New CLT-based flier...fortress hub prices = wow!

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by DeacFlyer1, Aug 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    I just moved to Charlotte a few days ago from DC...which on one hand is exciting because I now have many more direct flights at my disposal, which will make work travel much easier.

    However, I've started looking at some potential personal trips...an WOW, the ticket prices on US are waaaay more expensive than I anticipated. I realize that the economic laws of airlines usually result in nonstop flights being more expensive, but I never really thought about it until moving here...I can get almost anywhere I want to go nonstop now, but all of the nonstops are way too expensive to buy if my company isn't paying for them!

    I'm going to have to do a status match to Delta or something, because one-stops on another airline look like the only decently priced way to get anywhere on your own dime from here!

    Anyone else live in a fortress hub and deal with this? Any tips? I want to fly on US as much as possible to take advantage of my status, but I'm not going to pay $400 for a nonstop roundtrip to Pittsburgh on US when I can get it for $220 with a stop on Delta.
     
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  2. UA191

    UA191 Silver Member

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    In YYZ with Air Canada, it seems you really have no choice!
    Their inflated prices sometimes exceed other airlines by $1000 on short 2 hour flights.

    Instead of flying with AC, I voluntarily take a stop in the US wherever I'm going and fly US airlines at a much cheaper rate.

    Personally, I'd just match my status to another airline & take the stopovers. Normally it means more miles, as well!
    I personally don't mind, because I love flying so much.
     
  3. phlwookie
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    phlwookie Silver Member

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    Fly out of GSO or GSP occasionally? There's really not much more of an option.
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    If your company puts you on the US nonstops, you lose all the benefits of status by flying DL for personal travel. Can you mitigate the increased fares by purchasing early and sometimes using miles for free travel? Or can you find flights on US with connections instead of the nonstops to save money--for example, fly CLT-PHL-PIT if that's a legal routing or even CLT-DCA-PIT?
     
  5. SS255
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    SS255 Silver Member

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    If you fly enough on your company's dime, you can always use miles for award travel for personal trips which are outrageously high. Usually if the nonstop is $50-$75 more, it's worth the convenience-unless you need the extra miles\segments, of course.
     
  6. DeacFlyer1
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    I agree with this if the nonstop is marginally more...but some of the fares I'm seeing are almost double the non-US and non-nonstop fares...
     
  7. Art234
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    Art234 Milepoint Guide

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    Agreed that fortress hub pricing is horrendous...without viable nonstop competition it is a near monopoly...but it is what is.
    The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side with DL however as you would be going through ATL 90% of the time, and when I was a Plat on DL I could wind up with middle seats and no upgrade chance CLT-ATL...
     
  8. fly_fly_fly

    fly_fly_fly Active Member

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    CLT based flyer here who does nothing more than personal travel and maintains Silver or Gold status. Since US Air flys something like 90% of all CLT flights (not sure if that is correct, but I feel like the news mentioned it the other day) their pricing is frustrating. My thoughts:
    1) Off peak US first class upgrades are plentiful even for silver -aside from popular spots like LAS.
    2) Flying friday night is usually not worth it, flights are often delayed and have better luck w/point #1 Saturday am.
    3) Remember Air tran will be Southwest in 2012 (I doubt Southwest will leave space since CLT was in running for a hub when DEN was ultimately decided) so can be worth flying Airtran for personal travel as it will merge with Southwest -did you take advantage of either recent Chase Southwest bonus offers.
    4) Wait for competitors to have sales - jetblue makes NYC and BOS extremely affordable.
    5) US Air does have good east coast sales pop up.
    6) 2011 hasn't been as cheap for GSO departures as in the past (aside from recent $475 HNL sale), but it is only 75-90min ride and is an option as menioned earlier.
    7) Be willing to take advantage of US Air one way flight purchases, I have found USAir nearly match competitor on, say, the outbound flight and then been much more on the return so I mix and match.

    Not sure if any of this is insightful and sorry I can't give point of reference if it is worth a status match or not. I just wait for sales and pounce, that is the ultimate CLT advice.
     
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  9. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    CLT based UA 1K, US's pricing in CLT has and will always be expensive. They may be a lost cost carrier but not in Charlotte for certain. No way to really do out of CLT proper, US air particularly cheaply I am afraid.
     
  10. richinaz
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    richinaz Silver Member

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    I didn't realize it was this extreme.
    http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/default.asp?charlotte=165&objId=260
    So 606/700 = 86%

    They can do pretty much anything they want with that monopoly.
     
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  11. SC Flier
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  12. DeacFlyer1
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    I don't see any reason to think those #'s include codeshares...

    I actually thought I read somewhere recently that US had even more flights at CLT...something like 660/day.
     
  13. DeacFlyer1
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    So you just fly UA and go through ORD or IAD every time?
     
  14. Gtitan
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    UA, EWR, CLE, etc and when work requires fly US
     
  15. SC Flier
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    You may be right.

    DL has 25 flights out of CLT tomorrow to ATL, CVG, DTW, MEM, MSP, or JFK.
    FL has 3 flights to ATL.
    CO has 10 to CLE, IAH or EWR. (including 2 operated by United Exp)
    AA has 21 flights: 6 ORD, 4 LGA, 4 MIA, 7 DFW.

    That's 58 flights, so far. I haven't counted UA, LH, JetBlue, Air Canada, and Insel Air.

    And it looks as if UA is flying fewer of their own planes out of CLT than I thought. Instead, it's mostly codeshares on US-operated flights.
     

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