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airlinewatcher1
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UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:02 pm

Is it remotely possible that we could see UA back at OAK anytime in the foreseeable future, now that the economic downturn of 2008 is (mostly) over?

Or for that matter, JFK?

With SFO and EWR just down the road from OAK and JFK (respectively), these tertiary airports aren't a priority for UA. But still, I would think there could be enough demand to support service to the hubs - LAX, ORD, DEN, & IAH. I would think they would want all the completive edge over AA, DL, and WN they can get - and to a lessor extent, AS.
 
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adamblang
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:21 pm

Quoting airlinewatcher1 (Thread starter):
Or for that matter, JFK?

JFK just closed a week ago so I'm going to go with no for the foreseeable future on that one.
 
roseflyer
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:29 pm

Revenue from Oakland is terrible. Southwest came in, established a hub and drove out all the competition with all the $69 fares. Yields are still on the low side in OAK. I don't see UA re-entering the market with fares as cheap as they are. Things have changed a little at SFO with VX and WN, but it is a much healthier operation.

Quoting airlinewatcher1 (Thread starter):
But still, I would think there could be enough demand to support service to the hubs - LAX, ORD, DEN, & IAH. I would think they would want all the completive edge over AA, DL, and WN they can get - and to a lessor extent, AS.

Southwest already flies to every city UA would consider from OAK. Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver are all covered by Southwest.

There is no point opening up OAK if they aren't going to earn any money. UA is not in the business of competing against AA, DL or WN for supremacy. UA is in the business of earning money. Not every airline needs to fly to every city. Back in the 1990s UA tried to fly to every city and even had a big promotion that they flew to all 50 states. Unfortunately doing that lost them a lot of money.

[Edited 2015-11-02 08:32:42]
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Airnerd
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:27 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 2):
Southwest already flies to every city UA would consider from OAK. Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver are all covered by Southwest.

Right, you wouldn't need UA to get to one those places served non-stop by WN. However, when I lived in Oakland, I would regularly use UA to connect through DEN and ORD to places in the midwest not served (or not well served) by WN.
Places like OMA, FAR, YYZ, etc. If you live in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, it's nice to use OAK over SFO whenever possible. It's much easier.
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:05 pm

Quoting Airnerd (Reply 3):
Places like OMA, FAR, YYZ, etc. If you live in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, it's nice to use OAK over SFO whenever possible. It's much easier.

This is similar to my thinking. A big reason for UA to serve OAK is to offer it as a destination for their customers in the rest of the country, when they really need to go to OAK. 2x daily CR7s from DEN and IAH would be enough to satisfy that, and it certainly wouldn't hurt their SFO ops. It's about connecting the dots for their high-value flyers.

Of course, my thinking is skewed by my experience living in Montana for the past several years and flying often for business. 95% of trips require a connection -- non-stop flights are a strange fantasy when you live in Montana and travel to a lot of college towns. It was very annoying when I needed to go somewhere that my preferred airline doesn't serve, and the local airline of the destination doesn't serve my home airport. It happens more than you might think -- especially when the destination was an AA or WN stronghold, as those airlines have no presence in Montana. Interlines are annoying.   So I'm almost always in favor of airlines building networks and adding markets.
 
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ua900
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:04 pm

Quoting airlinewatcher1 (Thread starter):
Is it remotely possible that we could see UA back at OAK anytime in the foreseeable future, now that the economic downturn of 2008 is (mostly) over?

IMO UA's withdrawal from OAK wasn't related to the downturn. More related to the fact that WN elbowed everyone out around 2008/9, similar to a couple other airports, e.g. BUR.

I flew UA into OAK around 2007 on a 752 from either DEN or ORD in F and the F cabin was maybe 20% full and Y was somewhere around 65% full. Those were the days before unlimited elite upgrades, so it was a fairly accurate picture of who's willing to pay for F seats, 5 people and 24 seats. I flew out of SFO for at least five years after that, and I can tell you that it's both elite heavy and relatively more affluent, e.g. more people are actually paying for F out of SFO. WN on the other hand never had to worry about filling the front of their cabin since it's all Y service.

UA (and AA and DL) could run more flights out of OAK, but that's mostly for LAX area traffic and not as a feeder to their respective hubs / focus cities outside of LAX. Good luck selling the seats up front, OAK-LAX would be more like a TED route for UA. Run an E75 and we can talk. Send a CR2 / CR7 again and forget it.

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 4):
2x daily CR7s from DEN and IAH would be enough to satisfy that, and it certainly wouldn't hurt their SFO ops. It's about connecting the dots for their high-value flyers.

As a 1K, I avoid BUR-DEN like the plague, even though it's now been upgraded from a CR2 to a CR7. E75 is bearable but 2+ hours on a CRJ is atrocious when you've got mainliner service 20 miles away. Better seats, proper meal service, club, TSA pre-check, I know what I'm buying. Traffic isn't that bad between BUR and LAX or OAK and SFO. Plus neither BUR nor OAK has clubs or other facilities. BUR has 2-3 Peet's, so if you like Coffee Bean or Starbucks you're SOL. I remember OAK had that one Mexican Grill that was decent, but again, fewer choices than their big neighbor right next door, and lower end choices at that. Check out T2 at SFO or the new T3 annex, or the Farmer's Market at LAX. That's the future, not McDonalds type fare at Farm to Fork prices.

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 4):
Of course, my thinking is skewed by my experience living in Montana for the past several years and flying often for business. 95% of trips require a connection -- non-stop flights are a strange fantasy when you live in Montana and travel to a lot of college towns. It was very annoying when I needed to go somewhere that my preferred airline doesn't serve, and the local airline of the destination doesn't serve my home airport.

As someone who's lost a lot of smaller airports from my UA map over the last half decade, I feel your pain. I too enjoy going to smaller airports off the beaten path, and there one has to be grateful for whatever service one can get, even a ERJ135 or a CR2 beats driving. But places like OAK see a ton of WN 737s day in day out, so when UA kicked out mainline, the couple OO CRJ flights only hung on for another two years or so. Didn't matter whether it was ExPlus or CR2, they got slaughtered. One recent development I see is the E75 deployment at places like BUR, could perhaps result in LAX-OAK service one day.
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airzona11
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:20 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 2):
Revenue from Oakland is terrible. Southwest came in, established a hub and drove out all the competition with all the $69 fares. Yields are still on the low side in OAK. I don't see UA re-entering the market with fares as cheap as they are. Things have changed a little at SFO with VX and WN, but it is a much healthier operation.

Interesting about the Yields with respect to Oakland. Granted most of my flying is West Coast vs longer stage lengths, SFO is almost always less expensive. 5 years ago you could chase lower fares out of the East Bay, however it is now almost always SFO.

I am not stating you are incorrect, I would just be interested in seeing any data that is out there.

If I am flying Bay Area to most places on West Coast, AA comes in cheapest of all, followed by Delta and United. Southwest is never the market price leader. I am long time A-list and *G but due to destinations switched to AA in addition to WN. VX is pretty useless for my needs.
 
a380787
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:24 pm

Quoting ua900 (Reply 5):
Good luck selling the seats up front, OAK-LAX would be more like a TED route for UA. Run an E75 and we can talk. Send a CR2 / CR7 again and forget it.

You're speaking from a pax comfort perspective, but running a premium heavy E75* on a "TED route" (read : LCC yields) might not be the most financially prudent choice.

The way I see it, for UA, LAX-SJC must return first before LAX-OAK has any chance of materializing.


* E75 is 15.8% premium cabin versus only 10.0% of a standard 738 config
 
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ua900
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:08 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 7):
You're speaking from a pax comfort perspective, but running a premium heavy E75* on a "TED route" (read : LCC yields) might not be the most financially prudent choice.

I'm speaking from the perspective of a paying premium customer. What's not prudent for UA is to keep around offerings are so bad that they only attract free upgrades. Why pay for the CR7 product? The E75 product is so much nicer, I'm willing to pay for it.

As others have said, OAK isn't necessarily about low yields any more, so who knows, perhaps a E75 could work for OAK the way it seems to work for BUR lately. BUR fares used to on par with LAX as well but now it's almost always higher than LAX. And the remaining people who fly say BUR-SFO on the E75 clearly value the convenience yet those aren't enough people to fill a 738 in either cabin.

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 4):
It's about connecting the dots for their high-value flyers.
Quoting airzona11 (Reply 6):
Interesting about the Yields with respect to Oakland. Granted most of my flying is West Coast vs longer stage lengths, SFO is almost always less expensive.

Others have said that OAK is moving up a bit. The E75 has 12 seats up front, not as big of a loss / challenge as having to sell 16-20 F seats on a 738. I'd say UA should look at the BUR numbers and if they are good then decide whether to apply it to places like OAK. I agree with you that UA should make a financially prudent choice, but since I'm an outsider to UA I'll look at this from my 1K perspective.
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a380787
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:24 pm

Quoting ua900 (Reply 8):

BUR has Hollywood and SNA has some rich suburbs.... What does OAK have around it ?
 
ScottB
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:42 pm

Quoting Airnerd (Reply 3):
Right, you wouldn't need UA to get to one those places served non-stop by WN. However, when I lived in Oakland, I would regularly use UA to connect through DEN and ORD to places in the midwest not served (or not well served) by WN.
Places like OMA, FAR, YYZ, etc. If you live in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, it's nice to use OAK over SFO whenever possible. It's much easier.

No doubt that OAK is more convenient for those in the East Bay, but UA isn't going to offer greater convenience unless they can make more money doing so. If you're based in the Bay Area and need to go somewhere like FAR or MSN, chances are that you're going to drive to SFO and take UA anyway, so they don't have to serve OAK to get your business. And it's cheaper for them to carry you on a 739ER from SFO to DEN/ORD for a connection than on an E175/CR7/E145 between OAK & DEN.

Quoting ua900 (Reply 8):
Others have said that OAK is moving up a bit. The E75 has 12 seats up front, not as big of a loss / challenge as having to sell 16-20 F seats on a 738.

It's actually an even bigger challenge because you're trying to sell a greater percentage of seats up front out of the total on the aircraft.

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 4):
A big reason for UA to serve OAK is to offer it as a destination for their customers in the rest of the country, when they really need to go to OAK. 2x daily CR7s from DEN and IAH would be enough to satisfy that, and it certainly wouldn't hurt their SFO ops. It's about connecting the dots for their high-value flyers.

The high-value flyers end up not taking those flights unless they just happen to match their schedules. The far greater frequency available at SFO to the other hubs, not to mention the non-stops, ends up making low-frequency service on RJs uncompetitive.
 
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ua900
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:49 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 9):
BUR has Hollywood and SNA has some rich suburbs.... What does OAK have around it ?

Moraga, Lafayette, Orinda, Danville (Home of Sully), San Ramon (Chevron Global HQ), Marin County (2nd richest county in the state, 17th nationwide) equidistant to OAK and SFO. $100-130k median household income is the norm in these communities, not exactly a poorhouse. It's above average as E75 destinations go.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 10):
It's actually an even bigger challenge because you're trying to sell a greater percentage of seats up front out of the total on the aircraft.

As a customer one gets more attentive service though. F/A in front has fewer people to take care of. E75s seems to be well suited for Bay Area - LA Area runs judging by the fact they now pop up even on SFO-LAX.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 10):
The high-value flyers end up not taking those flights unless they just happen to match their schedules. The far greater frequency available at SFO to the other hubs, not to mention the non-stops, ends up making low-frequency service on RJs uncompetitive.

Right, so look at BUR for example. SFO flight in the morning is always packed, as is the late afternoon return. Cater to business people moving between the two areas to start with and find another 70 people for the back of the plane.

[Edited 2015-11-02 15:53:37]
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a380787
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RE: UA At OAK

Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:50 pm

Same arguments can be made about why UA doesn't serve OAK MDW HOU

DAL is the special case in which I think UA should've stayed
 
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ua900
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:04 am

Quoting a380787 (Reply 12):
Same arguments can be made about why UA doesn't serve OAK MDW HOU

DAL is the special case in which I think UA should've stayed

It's market specific and depends on timing and equipment. The right plane on the right route and at the right time can make a ton of money. UA at BUR almost died, UA at SJC, ONT, PSP and SNA is struggling, probably due to proximity to SFO and LAX, and they had to withdraw from places like OAK, CLD or OXR. I think the E75 in particular is a game changer, it delivers something very close to a mainliner experience at the cost and capacity of a CR7.
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a380787
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:21 am

Quoting ua900 (Reply 11):

Well, ask yourself this. If those suburbs and companies are so crucial at OAK, and that UA is allegedly leaving millions on the table, why haven't we seen AA and DL swam in like locusts to take that pie ? Their handful amount of OAK service pales even compared to SJC.

I don't think it's a E75 vs CR7 issue at all. The market is fundamentally cannibalized by SFO.
 
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ua900
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:28 am

Quoting a380787 (Reply 14):
Well, ask yourself this. If those suburbs and companies are so crucial at OAK, and that UA is allegedly leaving millions on the table, why haven't we seen AA and DL swam in like locusts to take that pie ? Their handful amount of OAK service pales even compared to SJC.

I don't think it's a E75 vs CR7 issue at all. The market is fundamentally cannibalized by SFO.

Yeah, I don't think that OAK-DEN or OAK-ORD could work, to the OPs point. I'm just saying that OAK could probably accommodate a couple of LAX turns for UA one day if it continues to attract more tech companies and continues to be gentrified further. WN will play first fiddle at OAK in the foreseeable future. SFO is #1 due to better connections and better facilities. Much like BUR doesn't stand a chance against LAX outside of some people saving themselves from a heart attack on the 405 parking lot.
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a380787
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:42 am

Quoting ua900 (Reply 15):

UA didn't even wanna keep LAX-SJC with far more tech traffic that's already loyal to UA, so OAK would definitely a lot more challenging.
 
IndianicWorld
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:31 am

The move away from secondary airports has been wisespread in the last few years. even for those LCC's in the market.

The airlines want to maximise yield potential and feed off any potential addition traffic from main hubs. Airports like OAK have a hard time these days trying to strengthen their case for service with the magnet that are the nearby hubs and their attractions.
 
Freshside3
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:46 am

Quoting ua900 (Reply 11):
Moraga, Lafayette, Orinda, Danville (Home of Sully), San Ramon (Chevron Global HQ), Marin County (2nd richest county in the state, 17th nationwide) equidistant to OAK and SFO. $100-130k median household income is the norm in these communities, not exactly a poorhouse. It's above average as E75 destinations go.

Let's not forget the Piedmont and Montclair districts, which are actually in the hills of Oakland.

Richmond and Benicia also where oil refineries are, as well.
 
Freshside3
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:26 pm

Traffic still is a factor, though, especially further east and north of OAK. Some places way east could use SCK, but they really have nothing.

And BART does not operate 24 hours, either. So people in Concord, Richmond, etc. still have to drive to SFO(or maybe SMF). Which is still longer.

WN/AS has the North-South on the coast covered. And DL has SLC, which is somewhat comparable to DEN for that region. B6 has JFK.

ORD/IAH would be the best options, should UA decide to come back.......can cover an odd assortment of central/eastern USA, plus some Europe connections(which WN does not have). Especially in the case of places like BRU, MAN, etc. where no direct flights exist from SFO. Currently, it's 2 plane changes from OAK, or drive to SFO for one plane change.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: UA At OAK

Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:32 pm

Quoting IndianicWorld (Reply 17):
The move away from secondary airports has been wisespread in the last few years. even for those LCC's in the market.

The airlines want to maximise yield potential and feed off any potential addition traffic from main hubs. Airports like OAK have a hard time these days trying to strengthen their case for service with the magnet that are the nearby hubs and their attractions.

I realize passenger convenience is not the concern of the airlines, but this is really annoying. Like my family lives near SJC and SNA. It's a real pain for them to have to go to SFO or LAX when their local airport is like 3 miles away.

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