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US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:26 am

Would the US3 benefit from and be more globally competitive if US regulations allowed for easier, more efficient international transfers? Or would it not matter for other reasons, e.g., geography?
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:52 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Or would it not matter for other reasons, e.g., geography?

  

For most carriers, who really needs to go through the USA to get anywhere?

NZ's AKL-LAX-LHR isn't the most efficient routing in terms of geography, but does allow it to address the significant markets from California to both New Zealand and the UK.

About the only ones where geography made/make sense was JL's NRT-JFK-GRU and TN's PPT-LAX-CDG

Sure there are a few others, but not many (of any significance to the carrier and/or market at large.)

[Edited 2015-04-18 22:53:36]
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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ua900
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:17 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Would the US3 benefit from and be more globally competitive if US regulations allowed for easier, more efficient international transfers? Or would it not matter for other reasons, e.g., geography?

No doubt about it, and it certainly helps the ME3 and the EU3 in their respective home countries. Plenty of people in LatAm who can go visa free to the EU but not via MIA or NYC due to lack US Visa. It's not like people are going to jump ship while in transit, we're not in the 1950s anymore.

And it's not just the Visa issue, it's the whole hassle of having to clear customs and passport control under any circumstance, including international transfers. US just wants to show it's special in this area, their loss. Most countries will bend over backwards to woo international transfer passengers.

Geographically it may be a detour for some, but the significant US networks within the Americas are a huge competitive advantage over say AV if one doesn't take into account the fact that a number of people can't easily take US carriers at present because they aren't North American or part of the Visa Waiver Program.
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mats
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:32 am

It's kind of a tragedy of airport design.

Air New Zealand has a "transit lounge," which I believe is the only one in the USA.

Otherwise, the US would have to reorganise its airport concourses.
In most international-to-international transfers, there is no way to enter the country without clearing immigration. In the US, one can just walk outside of the terminal with no checks at all.

It would be frustrating to add an immigration check at every airport with international transit passengers because all passengers would have to identify themselves as they left the airport: domestic passengers straight out, international passengers to immigration. This could create huge bottlenecks.

US airports could create special international transit zones at airports with large numbers of international flights. But that would be a profoundly expensive proposition. And the terminals that have the almost all international departures (LAX TBIT, JFK 1, ORD 5) have almost no departing flights on US carriers.

There are ways to at least at least make US airports a more appealing transit point:

1. A less onerous visa process for countries outside of the Visa Waiver Program

2. Immigration kiosks and desks just for international-to-international transfer passengers. This could offer expedited clearance. It might be purely cosmetic, but maybe there is a way to make the process less burdensome specifically for passengers in transit.

3. Eliminate transit security for passengers arriving from "clean" countries: this can be accomplished by having passengers view photos of their baggage for identification. That means that passengers wouldn't have access to their checked bags while in transit, and thus would not be able to access liquids, sharp objects, etc. So no transit security screening would be necessary. This wouldn't work in everywhere, like O'Hare, where international arrivals are geographically separate, but it could certainly be a benefit for passengers connecting to both domestic and international flights.

It's true that the US carriers do not have the same lounges, onboard service, or service culture of other airlines. But many US carriers offer massive networks, and sometimes the service is actually quite good.
 
factsonly
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:13 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Would the US3 benefit from and be more globally competitive if US regulations allowed for easier international transfers

In the 1970s and 1980s the best example of the need to adjust US rules and regulations for border partrol, was the following situation.

It is international custom that any aircraft that flies from XXX to YYY via an intermediate stop in BBB located in a third country is considered 'in international transit'. Passengers on this flight with destination YYY often stay on-board the aircraft during the intermediate stop and are not considered as 'Entering country BBB'. Therefore these international transit passengers are never asked to identify themselves by nation BBB.

Yet....not so in the USA.

European airlines operating EUR-IAH-MEX in the 70s and 80s (and possibly this still applies today, though most flights are now non-stop) had to accept that US border patrol would come 'on-board' the aircraft in international transit and US officials would check every passport of passengers in international transit to MEX (or to EUR on the return leg), while passengers remained seated on the aircraft. International passengers never even left the aircraft and yet they were subjected to US policies and regulations while in transit.

To my knowledge no other country as ever adopted this policy.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:22 am

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
Air New Zealand has a "transit lounge," which I believe is the only one in the USA.

MIA, JFK, and a few other airports have/had them too... but since it's been a decade and a half since the rules changed, and I doubt any of them have seen much use since.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
commavia
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:08 pm

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
No doubt about it, and it certainly helps the ME3 and the EU3 in their respective home countries.

And no doubt about it, all six of those airlines need it because all six of them have vastly smaller domestic air markets to cater to than the US3, which explains why - for decades and decades - their respective hub airports have been designe and optimized more for international traffic (O&D and connections).

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
It's not like people are going to jump ship while in transit, we're not in the 1950s anymore.

I wish I were as confident of that.

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
And it's not just the Visa issue, it's the whole hassle of having to clear customs and passport control under any circumstance, including international transfers. US just wants to show it's special in this area, their loss.

Once again, and as has been discussed numerous times on A.net, this has nothing to do with the U.S. "wan[ing] to show it's special," and everything to do with the fact that it's simple cost-benefit trade off. The vast majority of U.S. commercial airports see only domestic traffic, and for the vast majority of U.S. commercial airports that do have international flights, it makes up a minority of their overall traffic. As such - again, unlike major European and Mid East hubs where it's often the opposite - at U.S. airports it makes little economic sense to optimize the flow and infrastructure design for international. It's far more logical to design the airport primarily for domestic passengers - i.e., no passport required to get through security, domestic passengers can easily come and go, etc.

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
Most countries will bend over backwards to woo international transfer passengers.

And once again - most other countries have to because of geographic and economic necessity. The U.S. has such a massive domestic market that would not be financially viable - in all but perhaps a handful of U.S. airport terminals - to design and build systems around international passengers.

And not to mention, that despite all the alleged horrors of U.S. airport terminal design, it is notable that today there are still thousands upon thousands of people each year that transit through U.S. hubs.

[Edited 2015-04-19 05:54:51]
 
AngMoh
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:39 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 6):
And not to mention, that despite all the alleged horrors of U.S. airport terminal design, it is notable that today there are still thousands upon thousands of people each week that transit through U.S. hubs.

I did it twice as I had no other choice: SIN-LAX-MEX and return. It really is no fun. On the way back one of us had a problem and the immigration officer wanted reject him and it needed a long explanation that the only way to get back to SIN was to be admitted to the US as refusing entry would have him stuck as going back to MEX was also not an option because our single entry visa had been used up.

It would be easy to modify a US airport to properly handle international flights - relatively small airports like OSL and CPH can do it effectively.

I think the root of the problem is that airports are run in an inefficient way where every airline has its own terminal with no cooperation. So create separate international zones in an airport like LAX, you end up with 7 disconnected zones defeating the whole purpose and making it expensive and inefficient.
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superjeff
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:52 pm

It has been done, and could/should be done again. AC had a transit area at HNL for years to allow thru passengers to connect to SYD from their YVR and YYZ flights. The old Terminal E at MIA was optimized for international and could have been easily modified. Certain other airports COULD be modified as well for international (BWI, DFW terminal D, IAH, and the international terminal at SFO, to name a few.

As for US airlines' quality, I get aggravated here because many a-betters tend to compare CX, SQ, and ME3 long haul with flights like ORD-LGA or DFW-DEN which isn't a valid comparison. And how many on this forum actually fly paid Business or First Class anyway? I tend to think most here haven't a clue about premium international cabins. Frankly, I'd rather fly DFW-ORD in First on AA than BA in Club Europe TXL-LHR, which is about the same length flight.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:35 pm

European hubs have successfully adapted from the domestic (tiny markets) + international paradigm into the current Schengen (roughly equivalent to US domestic) + international

S-to-S is like a domestic transfer, and same for I-to-I. Only quick check of passport for S-to-I or I-to-S, no paperwork to fill out, and no bags to claim. The passport queue takes about 2 mins even for non-EU passport. Certain US terminals at key transit airports can adopt this model.

ME3/HKG/SIN are different animals because they're essentially 100% I-to-I transfers.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:23 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
For most carriers, who really needs to go through the USA to get anywhere?

The 2 largest growth markets are Asia and S.America. The U.S. is right in between the 2. It is as good a transit country as you will find, and IIRC the U.S. is still the largest transit country between those 2 markets although we are losing market share.

The solution is not to create a sterile transit area. That is nearly impossible in a country where 80% of the market is domestic. IMO the solution is to expand on what some airport are already doing which is to have dedicated CBP lanes to speed up intl-2-intl connections.
 
NYC-air
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:06 pm

Any improvements are likely to come from the airlines so I think we need some INTL to INTL pax numbers to really understand the cost / benefit here vis-a-vis reconfiguring terminals and procedures. NTL to INTL pax numbers at US hubs are, no doubt, a lot lower than at than at major hubs in other countries.

My guess is that US carriers loose more money off INTL -> Domestic pax (far higher volume that INTL to INTL!!) and this is where you're likely to see near-term improvements. There are costs associated with missed connections, not to mention the fact that many pax choose to connect outside the US when possible even if a US city is their final destination.

It's worth noting that the new automated passport machines have often been paid for by airlines (I know Delta paid for them at JFK T4) and they can be used by US Citizens, Canadian Citizens, and returning visitors from ESTA countries (basically most EU countries plus a few other 'rich' countries). Meanwhile at YYZ & YVR Air Canada paid for a Baggage Identification System (http://www.airportimprovement.com/content/story.php?article=00503) so that INTL/CAN -> US pax no longer have to claim luggage before going through US Preclearance/Customs.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:04 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):

In addition, KE still does ICN-LAX-GRU on the 77W I'm pretty sure.
 
Markam
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:04 am

Quoting commavia (Reply 6):
Once again, and as has been discussed numerous times on A.net, this has nothing to do with the U.S. "wan[ing] to show it's special," and everything to do with the fact that it's simple cost-benefit trade off. The vast majority of U.S. commercial airports see only domestic traffic, and for the vast majority of U.S. commercial airports that do have international flights, it makes up a minority of their overall traffic. As such - again, unlike major European and Mid East hubs where it's often the opposite - at U.S. airports it makes little economic sense to optimize the flow and infrastructure design for international. It's far more logical to design the airport primarily for domestic passengers - i.e., no passport required to get through security, domestic passengers can easily come and go, etc.

Schengen is also a huge market, and no passport is required to get through security, and domestic passengers can easily come and go. Yet, international connections are way easier than in the US. Therefore, there really does not exist a major intrinsic trade-off between domestic vs. international connection flows. If properly designed, an airport can perfectly accommodate and be optimized for both.

So, while I agree that at this point it might not be worth the cost to redesign U.S. airports for easier international connections, if they had been built with them in mind (and perhaps provided a different approach to transit passengers from the U.S. government) they would be perfectly capable to handle both international and domestic passengers as seamlessly. Again, no major intrinsic trade-off there.

  
 
tyler81190
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:34 am

Didn't ANC have (still have) an international "in-transit" lounge from way back in the days of fuel stops? I remember reading something on here a few years ago mentioning ANC and the NZ lounge at LAX were the only two "in-transit" facilities in the U.S.

Can anyone confirm this?

Now on topic... The U.S. is too bullheaded to offer in-transit facilities for I to I connections. Unfortunately, this longstanding policy has already had its effect on the aviation industry. Many years ago, when a stop was required for technical reasons, it was just good business to pick up additional passengers! Creating the I to I connection in many cities, essentially connecting the globe.

But the policies in effect to this day have cut that short, so airlines have, over the years demanded aircraft they fly more people farther, so they do not need to make that tech stop. If the U.S. decided tomorrow to update Airport facilities to allow I to I connections (without customs), no one would use them, except for a limited few.

A larger reason why this would be a large change for Americans, most countries that allow I to I transfers without customs also have "Exit Control" making the gate areas "International soil" and not part of that country (as you have already been marked as having left the country. UK, EU, Australia, M.E., Asia are just a few examples
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:35 am

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
And it's not just the Visa issue, it's the whole hassle of having to clear customs and passport control under any circumstance, including international transfers. US just wants to show it's special in this area, their loss. Most countries will bend over backwards to woo international transfer passengers.

The difference is in the US you can walk right out to the curb from being in the terminal. It allows airports to cost less, I was just in LHR and there were 5 floors, the amount of extra cost for that compared to a US style airport must be substantial. It also allows the businesses within the terminal to flourish. In Europe you are restricted to certain areas, which isn't all that fun in itself. Lastly its considerably cheaper and time efficient for those arriving domestic and international at their destination. In London when you exit T5 everyone goes through passport control even if you are walking out of Terminal A. Fewer customs people needed and keeps all the customs in a centralized location. The US air market domestically is way too large for a Euro style design.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:29 am

Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 15):
I was just in LHR and there were 5 floors, the amount of extra cost for that compared to a US style airport must be substantial.

Which is one of the reasons why LHR has those hideous taxes.

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 7):
I think the root of the problem is that airports are run in an inefficient way where every airline has its own terminal with no cooperation. So create separate international zones in an airport like LAX, you end up with 7 disconnected zones defeating the whole purpose and making it expensive and inefficient.

You nailed it on the head. And LAX is a prime example of this.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:02 am

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 7):
I think the root of the problem is that airports are run in an inefficient way where every airline has its own terminal with no cooperation. So create separate international zones in an airport like LAX, you end up with 7 disconnected zones defeating the whole purpose and making it expensive and inefficient.

Exactly! At least two of the airports with high volumes of international traffic are set-up this way (JFK & LAX). JFK can't even get their alliance partners under a single terminal roof (DL to AF, for example, requires a terminal change). Even if they wanted a sterile I-to-I area the current design and airline investment in terminal facilities would make it quite difficult.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:34 am

Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 15):
In London when you exit T5 everyone goes through passport control even if you are walking out of Terminal A.

The UK is not in the Schengen area and controls all passports, including EU ones, so it's not really comparable to a Schengen airport example, it is not "EU domestic".
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:17 am

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
Plenty of people in LatAm who can go visa free to the EU but not via MIA or NYC due to lack US Visa. It's not like people are going to jump ship while in transit, we're not in the 1950s anymore.

I hate to break it to you, but you picked the wrong part of the world to make your illustration. Along the US-Mexico border, there is a rash of illegal immigrants, mostly from Central America, trying to jump the border...and often paying smugglers over $3K just to get them to the border. How much easier do you think it would be for them to then buy a $500 one way ticket from say MEX to MAD via MIA or DFW and simply jump ship as soon as they enter the US without obtaining a visa because it's not required anymore?

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
And it's not just the Visa issue, it's the whole hassle of having to clear customs and passport control under any circumstance, including international transfers

THIS...the US and the UK are the biggest hassles for me to transfer through as I have to go through this entire clownshow. And the airlines have ZERO problems making it look like it's my fault because they sold me a 1-hour layover in LHR and the security lines for transfers in T-5 are waaaaaaaaaaay longer than normal because it's the morning intercontinental arrival bank.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:37 am

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
It's kind of a tragedy of airport design.

Yes. But, as noted by others here, there are pretty solid economic and historical reasons for this "tragedy".

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
2. Immigration kiosks and desks just for international-to-international transfer passengers. This could offer expedited clearance. It might be purely cosmetic, but maybe there is a way to make the process less burdensome specifically for passengers in transit.

Such a process is in operation in DFW Terminal D. AA is doing a pretty good job moving international arrivals to connections, including international transfers. Another thing they do there, which I believe is still unique, is transfer INT to INT bags without reclaim/recheck, of course something most international airports in other countries do as a matter of course.

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
3. Eliminate transit security for passengers arriving from "clean" countries:

That's not just impossible, but to my knowledge also doesn't exist anywhere where you have INT to INT transfer.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 5):
MIA, JFK, and a few other airports have/had them too... but since it's been a decade and a half since the rules changed, and I doubt any of them have seen much use since.

DFW Terminal D still sports a spacious "transit lounge", which is clean and brightly lit as if open for business, except it is not.

Quoting commavia (Reply 6):
As such - again, unlike major European and Mid East hubs where it's often the opposite - at U.S. airports it makes little economic sense to optimize the flow and infrastructure design for international.
Quoting AngMoh (Reply 7):
It would be easy to modify a US airport to properly handle international flights - relatively small airports like OSL and CPH can do it effectively.

Yes, and not quite. In airports which have dedicated international terminals, like LAX, ORD and DFW, in theory there is no reason why the international concourse couldn't have been one big transit lounge, with all originating passengers required to present their passports as they go airside, and accepting that they will need to go through inspection if they want to leave the concourse. But I'm guessing that would create complex legal and possibly political issues. US airlines also like the flexibility of operating all departures, both domestic and international, from the same concourse (noting that in ORD and LAX they have to tow the aircraft from the international terminal where they arrive to the departure terminal, surely not a very economical or efficient arrangement).

Quoting airbazar (Reply 10):
The 2 largest growth markets are Asia and S.America. The U.S. is right in between the 2. It is as good a transit country as you will find, and IIRC the U.S. is still the largest transit country between those 2 markets although we are losing market share.

      That is the only routing where the US makes a logical transit stop, and indeed it is a missed opportunity, although AA is definitely trying to turn DFW into an Asia-Latin America transfer hub. If only it had MIA's route network...
 
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mats
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:05 pm

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
3. Eliminate transit security for passengers arriving from "clean" countries:

That's not just impossible, but to my knowledge also doesn't exist anywhere where you have INT to INT transfer.


It's certainly the case in Frankfurt, Munich, and Istanbul, to name a few. Passengers who arrive from a designated "clean" country do not need to re-clear security for an onward domestic or international flight. The US is not reciprocal.

For example, if one flies on United from Boston to Newark and on to Frankfurt and then Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Stockholm, the only security check is in Boston.

But on the way back, you have to clear security in Stockholm then again in Newark.
 
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 14):
Didn't ANC have (still have) an international "in-transit" lounge from way back in the days of fuel stops? I remember reading something on here a few years ago mentioning ANC and the NZ lounge at LAX were the only two "in-transit" facilities in the U.S.

Yes, there was a Transit Lounge at ANC. Don't know if there still is, but as there are no longer Pax stop overs rather not. The Lounge had a duty free shop with exfcellend salmon and king crabs, interesting place, made the stop over easy, and one could see how huge a polar bear is. They had one there.

The NZ Lounge at LAX on the contrary is , at last was, a dump, with just a coffee hole in the wall , very unpleasant place.
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enilria
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:54 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Would the US3 benefit from and be more globally competitive if US regulations allowed for easier, more efficient international transfers? Or would it not matter for other reasons, e.g., geography?

The geography of the USA is awesome for Canada, Caribbean, Central America, and South America as a connect point, but the USA has done a fine job of making it pretty much impossible (except for Canadians) to connect through the USA. The experience connecting through the USA is dead last IMHO, tied with China for difficulty. It might actually be worse than China.

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
For most carriers, who really needs to go through the USA to get anywhere?

???
Nobody NEEDS to go through DXB, but it is convenient to do so. It is the opposite end of the spectrum to transit the USA.

Quoting UA900 (Reply 2):
And it's not just the Visa issue, it's the whole hassle of having to clear customs and passport control under any circumstance, including international transfers. US just wants to show it's special in this area, their loss. Most countries will bend over backwards to woo international transfer passengers.

Let's not forget reclaiming your luggage on a connection which is a HUGE time-consuming and unneeded hassle.

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
It's kind of a tragedy of airport design.

Nope. There used to be transit lounges. They were outlawed by DHS. Don't blame airports. Why would they build something that's illegal to use?
 
910A
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:56 pm

There was a transit lounge at ANC up until China Airlines discontinued their TPE-ANC-JFK service a few years ago.

Does Air New Zealand still have a transit lounge since they have move to the Bradley Terminal?
 
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United787
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:46 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 10):
The solution is not to create a sterile transit area. That is nearly impossible in a country where 80% of the market is domestic. IMO the solution is to expand on what some airport are already doing which is to have dedicated CBP lanes to speed up intl-2-intl connections.

Why not create sterile transit areas?

Quoting HKG212 (Reply 20):
Yes, and not quite. In airports which have dedicated international terminals, like LAX, ORD and DFW, in theory there is no reason why the international concourse couldn't have been one big transit lounge, with all originating passengers required to present their passports as they go airside, and accepting that they will need to go through inspection if they want to leave the concourse.

Yes!   

ORD has an international terminal T5 which could be made sterile in theory but many international flights depart from domestic terminals, T1 and T3. But, ORD also needs more gate spaces, lots of it. At some point, in the near future, there will have to be some large scale plan to redevelop T2, expand T5 and possibly add more concourses and/or terminals. Creating a sterile international concourse/terminal for AA and/or UA may be possible as part of that larger plan.

It would have to be on an airport by airport basis and most economically viable as part of a bigger redevelopment or expansion project. I would also think that since the airlines would benefit most, they would have to take the financial burden of creating these concourses.

Maybe they have already run the numbers and don't think it is worth the effort and money.
 
747megatop
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:35 pm

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
It's kind of a tragedy of airport design.

Why is it a tragedy of airport design? In fact it is good airport design to serve the intended purpose.

Look at ATL; it has a high percentage of domestic to domestic transfer traffic and thus you have the toast rack style of airport design friendly to both people transferring as well as friendly to the movement of aircraft thus achieving a high throughput in terms of both people and aircraft to support large number of aircraft arriving and departing in multiple banks efficiently.

Look at LAX which has a high percentage of O&D (85 to90% and above perhaps); so for an airport of it's size and passenger volume you have the shortest possible walk from curb side to check in and then to the gate compared to let's say ATL or for that matter an international transit hub such as HKG or a domestic transit hub such as ATL. The LAX passenger flows can be altered to make it smoother for transit passengers but that is not the priority since such a market is very small.

Look at DXB or for that matter HKG for example which have high percentages of international to international transfer; their layout and passenger flows are optimized for that kind of traffic.

So, why design for a market that doesn't exist or is very minimum? I don't think it is a tragedy of airport design.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:55 pm

In my opinion, there is a simple way for I to I connections that doesn't require building whole new airports. Maybe a major I to I gateway like Atlanta could try this:

1) Arriving from an international flight, all passengers are led to the immigration area. Now instead of going through immigration, the I to I transit passengers stay inside a lounge that's before immigration. This lounge would have seating, restrooms, some restaurants, maybe a duty free store, so passengers can comfortably spend some hours here if necessary.

2) Once a passenger enters the transit lounge, they make themselves known to a transit counter (or kiosk) where they supply their onward itinerary. They are given a time and place inside the lounge to show up. (for example: Door 7 at 11:20)

3) The computer calculates how many passengers there are for a given departure, and sends an appropriately sized vehicle, driven by a CBP officer. Since they only have hand luggage, there could be a 15 seater Chevy Express if there are less than 12 or so passengers, they could even send a small sedan if there is only one passenger, or a larger bus if there is a group.

4) The vehicle drives across the apron to the appropriate plane, getting there just before pushback. The CBP officer walks the passengers up the stairs (I'm talking about the outside stairs at the jetbridges), makes sure they all board, then watches as the door is closed.

Would this be a good system or not? It can't be too expensive, and it would open a huge new potential of transit passengers.

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rta
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:00 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 27):
The vehicle drives across the apron to the appropriate plane, getting there just before pushback. The CBP officer walks the passengers up the stairs (I'm talking about the outside stairs at the jetbridges), makes sure they all board, then watches as the door is closed.

What about for passengers who can't walk up stairs? Also I guess that would mean no priority boarding.
 
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enilria
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:16 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 25):
Quoting airbazar (Reply 10):
The solution is not to create a sterile transit area. That is nearly impossible in a country where 80% of the market is domestic. IMO the solution is to expand on what some airport are already doing which is to have dedicated CBP lanes to speed up intl-2-intl connections.

Why not create sterile transit areas?

They had them here before. The issue has nothing to do with anything except DHS.
 
PanHAM
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:31 am

Quoting rta (Reply 28):

What about for passengers who can't walk up stairs? Also I guess that would mean no priority boarding.


The cargo department helps out with highloaders.
 

To stay with ATL as a Transit Point - Intl to domestic Pax have to clear anyhow. Seal the international concourse for I to I passengers simply like it is done in the rest of the world and Bingo.
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HKG212
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:19 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 27):
This lounge would have seating, restrooms, some restaurants, maybe a duty free store, so passengers can comfortably spend some hours here if necessary.
Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 27):
Would this be a good system or not? It can't be too expensive, and it would open a huge new potential of transit passengers.

Commercially speaking that would be hugely inefficient compared to the shared concourse. You'll probably have a hard time finding retail and F&B operators willing to operate in a limited lounge like this. So you could have one like the idle one I mentioned exists in DFW, but with minimal amenities. Would passengers want to spend sometimes 3-4 hours in such an environment?

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 27):
The computer calculates how many passengers there are for a given departure, and sends an appropriately sized vehicle, driven by a CBP officer. Since they only have hand luggage, there could be a 15 seater Chevy Express if there are less than 12 or so passengers, they could even send a small sedan if there is only one passenger, or a larger bus if there is a group.

There is really no need for this complicated procedure, they can just backtrack via the arrivals sterile corridor to the departure gate. I believe this was the intention in DFW Terminal D.

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 26):
Why is it a tragedy of airport design? In fact it is good airport design to serve the intended purpose.

It's not a tragedy, but it is a terminal (rather than an airport) design problem which is hard to fix in hindsight. Again, DFW Terminal D is a terminal where INT to INT transfers were considered and planned for in a rational way. Other new terminals could do the same, and perhaps some could be retrofitted (JFK Terminals 4 and 8 come to mind). The problem is that post-9/11 paranoia killed this potential. In that sense, it's a political tragedy.
 
cloudboy
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:27 pm

Unless large swaths of the Soviet Union and Middle East become off limits for European Airlines again, what real advantage would there be to connecting through the US? I have long thought about how to make the US carriers truly global airlines, but really, the only market I can see a real geographical advantage to outside of North American originating traffic would be from South America to Asia, which I can't imagine is a significant market. Otherwise it is just going too far out of the way.
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enilria
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:19 pm

If AM code-shared with EK (they won't thanks to the DL ownership) and you got EK into MEX it would allow a lot of people to bypass the USA and its Visa nightmare on their way elsewhere. I wonder if that is one of DL's goals with the investment.
 
TravelsUK
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:55 pm

Quoting HKG212 (Reply 20):
That's not just impossible, but to my knowledge also doesn't exist anywhere where you have INT to INT transfer.

It's done at Doha, I have never cleared security whilst in transit from London. Different if arriving from some other countries eg. Thailand, then you have to clear security before taking your connecting flight.
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747megatop
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:56 pm

Quoting HKG212 (Reply 31):
, but it is a terminal (rather than an airport) design problem

I wouldn't call it a terminal design problem either since the market is miniscule for which designing that requirement was not a priority. It would be a design problem if a major INT to INT transfer hub like DXB or SIN or HKG did not take that into account and design for it.

Quoting HKG212 (Reply 31):
t. Again, DFW Terminal D is a terminal where INT to INT transfers were considered and planned for in a rational way.

Good for DFW; but again; what % of AA's passengers use that annually? What % of revenue does AA get from these passengers annually?

What region pairs does AA do I to I connection? Some that i can think of are
- Central America/South America to Japan
- Central America/South America to Canada (and in Canada 4 or 5 cities realistically perhaps YVR,YYC, YUL & ATL,JFK,MIA(of course MIA lacks a Japan connection) and to a certain extend ORD (which would be out of the way for Mexico-Europe connections).

Still doesn't sound like a terminal/airport design tragedy to me. DFW terminal D designed for it, but so what? Even if the design didn't account for it i doubt things would be any different significantly.

[Edited 2015-04-29 09:58:56]
 
747megatop
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:03 pm

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 34):
It's done at Doha, I have never cleared security whilst in transit from London.

The only exception perhaps. Everywhere else be it SIN, LHR, HKG, DXB, FRA, AMS etc. you have to re-clear security at the transiting hub before boarding your onward international connection.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:21 pm

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 36):

The only exception perhaps. Everywhere else be it SIN, LHR, HKG, DXB, FRA, AMS etc. you have to re-clear security at the transiting hub before boarding your onward international connection.

Neither is FRA. I connected in concourse B last year, and the arriving flight just opens directly into the passenger concourse, no security check whatsoever.
 
N1120A
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:55 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
NZ's AKL-LAX-LHR isn't the most efficient routing in terms of geography

Only marginally so, vs. HKG. The 200 miles or so isn't much of a difference from an efficiency perspective, and they are carrying a lot more traffic in all 3 markets.

Quoting mats (Reply 3):
Air New Zealand has a "transit lounge," which I believe is the only one in the USA.

Not anymore.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 9):
European hubs have successfully adapted from the domestic (tiny markets) + international paradigm into the current Schengen (roughly equivalent to US domestic) + international

Schengen is different, because there aren't borders anymore. No need to do immigration checks. Also, there is quite substantial traffic to non-Schengen countries. Think about just the UK and Ireland. That is 70 million people who have free movement, but have to arrive and depart from "international" terminals.

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 9):
Certain US terminals at key transit airports can adopt this model.

You'd think, but you have a few problems.

1) Efficient use of gates as currently designed.

2) Onerous US immigration policy and nasty style of enforcement.

3) Issues with raising capital for any infrastructure project.

It isn't going to happen.

Quoting Freshside3 (Reply 16):
You nailed it on the head. And LAX is a prime example of this.

LAX is a prime example of being extremely well-built for what its purpose is.

Quoting 910A (Reply 24):
Does Air New Zealand still have a transit lounge since they have move to the Bradley Terminal?

No.

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 26):
Look at LAX which has a high percentage of O&D (85 to90% and above perhaps)

Its 70-75%, but yes.

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 32):
would be from South America to Asia, which I can't imagine is a significant market

Japan to South America is a significant market, but the Japanese are VWP, so it it isn't a huge deal.
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HKG212
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:07 am

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 35):
Good for DFW; but again; what % of AA's passengers use that annually? What % of revenue does AA get from these passengers annually?

As a frequent user of DFW for Asia-Latin America travel, I'd say the percentage is not negligible, certainly not upfront. When AA launched HKG-DFW it was a primary sales pitch in the ad campaign. The Consul General of Mexico was a guest of honor in the launch party in Hong Kong.

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 35):
What region pairs does AA do I to I connection? Some that i can think of are
- Central America/South America to Japan

You are curiously missing China-Latin America, a still-small but fast growing market.

DFW, with feeds from ICN, NRT, HKG, PVG and very soon PEK, is clearly the focal point for AA's Asia-Latin America strategy.

I'm sure MIA (and to a lesser degree JFK) moves quite a few Europeans to secondary cities in Latin America (US immigration procedures are easier on most Europeans).

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 35):
- Central America/South America to Canada (and in Canada 4 or 5 cities realistically perhaps YVR,YYC, YUL & ATL,JFK,MIA(of course MIA lacks a Japan connection) and to a certain extend ORD (which would be out of the way for Mexico-Europe connections).

ORD has nothing to offer as an INT-INT transit point, as it has no Latin America service to speak of. I'm sure the few Canadians who are not in the pocket of AC and *A fly via MIA or DFW to destinations in Latin America.
 
747megatop
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:44 am

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 37):

Neither is FRA. I connected in concourse B last year, and the arriving flight just opens directly into the passenger concourse, no security check whatsoever

Well, your statement is true if you are flying within the schengen zone. Not true if you are doing non schengen international to international transfer. Please read pages 7 & 17 of - http://www.frankfurt-airport.com/con...file/transfer-guide---englisch.pdf
 
richcandy
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:35 am

Quoting cloudboy (Reply 32):
Unless large swaths of the Soviet Union and Middle East become off limits for European Airlines again, what real advantage would there be to connecting through the US? I have long thought about how to make the US carriers truly global airlines, but really, the only market I can see a real geographical advantage to outside of North American originating traffic would be from South America to Asia, which I can't imagine is a significant market. Otherwise it is just going too far out of the way.

United used to (might still do) issue discounted through fares from LHR to Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Also LHR to SYD & MEL and back in the day AKL.

American also issued discounted through fares from LHR to the Caribbean and maybe South America.

For a lot of passengers the routing is not the number one consideration, thats price. "Some" passengers will put up with less than direct routings in order to save a few £/$/€. For the airlines its bums on seats!
 
tyler81190
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 3:02 am

the real issue with creating transit areas would be the "exit control" that most other countries have. If you look at most other International transit points, they all have exit control, I am sure the U.s. could set something up for transiting without this feature, but there really isn't any point for it except for at LAX with he NZ, AF, and VS flights that continue to Europe.
 
harim
Posts: 152
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 4:39 am

I am not sure if it is a regular occurrence, a challenge witnessed is the poor customer service from the Border Guards - in some airports like LAX (pleasant in other airports such as SEA).

Not at the booth - but yelling at passengers to marshall them on line-ups to the booth.

It can be done more effectively, and politely.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 1:19 pm

Quoting tyler81190 (Reply 42):
If you look at most other International transit points, they all have exit control,

What about Canada and the United Kingdom?
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jetblue1965
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 1:47 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
You'd think, but you have a few problems.

1) Efficient use of gates as currently designed.

2) Onerous US immigration policy and nasty style of enforcement.

3) Issues with raising capital for any infrastructure project.

The gate part is a design flaw. Take FRA/MUC again. They split out Schengen on lower floor and non-Schengen on upper floor, and BOTH floors and access the same gates (They call it Axx / Zxx). Every gate in that region can be used for any flight.

I recall YYZ has similar arrangement for certain gates that pre-cleared transborder (CA to US) is lower floor and true-international and upper floor, both sharing the same gates.

Of course, in the US where most gates only open back into the same floor of the terminal, it won't happen.

Like other posters have mentioned, it's unrealistic to expect the whole nation to switch over to such a model, but they can use individual terminals like DFW D to test the concept. Cities are more than willing to invest if they see DFW being very successful in such a model and winning traffic over.
 
drgmobile
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 3:17 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 1):
For most carriers, who really needs to go through the USA to get anywhere?

This really isn't the question. Plenty of people choose indirect routes over direct routes for a variety of reasons, but most notably price, schedule and alliance affiliation.

The bigger challenge is not airport configuration, it's border policies. Transit travellers via the U.S. are not exempt from visa requirements that may exist. A stop in a third country may not deter a passenger, but having to get a visa just to change planes most certainly will if there are alternatives.

North America is a bit out of step with the rest of the world on this. The vast majority of major transit hubs do not require visas for transiting passengers.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 5:08 pm

Quoting drgmobile (Reply 46):
Transit travellers via the U.S. are not exempt from visa requirements that may exist. A stop in a third country may not deter a passenger, but having to get a visa just to change planes most certainly will if there are alternatives.

True, although many (if not most) higher-yielding potential transfer passengers likely either come from a VWP country or hold a multi-entry US visa already.
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enilria
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 5:43 pm

Quoting drgmobile (Reply 46):
The bigger challenge is not airport configuration, it's border policies. Transit travellers via the U.S. are not exempt from visa requirements that may exist. A stop in a third country may not deter a passenger, but having to get a visa just to change planes most certainly will if there are alternatives.

North America is a bit out of step with the rest of the world on this. The vast majority of major transit hubs do not require visas for transiting passengers.

To step back even further, for Americans to think that the vast security apparatus that has been installed in the USA has not a) made the USA less competitive in terms of product, 2) made the USA less competitive in terms of cost, and 3) made the USA less competitive in terms of time wasted by potential consumers is to ignore the extremely obvious. The USA has a tendency to create overly elaborate and expensive solutions to solve a problem that has caused a tiny number of people to die. Terrorism fits squarely in that category. Like many things people don't have the information or the ability to weigh risk versus reward when the media and the government are fanning the flames of fear with the goal of higher ratings and vacuuming up more tax dollars. At some point the USA needs to come to grips with the fact that it can't just have unlimited pie, there is a risk-reward balance...and if there isn't the country will eventually go bankrupt.
 
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phlsfo
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RE: US3:Benefit From More Efficient Intl Transit Hubs?

Fri May 15, 2015 6:11 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 27):

Just reading through this makes my head spin at how many ways this could go wrong.

First, passengers will complain because there wont be a variety of shops/dining options with such a limited space. Airport wont like it because all their international inbound traffic wont be spending money at all the available shops in the rest of the airport.

CBP operating busses? Good luck with that. Will NEVER happen. They wont foot the bill and will increase transit costs to the carriers, raising ticket prices.

As someone else said, pax who can't go up stairs creates an ACAA issue. Plus what if there are adverse weather conditions, or a family with an infant in a stroller?

There are just too many holes in a plan like this that it would never work.

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