US Airways Has Finally Finished De-hubbing LAS...

submitted by AWACSooner

Flying only to CLT, DCA, PHX and PHL starting early next year (BOS, FAT, SFO, LAX and DFW...buh-bye): http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/p...to-trim-las-vegas-flights/545705/1

While it's pretty well known that their LAS hub was massively leisure O&D, it's still sad to see yet another aspect of HP go by the wayside.

all comments

1. bjorn14

FATFlyer will be sad.

2. indiansbucs

This is what this economy brings eventually: cuts, and more cuts...

3. yegbey01

I was lucky to have done LAS-YEG on US (and HP) many times while the service was offered. My last LAS-YEG was quite memorable with an emergency stop in SLC back in 2009!!!

4. cslusarc

I think that this change creates an opportunity for some airline like DL to grow at LAS. I'd like to see DL launch a focus city serving somewhere like 20-30 domestic (and Canadian) destinations up from the approximate 9 destinations they fly today.

5. dlramp4life

So this means WN will grow more in LAS??

6. HPRamper

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 5):

So this means WN will grow more in LAS??

They really haven't so far. LAS isn't just a depressed market for US.

7. nkops

I am guessing NK will grow more in LAS...

8. slcdeltarumd11

Quoting cslusarc (Reply 4):

I think that this change creates an opportunity for some airline like DL to grow at LAS. I'd like to see DL launch a focus city serving somewhere like 20-30 domestic (and Canadian) destinations up from the approximate 9 destinations they fly today.

The demand is certainly there but its mostly leisure passengers so the profits are probably very low. As a lowly silver i was a solid 100% on JFK-LAS upgrades. I think i have also seen empty seats in F, Delta employees in F, or randoms upgraded in full flights on every flight I've ever been on JFK-LAS. This is why LAS is the perfect WN and Allegiant Airlines city and can't be a legacy hub its almost all leisure. Its better to fly the masses to your hubs than to make point to points with no real major profit potential and i think US learned the hard way that WN is perfect for the LAS market.

9. srbmod

Quoting indiansbucs (Reply 2):

This is what this economy brings eventually: cuts, and more cuts...

As does increased competition on some of these routes. There's definitely a glut of flights between Las Vegas and the L.A. area and someone was bound to have to fold their hand. It should be interesting to see how this impacts NK's operations on the LAS-DFW route, as once US leaves the route, they're the only other airline to offer service on the route besides AA. Will someone like VX jump onto the route, as LAS is the 6th most popular destination out of DFW according to the BTS data. LAS-SFO has a lot of airlines as well (UA/CO, VX and WN as well as NK and WN out of OAK), so US leaving probably won't have too much of an effect on the fares on those routes.

10. WhatUsaid

Maybe G4 will respond at FAT? When US was running 2X and 3X a day to LAS, G4 fell out of favor. Now, with their exit there's not nearly sufficient lift. G4 needs to re-time their FAT flights and add a second flight on Fri/Sun or the party crowd will be grounded. Of course, the evening LAS nonstop will now head to PHX, so no loss in flights.

11. FATFlyer

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 1):

FATFlyer will be sad.

Why would I be sad?  

FAT-LAS had 3 carriers on it. So no loss of the route for us here since both G4 and Skywest/UAX remain.

Even if UAX ends FAT-LAS as the Brasilias exit the fleet it is likely Allegiant will simply up its frequency.

12. ERJ

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 5):

So this means WN will grow more in LAS??

Quoting nkops (Reply 7):

I am guessing NK will grow more in LAS..

I doubt either NK or WN were waiting around hoping for US to pull its last remaining point to point routes out of Vegas. That and none of these routes are short on capacity.

13. ouboy79

Quoting AWACSooner (Thread starter):

While it's pretty well known that their LAS hub was massively leisure O&D, it's still sad to see yet another aspect of HP go by the wayside.

PHX probably won't be far behind in 4-7 years. The money has been and always will be back east. Money-man (and former US Airways CEO/Chair) Lakefield was a tremendous fund raiser and did what needed to be done to raise outside investments to fund the combination of the two airlines. He is still on the board as Vice-Chairman.

The other guys on the board are pretty evenly split. Baum from Dial is a PHX guy. Hart from Hilton is from Virginia. Kraemer is from Lauderdale. Krongard is from NYC. O'Leary is an old HP investor. Philip is from Albany, NY. Whisler is from PHX as well. Again, pretty even split on the board, but the majority are old US or East coast people. Not saying this has any more pull over the obviously high yields out of CLT & PHL, but just little bits that can lead someone to believe that this will be another PSA and US will eventually shop itself to yet another partner.

14. milemaster

Quoting srbmod (Reply 9):

flights between Las Vegas and the L.A. area and someone was bound to have to fold their hand. It should be interesting to see how this impacts NK's operations on the LAS-DFW route, as once US leaves the route, they're the only other airline to offer service on the route besides AA. Will someone like VX jump onto the route, as LAS is the 6th most popular destination out of DFW according to the BTS data.

I'm pretty bummed about US killing the DFW-LAS route as they have unbeatable air/hotel packages through US Airways Vacations. However, I would get over it at lightspeed if VX started the route.

15. wedgetail737

Quoting nkops (Reply 7):

I am guessing NK will grow more in LAS...

I agree. I think we'll see some more significant growth from NK at LAS.

I kind of wish National was still around. I flew on National a few times on the SEA-LAS, DFW-LAS and SFO-LAS. 1st class upgrades were very reasonable.

16. AWACSooner

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 15):

I kind of wish National was still around. I flew on National a few times on the SEA-LAS, DFW-LAS and SFO-LAS. 1st class upgrades were very reasonable.

Never got to...wish like hell I had.

17. rampart

Back in the day, I was a Nite Flite frequent flier. HP shifted a bunch of the fleet 250 miles north to run a busy red-eye hub, connecting everywhere they went: NW, Midwest, East, California, Texas. With a Nite Flite, I had enough contact with Vegas to play a slot machine on the layover -- my only jackpot ever on one of those -- and then off to somewhere else. That's all I needed with Vegas, once in a great while I'd fly up for $35 and stay.

To me, it seemed like a brilliant idea to utilize aircraft. What happened? Fares were lower, but who was competing with them in the middle of the night? And it's not like LAS (or Las Vegas) shut down at night.

-Rampart

18. gigneil

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 11):

Even if UAX ends FAT-LAS as the Brasilias exit the fleet it is likely Allegiant will simply up its frequency.

A large part of UA's western regional ops are Brasilias. What will they do without them? Nothing?

NS

19. usflyer%2520msp

Quoting rampart (Reply 17):

To me, it seemed like a brilliant idea to utilize aircraft. What happened? Fares were lower, but who was competing with them in the middle of the night? And it's not like LAS (or Las Vegas) shut down at night.

What happened? Fuel prices increased significantly! The added revenue from the increased utilization was less than increased fuel costs from the extra flights. It became cheaper to just park the planes overnight.

20. rampart

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 19):

The added revenue from the increased utilization was less than increased fuel costs from the extra flights. It became cheaper to just park the planes overnight.

Isn't it always cheaper (less money lost) to park a plane? I'm guessing that they stimulated all they could to the limits of numbers of people willing to fly late at night, and I'm guessing that most of those would be leisure flyers, not business, probably not families. A good share of college students (like me) who didn't give a hoot.

Point is, some red-eyes are possible, most airlines offer a few, otherwise they wouldn't exist. Las Vegas was a perfect hub for red-eyes. Beyond the black and white of full Nite Flite Hub and completely dehubbing, shouldn't there be some medium level of sustainable operations?

Did WN also offer significant red-eye operations? (I know WN managed transfers at LAS even while they say they didn't have 'hubs'.)

-Rampart

21. usflyer%2520msp

Quoting rampart (Reply 20):

Isn't it always cheaper (less money lost) to park a plane?

No, not when the flight is profitable. Redeye flights can be very profitable under the right circumstances.

Quoting rampart (Reply 20):

Point is, some red-eyes are possible, most airlines offer a few, otherwise they wouldn't exist. Las Vegas was a perfect hub for red-eyes. Beyond the black and white of full Nite Flite Hub and completely dehubbing, shouldn't there be some medium level of sustainable operations?

HP's LAS hub was well-known as being the Priceline express. It was very low yield. It was marginally profitable for HP however because fuel was cheap and they didn't have to fully consider the ownership costs of the plane since it was extra utilization.

Quoting rampart (Reply 20):

Did WN also offer significant red-eye operations? (I know WN managed transfers at LAS even while they say they didn't have 'hubs'.)

WN flies no-redeye flights. Period. Systemwide.

22. dbo861

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 13):

PHX probably won't be far behind in 4-7 years. The money has been and always will be back east.

So US would lose its only West Coast-ish hub? I always thought PHX was rather profitable for US. At least from what I've heard on a.net.

23. rampart

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 21):

No, not when the flight is profitable. Redeye flights can be very profitable under the right circumstances.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 21):

HP's LAS hub was well-known as being the Priceline express. It was very low yield.

In that case, I have to change my stance that LAS was an ideal red-eye hub! What are the right circumstances for very profitable red-eye flights? Not hubbed?

-Rampart

24. blueflyer

Damn, this just ruined my week-end. I've been plying the DFW-LAS route for years, first with HP and now US. Lately, it's even become a weekly trip on some months. As far as I'm concerned, the service is pretty good for a domestic flight, I'll miss it. I guess I could have seen the writing on the wall. All I have to do when I'm onboard is look around to see I'm one of the few "corporate travelers" on, probably one of the very few with a paid seat upfront too.

Now, I'm going to have to connect somewhere on these trips. Ain't that gonna be fun!

25. Maverick623

Quoting rampart (Reply 20):

(I know WN managed transfers at LAS even while they say they didn't have 'hubs'.)

WN doesn't have hubs, at least in the planning sense. They still do a TON of point-to-point flying, and you can literally connect almost anywhere in the system. I almost booked a flight one time that had me changing planes in ABQ.

Sure, from a pax perspective it may be a "hub", but that's not how they design their network.

Quoting dbo861 (Reply 22):

So US would lose its only West Coast-ish hub? I always thought PHX was rather profitable for US.

It is... but so was LAS, BOS, and LGA at one point. Who knows what US's cost structure might have them do in 5 years.

26. SurfandSnow

Quoting AWACSooner (Thread starter):

Flying only to CLT, DCA, PHX and PHL starting early next year

Thus LAS becomes a true network spoke. This means that all mainline US flights will now involve of the one three hubs (CLT, PHL, PHX) or the DCA focus city, with the exception of the BOS-LGA shuttle sector and a handful of BOS-Caribbean flights (ostensibly only operated as a utilization tool for otherwise idle Shuttle birds on the weekends).

Ultimately, I wonder how much longer US can afford to continue operating the Shuttle in its traditional form anyhow. DL has long since abandoned the rigid concept of putting quasi-independent mainline birds on LGA-BOS, LGA-DCA, and DCA-BOS routes all day long. In fact, DL has now completely removed the "Shuttle" branding on the DCA-BOS sector (it is now just another Delta Connection route) in order to focus on the New York market where it is strongest. By farming out almost all of the "Shuttle" flying to low cost regional partners with much more appropriate sized aircraft, they have been able to expand the service to include a new market (ORD). I would not be shocked to see US ultimately downgrade BOS-LGA to RW E-Jets (which would be very similar to the S5/DLC flights) or even try to sell the route/slots to a carrier like WN or B6.

For now, USX carriers continue to offer extensive p2p services from BOS and LGA, as well as a few at-risk routes by Trans States Airlines out of PIT, but all of the LGA stuff will end the moment that the slot swap happens. I have to imagine that everything else from BOS (i.e. RIC) will quietly be dropped around that same time. In any case, the entire US network will be incredibly streamlined and focused on the four key markets, making it one of the most hub-centric carriers in the U.S. market! Quite a feat for an airline that just a few years ago was eager to rapidly expand from small focus cities such as FLL  .

Quoting AWACSooner (Thread starter):

(BOS, FAT, SFO, LAX and DFW...buh-bye)

I knew this would happen sooner or later. We saw this exact same thing happen at PIT, where popular routes to SFO and LAX were the very last spokes to get cut. Once they officially de-hubbed LAS, it was only a matter of time before service to everything other than hubs and focus cities (of which they now only have one!) would be dropped.

Quoting AWACSooner (Thread starter):

While it's pretty well known that their LAS hub was massively leisure O&D

Yes, but back in the hub days they were actually getting quite a bit of connecting traffic through there too. Given that the vast majority of flights arrived and departed at very late hours of the night, it is no surprise that they didn't get many higher-yielding pax. LAS does get quite a few business pax for conventions and relevant industries (gaming, hotels/resorts, entertainment, etc.) as well as leisure pax with very high budgets, but most of those folks don't want to be traveling at odd hours with the riff-raff!

Quoting AWACSooner (Thread starter):

it's still sad to see yet another aspect of HP go by the wayside.

I suppose, but you had far more aspects of HP kept than would normally be the case with the merger/acquisition of a smaller regional airline by a large legacy carrier: the bright colored livery, Tempe HQ, Cactus callsign, etc. In fact, the new US pays homage to HP as it does to Allegheny, Piedmont, and Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA). That is very significant - you don't see AA going out of its way to incorporate much of TW or even regard their rich history as being of much importance.

People here seem to think that US thinks nothing of what it gained from HP, given that LAS was fully de-hubbed and PHX bore the brunt of cuts while sister hubs at PHL and CLT continued to grow. In reality, they tremendously benefited from a healthy presence on the West Coast, not to mention ready access to ever-popular Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexican Riviera. In fact, US may not have survived at all had the merger with HP not occurred. The HP folks in Phoenix are the ones running the show today, and would have made all the same cuts as an independent carrier, if not many more. Hypothetically, with the late 2000s economic crisis hitting both of HP's hub markets extremely hard, I have to wonder if an independent HP could have survived at all. The merged entity was able to rely on the relatively healthy economies of Philadelphia, Charlotte, and of course D.C. in order to weather the storm.

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 1):

FATFlyer will be sad.

Understandably so, but it is incredible that FAT was strong/important enough to be kept from a dying LAS operation for this long - whilst markets like ORD and SNA were cut! FAT will still have ample service to Vegas on UAX and G4. To compensate for this loss, it is possible that UAX could try putting bigger RJs on the route (ultimately as the EM2s go they'll have to upgrade or cut the route), or G4 could boost frequency. As for US, it seems that PHX-FAT remains a very strong route, perhaps this move will mean another daily flight or a return of mainline?

Quoting indiansbucs (Reply 2):

This is what this economy brings eventually: cuts, and more cuts...

No need to be so doom and gloom. NK and G4 are rapidly growing at LAS, and even oft-troubled F9 is starting new service from the market. Somebody will probably try to pick up the slack, as has happened after previous rounds of US cuts at LAS.

Quoting cslusarc (Reply 4):

I think that this change creates an opportunity for some airline like DL to grow at LAS. I'd like to see DL launch a focus city serving somewhere like 20-30 domestic (and Canadian) destinations up from the approximate 9 destinations they fly today.

It is far more likely that DL will shrink at LAS, at least in terms of nonstop markets served, since service to CVG and MEM will probably be dropped sometime in the next year or so as those hubs are fully wound down a la US at LAS.

As for a DL focus city at LAS, keep dreaming. DL has tried at least 3 new markets from LAS in the wake of recent US cuts, but attempts at FLL and SNA quickly flopped. It appears MCO survives, on a reduced frequency. While I do think DL may have an outside chance at making something like LAS-HNL or LAS-BOS work, they probably have way better opportunities for their planes than stuff like that. The thought of DL ever flying LAS-Canada is laughable - they are notoriously weak when it comes to the Canadian market. NW was very strong up there, but DL has since downgraded virtually all of the established routes they inherited to regional, making them much less attractive .

Now, other airlines may have opportunities here. I do think that with US abandoning LAS-LAX it may be time for VX to finally jump on to the LAS-LAX route. Is it a competitive bloodbath? Of course. They wouldn't make any money, but they would earn tremendous goodwill here in the LA market, since Angelenos seem to have insatiable desires to make frequent trips to Sin City.

Then there's NK, who has already transformed LAS from a sleepy spoke to a rapidly growing focus city. With their ultra low costs, they should have no problem adding any and all major markets from LAS!

Quoting cslusarc (Reply 4):

So this means WN will grow more in LAS??

Nope. We haven't seen them add much of anything at LAS in years. They have more or less retained the status quo, even as US has made major cuts and other competitors have rushed to fill the void. So long as their growth strategy continues to focus on DEN, MDW, and (soon) ATL their LAS hub will continue to languish...

Quoting nkops (Reply 7):

I am guessing NK will grow more in LAS...

Any guesses as to where they might fly to next? Markets like SMF, SJC, and SNA spring to mind.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):

This is why LAS is the perfect WN and Allegiant Airlines city and can't be a legacy hub its almost all leisure. Its better to fly the masses to your hubs than to make point to points with no real major profit potential and i think US learned the hard way that WN is perfect for the LAS market.

You can't judge their performance in the market based on your experiences on just one route, though. JFK-LAS is a highly competitive route that appears to be dominated by popular LCC B6, while others that they fly (i.e. ATL-LAS, MSP-LAS) from a highly dominant, near-monopolistic position may be an entirely different story.

If your argument were true, then it would be very hard to fathom PHX working for US either, since that market is overwhelmingly leisure travelers too. In fact, even AA's MIA hub would fall in this category, since it is a first and foremost a leisure/beach and retiree market after all. Yes, there is a significant VFR component, but that also exists (to a lesser degree, of course) with PHX and LAS.

I wouldn't necessarily say WN is "perfect" for LAS. Many people actually want things like F class, assigned seating, IFE, airport lounges, etc. It is certainly not a stretch of the imagination that a legacy carrier could have a successful LAS hub, catering to premium leisure travelers and business pax with those amenities. The back of the plane could be filled with the help of connecting traffic flowing between California and heartland/East Coast markets. Even WN doesn't make LAS work by filling all the flights with O&D alone. Had US decided to offer a few more flights at reasonable daytime hours, they would have been much more attractive and may have been able to make the hub work...

Quoting srbmod (Reply 9):

It should be interesting to see how this impacts NK's operations on the LAS-DFW route, as once US leaves the route, they're the only other airline to offer service on the route besides AA.

We can't discount the fact that WN probably gets a TON of O&D between Dallas and Vegas, though. You leave from convenient DAL and after a brief stop you are in Vegas! Plus, come 2014 they'll be flying the route nonstop.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 9):

Will someone like VX jump onto the route, as LAS is the 6th most popular destination out of DFW according to the BTS data.

I would be very surprised to see VX try a route like that. I think they are much more interested in continued expansion from SFO and LAX hubs, rather than p2p flying. JFK-LAS made sense because Virgin is a well-known brand in NYC (thanks to VS) and VX had established itself on the prominent transcon routes to SFO and LAX, with which New Yorkers are very familiar. I daresay they don't have the brand power or presence in DFW (yet) to pull off flights to LAS.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 13):

PHX probably won't be far behind in 4-7 years. The money has been and always will be back east.

That is absolutely not true. In fact, that was the mindset of the old US that was about to go under had HP not stepped up and saved the day by adding a healthy Western component to a network heavily skewed to regions east of the Mississippi. PHX is doing well for the airline right now in spite of local economic trouble - when the Phoenix market rebounds (4-7 years from now, perhaps), things will only get better.

27. slcdeltarumd11

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

f your argument were true, then it would be very hard to fathom PHX working for US either, since that market is overwhelmingly leisure travelers too.

LAS is so much more vacationers than PHX percentage and total numbers. PHX is a much larger area in population and has more business traffic. Its not the same at all LAS is a unique market in the US. Its not comparable to anywhere else.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

I wouldn't necessarily say WN is "perfect" for LAS. Many people actually want things like F class, assigned seating, IFE, airport lounges, etc. It is certainly not a stretch of the imagination that a legacy carrier could have a successful LAS hub, catering to premium leisure travelers and business pax with those amenities.

No the vast majority of LAS travelers are not elites or care about those items they want to get to Vegas cheap if anything the most important benefits are things like free luggage and no change fees. That is the Vegas market and why the LCCs thrive there and despite some of the largest o&d on the PLANET its no legacy airlines hub. The vast majority of people headed to Vegas want to save money and spend it there not on the flight and that most certainly includes people staying at the 5 star hotels. Of course there is a very small premium market headed to LAS, LAS is a very unique market in the US and the LCCs thrive there hence why Spirit has been pumping it up and you aren't seeing legacies starting new point to points and US is completely rolling out.

28. ouboy79

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

In fact, US may not have survived at all had the merger with HP not occurred. The HP folks in Phoenix are the ones running the show today, and would have made all the same cuts as an independent carrier, if not many more. Hypothetically, with the late 2000s economic crisis hitting both of HP's hub markets extremely hard, I have to wonder if an independent HP could have survived at all.

It was really a perfect setup back then. Bruce Lakefield was brought into US to raise cash and sell the airline after Siegel failed miserably as CEO with the whole "Their coming to kill us" screw up. They saw a pretty good team running HP under Parket (much like the CO/UA situation today) and also knew of the relative weakness of HP's financial position. There were many reports that HP was likely to enter Chapter 11 if the merger had not got the OUTSIDE financing to pull the deal off. Some can claim that HP came in bought US and saved the airline. Eh. HP was the legal surviving entity, but it never had the cash required to pull off the deal. Lakefield brought in the funds and make it happen.

So it really was a situation that if the merger never happened, one or both of the airlines would have been dead by now. HP probably would have just went away and US would have been absorbed into DL, AA, or UA at a fire sale. It is pretty impressive though that the airline continues to be a pretty even split of original US talent and ex-HP talent. Looking through the executive list it is almost right down the middle still. Kinda shows that original US did have some good talent, it was just suppressed thanks to years of neglect from idiots at the top.

29. atrude777

Quoting rampart (Reply 20):

Did WN also offer significant red-eye operations? (I know WN managed transfers at LAS even while they say they didn't have 'hubs'.)

-Rampart

As mentioned before WN does not do red eyes right now, nor have they ever done red eyes scheduled. Things could change with the Air Tran operation.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

Nope. We haven't seen them add much of anything at LAS in years.

Hold the phone...Kelly has recently been quoted saying LAS could see growth from the Air Tran Merger...

Link: http://www.vegasinc.com/news/2011/au...outhwest-airlines-ceo-talks-vegas/

Kelly has mentioned about adding flights to LAS, especially to the new Air Tran cities WN does not fly to.

Quoting dbo861 (Reply 22):

So US would lose its only West Coast-ish hub? I always thought PHX was rather profitable for US. At least from what I've heard on a.net.

That's a.net for you. I have heard the opposite from friends, again nothing is fact but the consensus seems to be PHX is the lowest yielding hub for US Airways, aka, not as profitable as one may think.

Alex

30. F9Animal

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 15):

I kind of wish National was still around. I flew on National a few times on the SEA-LAS, DFW-LAS and SFO-LAS. 1st class upgrades were very reasonable.

I bet N7 wishes they were still around today too. This would have benefited them quite a bit. I miss them too. They were not a bad airline at all.

31. WhatUsaid

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

Understandably so, but it is incredible that FAT was strong/important enough to be kept from a dying LAS operation for this long - whilst markets like ORD and SNA were cut! FAT will still have ample service to Vegas on UAX and G4. To compensate for this loss, it is possible that UAX could try putting bigger RJs on the route (ultimately as the EM2s go they'll have to upgrade or cut the route), or G4 could boost frequency. As for US, it seems that PHX-FAT remains a very strong route, perhaps this move will mean another daily flight or a return of mainline?

The FAT-LAS flight is becoming a FAT-PHX. So, back up to 5X to PHX, including the return of an AM departure from PHX to FAT. UAX has said over and over, no RJs as it's "at risk" flying and the yield won't support the higher costs of the RJ. As noted earlier, G4 will decide what's best as they can easily cash in on picking up another few thousand passengers a month that had been flying US. They may go to 2X on Friday and Sunday as done before or some other combination. The US AIr schedule was the best possible schedule for the party animals and I'l think G4 would consider returning to evening departures. Last time that I'd looked, LAS was the #1 O&D market out of FAT.

32. Flighty

US is not remarkable as a physical airline, or certainly in its marketing. But they are financially well managed as a business. It is now about 10 years (sigh) since people thought US would be gone. But their mgmt has outperformed the situation. It's still a functioning business.

33. NeutronStar73

And USeless Airways leaves my hometown. Sucks, really, as I frequently matched them (HP) up against Southwest whenever I wanted to leave SoCal to visit my family in LAS. Oh well, someone else will step up, although that may be a while due to the economy. I was rather upset when HP merged with US, as I knew it was only a matter of time before the East Coast bias would rob Vegas of flights.

34. gigneil

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

Ultimately, I wonder how much longer US can afford to continue operating the Shuttle in its traditional form anyhow.

I thought US abandoned that YEARS ago. Many years . The planes aren't shuttle branded, nor do they differ in configuration.

NS

35. bjorn14

What % of capacity is LAS at now?

36. SANFan

At least LAS has the "additional" route to DC that the rest of us western stations don't have. They should be happy to have that!

This is fine with me. You hve hubs. You have outstations; and not hardly anything in between any more. LAS as a city and an airport sitll has a LOT of n/s service to LOTS of different cities, domestic and international; considering they're supposedly a rather low-yielding market, I think they have it pretty good. There are larger cities in the west that would love to have half as much air service as Vegas...

As others have mentioned, it will be interesting to watch what Spirit does with LAS (and the west.) They would seem to be a natural fit for Nevada's largest city and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see NK help people forget about US and their history there very quickly.

bb

37. HVNandrew

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

It is far more likely that DL will shrink at LAS, at least in terms of nonstop markets served, since service to CVG and MEM will probably be dropped sometime in the next year or so as those hubs are fully wound down a la US at LAS.

As for a DL focus city at LAS, keep dreaming. DL has tried at least 3 new markets from LAS in the wake of recent US cuts, but attempts at FLL and SNA quickly flopped. It appears MCO survives, on a reduced frequency. While I do think DL may have an outside chance at making something like LAS-HNL or LAS-BOS work, they probably have way better opportunities for their planes than stuff like that.

I highly doubt you'll ever see DL do a complete CVG drawdown like US has done at PIT or LAS. They're going to want to keep a presence in some of the non-hub markets in order to keep their share of the local market in CVG. A market like LAX is sure to stay, and maybe LAS can too. Also, it's worth noting that DL is probably the least hub-centric of all the legacies at this point. The network is still built around a very strong hub-and-spoke system, but compared to the other legacies DL has quite a bit of P2P routes left in the system. So if any legacy is going to keep/add some routes into Vegas that isn't into one of their hubs, DL is probably the best bet.

DL has tried a lot of routes out of LAS over the last few years. MCO has been around for quite some time - dating back to the full MCO focus city days. SNA was started to use the slot. It had previously been used for CVG, DTW, and JFK flights, none of which worked out. I don't think the failure of that flight speaks to the state of the LAS market as much as that of SNA.

DL actually flew LAS-BOS for a while back around 2007-2008. They also briefly flew LAS-BDL a few years ago. Obviously, neither of those worked out. I'd say most of their recent success at LAS seems to be the JFK route, which has been stable at 5x daily for a while now. They've held steady on the LAS-LAX route as well, with a mix of CR9 and mainline.

38. LAXintl

Quoting rampart (Reply 17):

I was a Nite Flite frequent flier.

Me to.

My first experience was in 1987 a few weeks after the first 757 showed up at HP and took their newly launched flight to JFK. The Nite hub was very handy schedule wise for me.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 24):

Now, I'm going to have to connect somewhere on these trips. Ain't that gonna be fun!

Well AA has ample DFW-LAS service, and you also have Spirit offering a flight.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 28):

HP probably would have just went away and US would have been absorbed into DL, AA, or UA at a fire sale.

HP yes likely would have gone away eventually, however US was on the verge of liquidation in BK#2 in mere 3 year span if HP did not step in and offer a merger.

Quoting atrude777 (Reply 29):

Hold the phone...Kelly has recently been quoted saying LAS could see growth from the Air Tran Merger...

Yes we had a thread on it - LAS is likely also going to be a prime future 738 market according to Kelly.

Southwest Airlines CEO Talks Plans (by LAXintl Aug 11 2011 in Civil Aviation)

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 30):

I bet N7 wishes they were still around today too.

National was a colossal failure financially.

Remember they were not a regular stand-alone airline, but instead one formed by Harrah's Entertainment and Rio Hotel with specific task bringing tourist into Las Vegas especially to their properties. Vegas in the late 90s was in a period where hotels room numbers were swelling fast, while number of airlines seats to the city was not.

After realizing how much money was being lost, the hotels with their own financial issues smartly pulled the plug 3-years later and simply went back to their traditional practice of working with existing airlines to help stimulate demand.

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 33):

I knew it was only a matter of time before the East Coast bias would rob Vegas of flights.

Business goes where the money is. For the new US Airways, they have more opportunities back East, so its only fair they pursue them. To accuse the Phoenix based management team of a East Coast bias is rather ridiculous.

39. rampart

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 25):

WN doesn't have hubs, at least in the planning sense.

And the act of placing 200+ flights into a city is something random?

If I had a a dollar for every time you or anyone like you told me "WN doesn't have hubs", I'd have enough money to outright buy the airline and place myself as CEO. I'd then issue an immediate press release: "Southwest's 'Cities with Enhanced Connecting Opportunities': If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Yes, we've had hubs for 20 years. Sorry for all the confusion. You are now free to schedule your connecting flight across the country."

I think most customers know this. It's the cult on A.net that continues to preach.

-Rampart

40. N766UA

Quoting indiansbucs (Reply 2):

This is what this economy brings eventually

That's a cop out. The airlines are making money- their planes are fuller than ever. "The economy" is too often a BS excuse...

41. FWAERJ

Quoting HVNandrew (Reply 37):

DL has tried a lot of routes out of LAS over the last few years. MCO has been around for quite some time - dating back to the full MCO focus city days. SNA was started to use the slot. It had previously been used for CVG, DTW, and JFK flights, none of which worked out. I don't think the failure of that flight speaks to the state of the LAS market as much as that of SNA.

Don't forget IND-LAS, inherited from NWA.

42. blueflyer

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 25):

I almost booked a flight one time that had me changing planes in ABQ.

ABQ is DAL's hub...

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

but most of those folks don't want to be traveling at odd hours with the riff-raff!

I wouldn't be so sure. Finish a seminar/convention, party all evening long, fly out in the middle of the night, and stop home for a shower, a tie and a shirt before showing up at the office the next day. Obviously not enough of "those folks" doing it to make the flight profitable, but it happened more than you apparently think, and I am speaking from experience here.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

We can't discount the fact that WN probably gets a TON of O&D between Dallas and Vegas

But WN will not benefit much from the end of US' flights. DAL is great for downtown Dallas, but not so much so for a large part of the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex. Passengers who were flying US for the relatively low fares will fly NK, they will not drive another 20 miles for the same fare and free peanuts. Most of the other US passengers will go to AA.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see NK add another flight to capture the former US fliers.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 38):

Well AA has ample DFW-LAS service, and you also have Spirit offering a flight.

Obviously, but neither's an option for me.

43. DeltAirlines

Quoting N766UA (Reply 40):

That's a cop out. The airlines are making money- their planes are fuller than ever. "The economy" is too often a BS excuse...

Planes running full doesn't mean squat. If you're filling a plane with trash yields, you can still lose money. Likewise, a flight that runs 60% full on average could be printing money.

There simply might not be demand in certain markets for higher fare points, and to minimize loss, you take the load factor points at the expense of yield.

44. milemaster

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 38):

DFW-LAS service, and you also have Spirit offering a flight.

I can't think of a more unpleasant way to begin a Vegas vacation.

45. malaysia

The Red-Eye Operation was very handy for me for many flights, Id use it to get back to DC from CA when I came in on late day Asia flights. It seemed to connect well.

Also the Red-Eyes worked well for me when I lived in LAS and would go to the east coast after work  

I will miss the HP and US hub at LAS

46. WA707atMSP

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 30):

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 15):I kind of wish National was still around. I flew on National a few times on the SEA-LAS, DFW-LAS and SFO-LAS. 1st class upgrades were very reasonable.

I bet N7 wishes they were still around today too. This would have benefited them quite a bit. I miss them too. They were not a bad airline at all.

I flew N7 SFO-LAS two weeks after 9/11 (I took the flight just to log them before they went under), and it was one of my worst flights ever. The flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours, but the gate agent provided no information about the delays; he said the inbound flight from LAS was late "due to weather", but all the other airlines at SFO were operating smoothly, and HP's flights from LAS were operating on time.

Every N7 employee I came in contact with, except the agent at the ticket counter, was surly and / or indifferent to the passengers. I think they realized their airline was in dire trouble post 9/11, and they simply gave up.

Had I flown N7 in 1998/98, pre-recession and pre-9/11, I'm sure my experience would have been different.

47. HPRamper

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 27):

LAS is so much more vacationers than PHX percentage and total numbers. PHX is a much larger area in population and has more business traffic. Its not the same at all LAS is a unique market in the US. Its not comparable to anywhere else.

The closest comparison, I think, would be MCO.

Quoting atrude777 (Reply 29):

That's a.net for you. I have heard the opposite from friends, again nothing is fact but the consensus seems to be PHX is the lowest yielding hub for US Airways, aka, not as profitable as one may think.

Lowest yielding, maybe, but that's not the only factor in what makes a successful hub. Most of the US western feed comes through PHX. Without it, US is in the same boat they were in pre-merger. How soon people forget.

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 33):

I was rather upset when HP merged with US, as I knew it was only a matter of time before the East Coast bias would rob Vegas of flights.

If being more profitable is biased, then sure, it's an East Coast bias.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 38):

HP yes likely would have gone away eventually, however US was on the verge of liquidation in BK#2 in mere 3 year span if HP did not step in and offer a merger.

US would probably be gone and so would HP....but I think HP would have been gobbled up by someone.

48. Sevensixtyseven

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 42):

This is gonna be disappointing for quite a few LAS fliers, obviously. But WN isn't going to be able to benefit whatsoever with US cutting LAS-DFW, On WN, LAS-DAL, for a quick search for 9/7/2011, they stop in ABQ, SAT, AUS, ELP, among others, due to the Wright Amendment. Guess if I want to fly anything into/out of LAS on US, except hub routes, I better do it quickly before these flights actually end.

One route I'm rather suprised about is the LAS-LAX flight. As well as US (for now), United, American, Southwest, Delta and even Spirit are flying this route, which I've heard is quite popular, even if the yields aren't too great. Would have thought they would have kept it..

49. slcdeltarumd11

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 47):

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 27):

LAS is so much more vacationers than PHX percentage and total numbers. PHX is a much larger area in population and has more business traffic. Its not the same at all LAS is a unique market in the US. Its not comparable to anywhere else.

The closest comparison, I think, would be MCO

MCO is probably the most similar US market to LAS thats true. Again it couldn't support a legacy hub either so another similarity

50. F9Animal

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 46):

Had I flown N7 in 1998/98, pre-recession and pre-9/11, I'm sure my experience would have been different.

It would have, trust me.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 46):

I think they realized their airline was in dire trouble post 9/11, and they simply gave up.

You did hit the nail on the head. Employees were running as fast as they could to find another job when they found the end was near.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 38):

Remember they were not a regular stand-alone airline, but instead one formed by Harrah's Entertainment and Rio Hotel with specific task bringing tourist into Las Vegas especially to their properties.

You are correct in most of what you are saying in your post. However, Harrah's and Rio were not the only goal Mike Conway had in mind. He wanted to eventually not depend on the financing that the hotels were providing. He wanted to pay them back, and run it solo. Conway did however bring a new concept in LAS flying, and the hotels found it very attractive at first. When the red ink continued, the hotels pulled the plug on the money flow to keep them flying. 9/11 really put the insecurity of the industry in the spotlight, which was a major factor in the hotel ventures backing away.

National was very close to pulling profits. Sadly though, the financial backing dried up. National had a good route network, and good aircraft for it's routes. If N7 had survived another 6 months, I am pretty sure that the airline would have turned around.

51. ScottB

Quoting AWACSooner (Thread starter):

Flying only to CLT, DCA, PHX and PHL starting early next year (BOS, FAT, SFO, LAX and DFW...buh-bye):

Well, I've been calling this one for a while. I'm glad to see I was correct, but sorry for the folks who may lose jobs as a result.

Quoting rampart (Reply 39):

If I had a a dollar for every time you or anyone like you told me "WN doesn't have hubs", I'd have enough money to outright buy the airline and place myself as CEO. I'd then issue an immediate press release: "Southwest's 'Cities with Enhanced Connecting Opportunities': If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Yes, we've had hubs for 20 years. Sorry for all the confusion. You are now free to schedule your connecting flight across the country."

Southwest has had hub-like operations for many years, but their "Cities with Enhanced Connecting Opportunities" also lack certain characteristics of the network carrier hubs. They don't tend to schedule their almost-hubs with arrival/departure banks, and they operate very few flights with virtually no hub-outstation O&D traffic (i.e. flights with nearly exclusively connecting traffic). And Southwest offers or has offered "connecting opportunities" in cities like BHM, OKC, LBB, MAF, BOI, RNO, and PDX -- does that make those stations into hubs?

Quoting nkops (Reply 7):

I am guessing NK will grow more in LAS...

So, B. Ben Baldanza is an alumnus of US Airways, and the whole FLL focus city they attempted back around 2004-2005 (just prior to the second bankruptcy & merger) was his brainchild. Lo and behold, after he departed US Airways and ended up at Spirit, Spirit built up its hub at FLL. It would not entirely shock me that BBB had some inkling that US would be dropping the remaining non-hub routes at LAS, and that may explain the timing of NK's buildup. Or it's entirely possible that the added routes from Spirit were the final straw that led Tempe to decide to drop what was left at LAS.

Quoting gigneil (Reply 18):

A large part of UA's western regional ops are Brasilias. What will they do without them? Nothing?

Some will be backfilled with CRJ's where the economics still work, and some routes really will just disappear. Perhaps we'll see EAS into a handful of places if that program still exists.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

Ultimately, I wonder how much longer US can afford to continue operating the Shuttle in its traditional form anyhow. DL has long since abandoned the rigid concept of putting quasi-independent mainline birds on LGA-BOS, LGA-DCA, and DCA-BOS routes all day long. In fact, DL has now completely removed the "Shuttle" branding on the DCA-BOS sector (it is now just another Delta Connection route) in order to focus on the New York market where it is strongest. By farming out almost all of the "Shuttle" flying to low cost regional partners with much more appropriate sized aircraft, they have been able to expand the service to include a new market (ORD). I would not be shocked to see US ultimately downgrade BOS-LGA to RW E-Jets (which would be very similar to the S5/DLC flights) or even try to sell the route/slots to a carrier like WN or B6.

I'm not sure DCA-BOS ever carried Delta Shuttle branding; that has historically been dominated by US Airways. If I'm not mistaken, there may still be contractual requirements (with the pilots) for mainline aircraft on the Shuttle routes; that's why you NEVER see US* carriers operating Shuttle flights, even on weekends. But as others have said, US Airways was first to end the use of dedicated aircraft for Shuttle routes, although the diminished E190 fleet these days is very nearly de facto isolated on BOS-LGA & BOS-PHL.

US may not be able to drop the Shuttle service until they get a new contract with the pilots.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

LAS does get quite a few business pax for conventions and relevant industries (gaming, hotels/resorts, entertainment, etc.) as well as leisure pax with very high budgets, but most of those folks don't want to be traveling at odd hours with the riff-raff!

Convention traffic is not necessarily all that high-yielding, since convention dates are known months in advance and conventioneers have ample time to take advantage of discounted advance purchase fares.

Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 26):

People here seem to think that US thinks nothing of what it gained from HP, given that LAS was fully de-hubbed and PHX bore the brunt of cuts while sister hubs at PHL and CLT continued to grow. In reality, they tremendously benefited from a healthy presence on the West Coast, not to mention ready access to ever-popular Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexican Riviera. In fact, US may not have survived at all had the merger with HP not occurred. The HP folks in Phoenix are the ones running the show today, and would have made all the same cuts as an independent carrier, if not many more. Hypothetically, with the late 2000s economic crisis hitting both of HP's hub markets extremely hard, I have to wonder if an independent HP could have survived at all. The merged entity was able to rely on the relatively healthy economies of Philadelphia, Charlotte, and of course D.C. in order to weather the storm.

It is likely that America West would have gone into bankruptcy within 24 months, had the merger not occurred. They had a very serious liquidity crunch approaching at the time. The merger was engineered because investors were not willing to back a reorganized US Airways that appeared to be just another stab at a failed model -- so adding in America West with its management team made it possible to sell the merger. But you are correct in that a bankrupt America West in the 2007-2008 time frame most likely would not have survived.

I did speculate in another thread that the retention of the remaining flying at LAS might have been tied to the company's ongoing inability to integrate its pilot groups; otherwise I think we'd have seen a lot of the West jobs shifted over to the East hubs. It may very well be the case that a reduction of flying at PHX might follow a final integration of the two pilot workgroups, whenever that happens.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 9):

It should be interesting to see how this impacts NK's operations on the LAS-DFW route, as once US leaves the route, they're the only other airline to offer service on the route besides AA. Will someone like VX jump onto the route, as LAS is the 6th most popular destination out of DFW according to the BTS data. LAS-SFO has a lot of airlines as well (UA/CO, VX and WN as well as NK and WN out of OAK), so US leaving probably won't have too much of an effect on the fares on those routes.

I don't see VX jumping into LAS-DFW when they haven't even gone into LAS-LAX. It's not really a route where they could count on selling many paid F seats, and they don't have the frequent flyer base on either end to support the route.

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 48):

WN isn't going to be able to benefit whatsoever with US cutting LAS-DFW, On WN, LAS-DAL, for a quick search for 9/7/2011, they stop in ABQ, SAT, AUS, ELP, among others, due to the Wright Amendment.

But you can pretty much bank on WN adding DAL-LAS in a little over three years, no matter who is flying DFW-LAS by that time.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 42):

But WN will not benefit much from the end of US' flights. DAL is great for downtown Dallas, but not so much so for a large part of the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex. Passengers who were flying US for the relatively low fares will fly NK, they will not drive another 20 miles for the same fare and free peanuts. Most of the other US passengers will go to AA.

Huh, I wonder why the majority of passengers going to & from AUS, SAT, HOU/IAH, OKC, TUL, LBB, MAF, LIT, AMA, MSY, MCI, ELP, BHM, and ABQ choose to fly from DAL and not DFW then.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 42):

Finish a seminar/convention, party all evening long, fly out in the middle of the night, and stop home for a shower, a tie and a shirt before showing up at the office the next day. Obviously not enough of "those folks" doing it to make the flight profitable, but it happened more than you apparently think, and I am speaking from experience here.

That may work for people in their 20's and 30's who can sleep on a plane, but there is something to be said for a good 6-8 hours of sleep in a real bed if you actually want to function normally the next day.

Quoting usflyer msp (Reply 21):

HP's LAS hub was well-known as being the Priceline express. It was very low yield.

Priceline ended up getting a lot of negative feedback on those night hub flights. I think there were many who tried Priceline, got a crazy routing through LAS (I think they'd even run something like PHL-DFW through LAS), and then decided they weren't going to try that again. HP was running a lot of half-con red-eyes out of there, too -- they had a flight to IAH which arrived at 3:30 or 4 AM.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 38):

National was a colossal failure financially.

Remember they were not a regular stand-alone airline, but instead one formed by Harrah's Entertainment and Rio Hotel with specific task bringing tourist into Las Vegas especially to their properties. Vegas in the late 90s was in a period where hotels room numbers were swelling fast, while number of airlines seats to the city was not.

While I understand the desire of casinos to have an airline to bring in suckers guests to their properties, N7 was always going to be a financial disaster with WN and HP both having large presences at LAS. They would have been better off paying HP or WN to put more flights into LAS.

52. blueflyer

Quoting ScottB (Reply 51):

Huh, I wonder why the majority of passengers going to & from AUS, SAT, HOU/IAH, OKC, TUL, LBB, MAF, LIT, AMA, MSY, MCI, ELP, BHM, and ABQ choose to fly from DAL and not DFW then.

We had that discussion in another thread and it wasn't my point anyway. My point was, and is, that given WN being at DAL and NK at DFW, passengers who were flying US will not go to DAL to fly WN.

Some US passengers are certainly from the DAL vicinity and doing the trip to DFW because they want the non-stop convenience or prefer US over WN for whatever other reason. These passengers will keep on going to DFW and most likely end up on AA.

The other passengers are either flying US for the same reasons as the ones from DAL's neighborhood, and will make the same choice, or they're flying US for the relatively low fare, and will now fly NK rather than drive an extra 20 miles to DAL for approximately the same fare.

Bottom line, I just don't expect WN to get much out of US leaving the DFW-LAS market, other than a few crumbles.

53. Maverick623

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 52):

Bottom line, I just don't expect WN to get much out of US leaving the DFW-LAS market, other than a few crumbles.

A fair assessment.

Quoting rampart (Reply 39):

And the act of placing 200+ flights into a city is something random?

No. Just because an airline doesn't plan a hub-and-spoke model doesn't mean that they just haphazardly throw 200 flights a day into one city.

WN still relies heavily on O&D traffic, and builds routes that can fit that model. Certain stations (like MDW, BWI, DAL, and PHX) can hold a lot of P2P traffic, and when you have that many flights it would be ridiculous not to sell connections.

The definition of "hub" is different than you think. Most airlines plan flights around a hub; WN plans flights based on spokes. There's no banking, and there's a ton of connection opportunities from almost any major city they serve, and quite a few smaller communities too.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 42):

ABQ is DAL's hub...

Not quite sure what you mean, as I was looking for flights going back east.

54. bjorn14

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 47):

The closest comparison, I think, would be MCO.

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 49):

MCO is probably the most similar US market to LAS thats true. Again it couldn't support a legacy hub either so another similarity

I think the outbound O&D traffic at MCO is 20% so LAS has got be close to that because I've heard Vegans don't go anywhere.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 51):

Convention traffic is not necessarily all that high-yielding, since convention dates are known months in advance and conventioneers have ample time to take advantage of discounted advance purchase fares.

Right and usually an airline gives the sponsoring convention group a special corporate contract.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 53):

The definition of "hub" is different than you think.

There are two kinds of hubs....a banked hub and a rolling hub. A rolling bub is similar to what WN does. A banked hub is what most legacgies do.

55. cofannyc

Quoting ScottB (Reply 51):

Convention traffic is not necessarily all that high-yielding, since convention dates are known months in advance and conventioneers have ample time to take advantage of discounted advance purchase fares.

It works in both directions though....

Airlines also know the dates of conventions in advance and can manage inventory to not sell discounted advance purchase fares. I had to go to a small convention in LAS last spring which coincided with a very large convention. Compared to the weekends around it, fares were three times as high from my city on any airline.

56. USAirALB

Kinda off topic, but still relates to US on the West coast.

I've noticed that CLT/PHL-SMF/PDX isn't in the schedule for next summer. Are they canceling these routes? Also, it seems CLT is losing a lot of transcons next summer(saw this on flyertalk, and after research found it to be true):

CLT-SFO will be 3 daily flights, instead of the usual 5 daily flights. CLT-LAX will be 4 daily flights, instead of the usual 5. CLT-SAN/SEA will be at one flight a day, instead of the usual two or three. No CLT-PDX/SMF

Thats a lot of transcons lost if you think about it. Even in winter, CLT-SFO usually has at least four flights a day.

Could this just be a dummy schedule, and they haven't filled the seasonal additions in.

57. Sevensixtyseven

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 53):

ABQ is the western most city served by DAL, thus, we have a bit more traffic/connecting passengers due to the connecting opportunities to the west coast. And ABQ has more destinations to the West Coast versus..say...ELP, so OAK-ABQ-DAL is more likely than OAK-PHX-ELP-DAL, for example. I read somewhere that ABQ-PHX and ABQ-DAL have more flights than just local O&D can support, because people will fly PHX-DAL, and have to stop in ABQ.

58. smoot4208

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 56):

Kinda off topic, but still relates to US on the West coast.

I've noticed that CLT/PHL-SMF/PDX isn't in the schedule for next summer. Are they canceling these routes? Also, it seems CLT is losing a lot of transcons next summer(saw this on flyertalk, and after research found it to be true):

CLT-SFO will be 3 daily flights, instead of the usual 5 daily flights. CLT-LAX will be 4 daily flights, instead of the usual 5. CLT-SAN/SEA will be at one flight a day, instead of the usual two or three. No CLT-PDX/SMF

Thats a lot of transcons lost if you think about it. Even in winter, CLT-SFO usually has at least four flights a day.

Could this just be a dummy schedule, and they haven't filled the seasonal additions in.

CLT-SMF/PDX are seasonal routes that don't need to be loaded into the schedule 9 months in advance. CLT-LAX/SFO frequencies won't be decided this far out. I guarantee you SAN/SEA will be more than 1 daily flight. Flyertalk is really one of the worst sites to use for getting useful information as many of the posters there are frequent flier members, and not people with knowledge of the subject as some are on here  

59. wn676

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 56):

Quoting smoot4208 (Reply 58):

CLT-SMF/PDX are seasonal routes that don't need to be loaded into the schedule 9 months in advance.

  

US determines its final domestic schedules about 3 months out. From what it looks like right now, everything from 16 DEC and onwards is still tentative.

60. D%2520L%2520X

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 33):

I was rather upset when HP merged with US, as I knew it was only a matter of time before the East Coast bias would rob Vegas of flights.

East coast bias... of an airline based in Arizona?

Come on people. Let us not buy into this false idea that LAS is being de-hubbed because of east coast bias. LAS is being dehubbed (and no one is filling in the gaps) because it is a largely entertainment city with little non-entertainment local industry, and an incredibly depressed economy. How many rooms in these hotels are going empty? So many rooms that when they built a new hotel and discovered it wouldn't meet building code, instead of fixing it, they're tearing it down. Before a single person stayed a night there.

If it looked like Las Vegas as a city could support a hub in the coming years, US would still be hubbing there. But really, it makes no sense to have a hub 250 miles from a fortress hub in a much larger and much more economically prosperous city.

61. Maverick623

Quoting D L X (Reply 60):

of an airline based in Arizona?

Cheaper real estate.

Yes, I'm aware there were a few different factors in having HQ in Tempe, but that was most likely the largest one. Remember, the operational half (OCC) is in PIT.

Quoting D L X (Reply 60):

250 miles from a fortress hub

I would hardly qualify PHX as a "fortress" hub... there is pretty severe competition from WN.

62. HPRamper

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 61):

Cheaper real estate.

Yes, I'm aware there were a few different factors in having HQ in Tempe, but that was most likely the largest one. Remember, the operational half (OCC) is in PIT.

Not to mention, the HQ in Tempe was pre-existing so was a no brainer. As you point out, the lease at Crystal City was astronomical from what I've heard.

63. Flighty

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 62):

Not to mention, the HQ in Tempe was pre-existing so was a no brainer. As you point out, the lease at Crystal City was astronomical from what I've heard

Most likely it was Doug Parker who made the decision, so it's obvious what he wanted. Much of that merger was shutting down old US's legacy systems (such as SABRE) and just canceling all those contracts. HP was operating on a shoestring, but had enough infrastructure to absorb old US. So it was a no-brainer in the sense that HP's infrastructure was in PHX, and the HQ as well, and as a totality, everything HP was cheaper. So it was like free money to cut out as much old US infrastructure as possible.

64. usflyer%2520msp

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 61):

Cheaper real estate.

Yes, I'm aware there were a few different factors in having HQ in Tempe, but that was most likely the largest one. Remember, the operational half (OCC) is in PIT.

HP owned the current US HQ building in Tempe outright therefore it was much cheaper to HQ there as there was no lease cost.

65. apodino

While I am a bit saddened by this, realize that a lot has changed between the time when HP had the redeye hub, and now. One, back when the hub first started, there was no B6, FL, or VX that competed with HP. WN was no where near as big in LAS as they are today. HP had a monopoly on most of the NS flights out of LAS, save for existing airline hubs. These days, just about every major city has at least one carrier, and often more, with non stop service out of LAS. Since most of this lift is on WN, B6, and those types of carriers, US knows they are not going to be able to compete and make money out of LAS, since LAS is a market that is not going to depend on local FF traffic the way a PHX is.

Back in the old days a redeye hub made sense because they could get a lot of business by being the only player in town. That advantage is no longer there because 1. WN built up LAS a lot bigger in recent years, flying to a lot more places

  1. B6 set up shop on two of HP's bread and butter transcon routes, JFK and BOS
  2. Since LAS went to CUTE, no airline has the ability to hoard gates to keep competitors out anymore, which is a lesson other US airports, notably ATL, MSP, LAX, and DFW, could learn from.

Other Factors that made this decision easy

  1. It is no secret that the local economy in LAS has tanked big time, due partly to being way more exposed to the real estate bubble that burst. And with the rest of the national economy the same, people don't have disposable income to make a visit to a place like LAS. This is why carriers like Allegiant have thrived in recent years, because they can get the people there cheap, so they have more of that type of income.
  2. Redundancy. If LAS had the same economics that it had years ago, US could make the two cities work. But it is easier for so many reasons to just route those connections through PHX, not to mention more economical.

66. ouboy79

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 62):

Not to mention, the HQ in Tempe was pre-existing so was a no brainer. As you point out, the lease at Crystal City was astronomical from what I've heard.

The "Crystal Palace's" lease rates were insane. However, it was nice having a HQ in the DC metro area when you were lobbying to get favors from the Government. If US had owned the facilities there outright, there was a chance they would have retained it. However, US was operating in Chapter 11 so it was easy for them to reject the lease and move all but the operations portion out to the desert.

67. simairlinenet

America West started LAS-DCA years ago (2000?) when they received perimeter exemption slots. At the time it was relying on the LAS hub. Today it's the other away around, relying on the DCA hub. Does anyone have any insights into the profitability of the route and if it's really still viable?

68. Sevensixtyseven

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 67):

I think they're flying it only to keep the slot. I'm sure it's somewhat profitable, although I'm no analyst or work in the airline industry, as they're flying only an A319 on it. Maybe the one way they could down gauge it is use East metal, and have it a E-190 or US Express E170, I think an E170/190 would have the range.

69. HPRamper

Could they change the destination of the flight and keep the slot, or would it go up for bid? I have to think a DCA slot would be more valuable going somewhere like SEA or SFO than to LAS.

70. usflyer%2520msp

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 69):

Could they change the destination of the flight and keep the slot, or would it go up for bid? I have to think a DCA slot would be more valuable going somewhere like SEA or SFO than to LAS.

The destination of the slot cannot be changed. The slot would have to be have to be put out for an RFP and, considering its dominant position at DCA, US would definitely lose the slot to another carrier.

71. Sevensixtyseven

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 69):

From what I understand, the DOT, or some other government authority is the distributor of the slots. I read that PDX is making an effort to get a slot to DCA..but, US is the heavyweight in the room that is DCA..so even if they would lose it, I'm sure they'd threaten to decrease service, or simply downgauge all routes as much as possible, just to "prove a point", or get their way.

72. SANFan

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 69):

Could they change the destination of the flight and keep the slot, or would it go up for bid? I have to think a DCA slot would be more valuable going somewhere like SEA or SFO than to LAS.

These DCA Perimeter Exception routes are very specific and routings (city pairs) and maximum frequencies can not be changed. The "modern" exeptions began with 6 r/t flights awarded in 2000, and another 6 subsequently approved in 2004. The only changes to original awards were in 2001 when TW's LAX-DCA route was re-bid and given to AS, and HP's originally-awarded LAS and PHX routes to National Airporrt that went to US.

Not until Congress makes up its mind about the next round of exceptions at Reagan -- and I don't think we have any idea whether any of the original awards from years ago will be altered or just left as is -- can US expect to receive any new western authority from DCA.

Yes, there are certainly cities on the west coast (including ones that you didn't mention) that would love a nonstop route to DCA and might even see more traffic or higher yields than LAS but I'm sure the Vegas service does pretty well just with O&D traffic.

bb

73. Sevensixtyseven

Quoting SANFan (Reply 72):

Isn't SAN one airport that is looking to get a DCA nonstop, due to all the military bases around SAN, among other political traffic?

74. HPRamper

Quoting Sevensixtyseven (Reply 73):

Isn't SAN one airport that is looking to get a DCA nonstop, due to all the military bases around SAN, among other political traffic?

I think the sheer size of the SAN market should be enough to draw a DCA flight, with all the government traffic icing on the cake. And yes SANFan I should have known better than to omit SAN from my list  

Haven't I read somewhere that San Diego is the largest city with no nonstop service to DCA?

75. smoot4208

I read somewhere that DCA-SAN is the most heavily traveled military route in the US mainland

76. PI767

Quoting smoot4208 (Reply 75):

I read somewhere that DCA-SAN is the most heavily traveled military route in the US mainland

I assume that is one reason that Southwest, even in their slashing of all other transcontinental routes, has always kept SAN-BWI.