complimentary E+ all status holders. Silver is available @ check-in, Gold @ 72 hours, Platinum and Diamond at booking. No premium economy at all on WN. As a DL Silver I get E+ 95% of the time and the very rare F upgrade.

#5) DL considers most seats in the first 1/4 of the aircraft preferred which are complimentary at all times for Medallion and available for purchase for non-status holders. DL blocks a large chunk of Preferred and E+ until T-minus 24 hours. If a Medallion member on DL cannot get a decent seat of choice booking more than 24 hours out they are doing something entirely wrong or they walked up day of departure and bought a ticket.

Again, this is less and less true. I book most of my travel 7-14 days out, and I'm frequently finding window and aisle EC seats gone and F mostly full at that time--before any free upgrades have cleared. DL's stated goal of monetizing the upper-tier products is admirable for earnings but decidedly sub-optimal for elites.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:09 pm

Quoting msp747 (Reply 27):


Early Bird check-in for $12.50 each way, which automatically checks you in 24 hours in advance, giving you the A boarding group.

I think it's 36 hours and the A group is not guaranteed. I utilize the Early Bird check-in for all my WN travels and ended up in the very low numbered B group once. Still got my window seat so no biggie.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
rtalk25
Posts: 631
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:16 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 30):
And WN still keeps DL honest in competing markets. ATL-DAL a week out is about a quarter the price of ATL-SHV.

The $44-49 advance WGA fares on ATL-DAL are likely triggered because of WN realizing Spirit's presence. Within a week out, WN fares are higher but were set low initially. So NK, in my opinion, has an effect that it keeps WN honest, and WN then keeps DL honest atleast for this route, currently.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 28):
Making it more convenient doesn't necessarily mean adding flights, it means improving flight times for local ATL passengers.

How does reduction in flight frequency from 5x to 3x improve flight times for ATL pax? I've seen ATL-PHL with fluctuating first flight times. e.g. Monday January 12, Southwest's first flight of ATL-PHL leaves at 10:30am and gets into PHL after noon. That wouldn't be ideal for a business pax (based in ATL) needing to take an early morning flight.

It's great that WN will keep ATL-BWI and ATL-DCA with schedules of atleast 5x, but that doesn't count because BWI is also a hub, and DCA is an very important station in the same market. If we discount all of those, a lot of stations in the east have schedules that are worse.

[Edited 2014-12-31 06:25:20]
 
usflyguy
Posts: 1757
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:29 am

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:06 pm

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 33):
If we discount all of those, a lot of stations in the east have schedules that are worse.

Yes, let's discount the ones that don't fit your narrative. Lol.   
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
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william
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:20 pm

I find this discussion funny , since it wasn't too long ago we had threads about what SWA was going to do to Delta at ATL once they took over...........................Yeah , funny how things worked out.

This is a numbers business, the airlines execs that did it for the love of the business and made irrational decisions based on market share are long gone. SWA is retrenching at ATL because a 737 can make more money elsewhere in their system.
 
HeeseokKoo
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:39 pm

Quoting rtalk25 (Reply 33):
How does reduction in flight frequency from 5x to 3x improve flight times for ATL pax?

FL's first departure was 8AM and last arrival was 9PM (let's say) in ATL. Now WN distributes flights throughout a day just like any other WN stations, from 6AM to midnight. This is how things have improved for ATL-based passengers even if you have to transfer flights in the middle. In the end, people are willing to add a segment if the price is right. As someone already mentioned, % of O/D as well as the number of ATL-based passengers have increased despite of what others may expect. Also, distributing throughout a day means less congestion in check-in and baggage-pickup, offering better experience to ATL-based passengers.

http://crankyflier.com/2013/05/13/wh...est-says-it-has-de-hubbed-atlanta/
 
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william
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:49 pm

From the same article- Again, this is a numbers proposition.

"So why did it need AirTran in the first place? Well, it’s a lot easier to build an operation with only one big competitor in town instead of two. It’s the same exact thing we would have seen in Denver if Southwest had succeeded in buying Frontier.

In Atlanta, Southwest saw opportunity, but it couldn’t make it work with a much lower cost carrier in the market. So it decided to buy it and effectively shut it down, making way for its own operation."

That's why Concourse D is relatively emptied.
 
atlengineer
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:03 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:24 pm

Quoting william (Reply 37):
That's why Concourse D is relatively emptied.

Where do you get this? Delta has all of D north as well as 2 gates on D south. American (ex. US Airways) still uses D south and most likely won't be able to squeeze all operations into their T gates. United (ex. Continental) still uses D south but may be able to squeeze all operations into T north when the two new RJ gates are built. Alaska, Frontier, Silver Airways, and Spirit will continue to use D south. Southwest cutting back will probably open up some gates, but Relatively Emptied?

ATLengineer
 
AST1Driver
Posts: 120
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:56 pm

I drove past D concourse today. It was very strange to see eight unused gates.
 
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rmoore7734
Posts: 236
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:00 pm

Quoting AST1driver (Reply 39):
I drove past D concourse today. It was very strange to see eight unused gates.

sounds like a good time to widen @ least half of concourse D then shift delta,etc to that side & finish widening on north side
 
rtalk25
Posts: 631
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:14 am

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:04 pm

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 34):
Yes, let's discount the ones that don't fit your narrative. Lol.

The fact is it It offers fewer nonstop destinations out of ATL, and less frequency to the most of the existing nonstop destinations as well, in the eastern US. It's not my narrative.

Quoting HeeseokKoo (Reply 36):
his is how things have improved for ATL-based passengers even if you have to transfer flights in the middle. In the end, people are willing to add a segment if the price is right. As someone already mentioned, % of O/D as well as the number of ATL-based passengers have increased despite of what others may expect. Also, distributing throughout a day means less congestion in check-in and baggage-pickup, offering better experience to ATL-based passengers.

I suppose "improving the experience for ATL-based pax" is subjective (and might not be relevant if ATL is stategic as a "hub" or very large connecting station.

If an ATL pax is traveling within the East, it maybe not as good as FL might have offered, but heading to Central and West, maybe it's better, with ample hubs out there to connect to, and more destinations (than FL had in it's network)

[Edited 2015-01-01 07:51:56]
 
wwtraveler99
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:34 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Thu Jan 01, 2015 4:04 pm

In the end WN and DL don't really care what each other is doing in ATL ....... As long as they are both profitable doing things the way they want. WN has shown (think PHL) if they are in a city and they people don't want to fly WN, after keeping the other carrier honest, then they will drop cities and flight. PHL was around 80 flights a day (sorry I don't have the exact number) before they began their pull down to about 20-25 now. The flyers loved that WN came to town to lower fares. But they did not reward the carrier that lowered them. Before anyone starts to say WN is always higher, let me say I do not follow closely enough to know exactly what WN did to fares in their markets in ATL. So what I will say is if WN is happy in what they are accomplishing in ATL then they will continue. If not then will may see full pull back. I think with the way WN operates, point to point, the are doing exactly what they feel works best for them.

Southwest will probably never be everyone's favorite carrier but they will continue to get there share of traffic.



WW
 
wnflyguy
Posts: 2092
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:00 pm

Quoting wwtraveler99 (Reply 42):

No no no that kind of talk not going to fly on A.net.
WN came in and Killed FL and screwed ATL.
You can't talk like that here. Just stop.
Hehe.
I agree with you.

5 yrs from now WN will either be the same or bigger if successful in ATL or scale back to a smaller foot print to key destinations.

Happy new year WW !

Flyguy
My Wings are clipped just another Retired Airline person. The Ultimate Armchair out of the loop airline industry geek. Aloha Mr Hand!
 
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knope2001
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:37 am

I took a look at the Southwest schedule for summer 2015 at Atlanta and compared it to AirTran's summer 2011. We know that frequencies are down, of course, and that Southwest is focusing more in serving the local market. One of the frequent comments is that because Southwest isn't as focused on connections as AirTran was, the first ATL departure doesn't wait for inbound bank of connecting feed. That should mean earlier departures which better serve ATL-originating business travelers.

Here are the top 25 local ATL markets showing total weekday ATL departures and the first weekday departure for AirTran in summer 2011 and Southwest in summer 2015.

AirTran 2011............Southwest 2015
total #..first dep.......total #...first dep.........destination
9 …… 0730 ………. 5 …… 0610 ………. lga
8 …… 0700 ………. 7 …… 0530 ………. mdw
8 …… 0715 ………. 5 …… 0855 ………. fll
5 …… 0855 ………. 3 …… 0835 ………. lax
5 …… 0722 ………. 3 …… 0840 ………. bos
7 …… 0855 ………. 4 …… 0545 ………. dal
5 …… 0715 ………. 6 …… 0645 ………. dca
7 …… 0730 ………. 7 …… 0530 ………. bwi
4 …… 0900 ………. 1 …… 0825 ………. sfo
4 …… 0850 ………. 4 …… 0600 ………. den
6 …… 0700 ………. 3 …… 0830 ………. phl
7 …… 0700 ………. 6 …… 0720 ………. hou
4 …… 1110 ………. 4 …… 1000 ………. las
11 …. 0710 ………. 7 …… 0605 ………. mco
3 …… 1035 ………. 1 …… 0830 ………. sea
4 …… 0845 ………. 3 …… 0950 ………. dtw
5 …… 0909 ………. 3 …… 0835 ………. msp
8 …… 0845 ………. 6 …… 0840 ………. tpa
4 …… 0900 ………. 3 …… 0935 ………. rdu
2 …… 1110 ………. 2 …… 0940 ………. phx
4 …… 0845 ………. 4 …… 0835 ………. msy
4 …… 0850 ………. 2 …… 0935 ………. pit
4 …… 0845 ………. 3 …… 0835 ………. stl
5 …… 0845 ………. 3 …… 0940 ………. mke
3 …… 1025 ………. 3 …… 0935 ………. ind


This surprised me -- I thought there was a bigger gap in the early-AM scheduled out of ATL for AirTran. But of the top 25 every destination in the eastern and central time zone except Dallas had an ATL departure by 0730 or earlier. It might (or might not) be that AirTran didn't have as robust a set of early-morning originators in slower periods or more recently, but it doesn't seem like Southwest is filling a need which AirTran widely neglected.

Something which surprised me much more as I was pulling these numbers is how heavily Southwest is banked in Atlanta this coming summer. Not sure if this is a new development or not, but ATL is clearly well-banked in the summer 2015 schedule.

On the late July 2015 weekday I picked, Southwest has 124 departures out of ATL. 28 of those are flights to the de facto Southwest hubs of MDW, BWI, HOU, DAL and DEN and are spaced through the day. When you look at the other 96 departures to 32 cities, there's clearly banking going on.

Fully 3/4 of the 96 departures are in one of these very tight 15-20 minute clusters of departures.

13 departures in the 15-minute window 0825-0840
13 departures in the 20-minute window 0935-0955
12 departures in the 15-minute window 1340-1355
10 departures in the 15-minute window 1525-1540
12 departures in the 20-minute window 2050-2110
12 departures in the 20-minute window 2200-2220

If you broaden the definition of those banks a bit (for example if you broaden the definition of that last bank to 30 minutes you get 14 departures) close to 85% of ATL's 96 departures are at bank times.

It's worth noting that Southwest's 143-seat 737's each have 22% more seats than the 717's they (frequently) replace. And it may be that Southwest is indeed carrying a much higher portion of locals onboard than AirTran did. But clearly the narrative that Southwest is running a de-hubbed Atlanta designed to serve the ATL market better than AirTran did isn't really on the mark. And I was definitely surprised to find the extent to which a tightly-banked hub lives in Atlanta.

[Edited 2015-01-01 17:13:37]
 
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knope2001
Posts: 3036
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RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:20 am

Here's a quick graphic of the departures by hour of the 96 Southwest 2015 summer-schedule departures to 32 cities (all except those to the de facto hubs MDW, BWI, HOU, DAL and DFW). Southwest does have some departures in the 0500 hour but none to these 32 cities.

The banks of course sometimes go over the break of an hour, but the banking (and lack of flying in non-bank times) is pretty clear. Each X is one departure.

0500
0600 XXX
0700
0800 XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
0900 XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1000 XX
1100 XXX
1200 XX
1300 XXXXXXXXXXXXX
1400
1500 XXXXXXXXXXX
1600 X
1700 XX
1800 XX
1900 XXX
2000 X
2100 XXXXXXXXXXX
2200 XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

[Edited 2015-01-01 17:29:04]
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14724
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:10 am

Knope, when I'm booking on schedule, one of the things I'm looking for is who has the earliest flight. In that regard, I thought it might be instructive to add DL's June 15, 2015 schedule to your table.

AirTran 2011............Southwest 2015.........Delta 2015
total #..first dep.......total #...first dep............first dep............destination
9 …… 0730 ………. 5 …… 0610 ……….........0600............... lga
8 …… 0700 ………. 7 …… 0530 ……….........0725 (ord)........mdw
8 …… 0715 ………. 5 …… 0855 ……….........0700................. fll
5 …… 0855 ………. 3 …… 0835 ……….........0725................. lax
5 …… 0722 ………. 3 …… 0840 ……….........0725................. bos
7 …… 0855 ………. 4 …… 0545 ………......... 0625 (dfw)........ dal
5 …… 0715 ………. 6 …… 0645 ………......... 0725 ............... dca
7 …… 0730 ………. 7 …… 0530 ………..........0730 ............... bwi
4 …… 0900 ………. 1 …… 0825 ……….......... 0825............... sfo
4 …… 0850 ………. 4 …… 0600 ………...........0830................den
6 …… 0700 ………. 3 …… 0830 ………...........0725................ phl
7 …… 0700 ………. 6 …… 0720 ………........... 0725 (iah) ....... hou
4 …… 1110 ………. 4 …… 1000 ………............ 0825 .............. las
11 …. 0710 ………. 7 …… 0605 ………............. 0655 .............. mco
3 …… 1035 ………. 1 …… 0830 ……….............0820 .............. sea
4 …… 0845 ………. 3 …… 0950 ………............ 0725 ............... dtw
5 …… 0909 ………. 3 …… 0835 ………............. 0725 .............. msp
8 …… 0845 ………. 6 …… 0840 ………............. 0730 .............. tpa
4 …… 0900 ………. 3 …… 0935 ……….............0725 ............... rdu
2 …… 1110 ………. 2 …… 0940 ………............. 0810 ............... phx
4 …… 0845 ………. 4 …… 0835 ………............ 0750 ................ msy
4 …… 0850 ………. 2 …… 0935 ………............. 0725 ................ pit
4 …… 0845 ………. 3 …… 0835 ………............. 0820 ................ stl
5 …… 0845 ………. 3 …… 0940 ………............. 0820 ................. mke
3 …… 1025 ………. 3 …… 0935 ………..............0740 .................. ind

In that regard, I count 4 cities to which FL in 2011 departed before DL in 2015 and another one where they departed simultaneously. I count 7 cities for WN and one where they depart simultaneously. I don't know that it's appreciably different when making the comparison this way either.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
airliner371
Topic Author
Posts: 2404
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:53 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:27 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 46):
8 …… 0700 ………. 7 …… 0530 ……….........0725 (ord)........mdw

5:30am, is that the earliest Southwest departure in the system?
 
iowaman
Posts: 3864
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 2:29 am

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:56 am

Quoting knope2001 (Reply 45):
The banks of course sometimes go over the break of an hour, but the banking (and lack of flying in non-bank times) is pretty clear. Each X is one departure

Pretty interesting. I wonder if any other cities are banked as much as ATL? Basically, they can still run several banks in the day and still cater to O&D.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 47):
5:30am, is that the earliest Southwest departure in the system?

There are some other 5:30 am departures in the system next summer, such as MSP-MDW and LAS-BWI. Don't know of any earlier though.
 
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knope2001
Posts: 3036
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:54 am

RE: Southwest Airlines In Atlanta

Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:36 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 46):
In that regard, I count 4 cities to which FL in 2011 departed before DL in 2015 and another one where they departed simultaneously. I count 7 cities for WN and one where they depart simultaneously. I don't know that it's appreciably different when making the comparison this way either.

Interesting stuff...thanks for adding the DL information. At least in these largest destinations there doesn't seem to be a big trend n any direction, including no key Delta advantage in early-morning departures. It can be a little tough to identify the "best" early morning departure for business traveler. One could argue that a 0600 ATL-MSY departure on Airline A arriving MSY 640 is less attractive for business travelers than a 0700 ATL-MSY departure on Airline B arriving 0740 because 0700 is "early enough". But someone wanting to patronize Airline A or Airline B has a workable option. It would be different if Airline A's first ATL-MSY flight was at 10:00am versus 7:00am, but that doesn't really seem to be the case here to any broad extent.

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