PHL-LHR gone post merger

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by Sean Colahan, Jul 26, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    It looks like between BA/US they have six slots, total, right now. Given that two of them are owned by US, it would seem they're ceding this route to the JV. That'll likely hurt traffic for folks looking to avoid the YQ and drive them to another airline or through JFK. I can see the concern - moving from two alliances serving the route to one - should be interesting to see which, if any, *A carrier picks this up.
     
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  3. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Cannot see any *A carrier picking LHR from PHL up given how close EWR is to PHL.
     
  4. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    The slots have to go to someone. Speculation on who? I suppose if they're LHR slots they could come from anywhere/go to anywhere, they don't have to be PHL-LHR.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  5. downhillcrasher

    downhillcrasher Gold Member

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    Virgin Atlantic maybe?
    Virgin, maybe? I can't see any airline on this side of the pond picking it up.
     
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  6. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    The only alternative that makes any sense is VS/DL. VS's connecting network in LHR is kind of small, so I'm not sure how that would work, but who knows?
     
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  7. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Too bad for US FFers in PHL... Such a basic route they have to give up.
     
  8. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Mark my words... PHL will eventually go the way of PIT...
     
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  9. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    Will be interesting to see how this works out. I fly BA to LHR but my business travelers are all US loyal - I didn't tell them yet. Upside is that we earn corporate BA points for flights so our balances will increase now.
    As for going to EWR or JFK, my travelers won't do that - too far, time consuming let alone more costly for the business.
     
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  10. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    It will probably be Virgin taking the slots. What surprises me is that they don't decided to do one flight on BA and the other on New American...though that would also mean BA having to give up the shots as opposed to US/AA
     
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  11. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    With BA running the route American gets money but doesn't have to spend anything to do it.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  12. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Good point.
     
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  13. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I'm guessing VS as well. I'm a little sad to see this go as it would have been nice to have an emergency drivable airport to fly to LHR from DC on oneworld instead of having to get to JFK.
     
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  14. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    My understanding is that the two BA flights a day in PHL are part of a few pharma clients in the Philly/UK area - one flight has F -Will be interesting if Virgin as the prices are lower and includes car service -
     
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  15. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Lots of Pharma traffic between UK/PHL
     
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  16. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    That article doesn't say what you think it does, as Mike pointed out above. US/AA has to give up LHR slots that would be used for a competitor to offer PHL-LHR service. It does NOT say they have to give up PHL-LHR service. They could give up, say, RDU-LHR, which would be my bet: RDU is really really close to CLT, close enough to have some overlap, and feeding RDU traffic through CLT shouldn't be too tough, and it's one of AA's last vestiges of pre-cornerstone strategy.

    If I was a betting man, I'd bet DL will pick it up to go with PHL-CDG...
     
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  17. Phudnik
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    Phudnik Gold Member

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    RDU-LHR is in place because of a Pharma client that buys a large percentage of the seats and I can't imagine it would be dropped. I think instead they are more likely to give up one of the PHL-LHR slot pairs.

    DL's PHL-CDG is in place due to the joint venture with AF and I would bet, having taken the AF predecessor flight a few times, that a lot of the passengers connect to Africa and the Middle East. That kind of connecting traffic isn't available to DL at LHR. VS seems to be the only likely candidate to add PHL-LHR.
     
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  18. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Yeah, but having a hub 130 miles away that's going to overlap some in service area is going to change that (and newAA can easily serve RDU-CLT with shuttle service that makes not just connecting to LHR viable, but a bunch of other options that mean that customer doesn't have to connect at ORD/MIA/JFK- none of which I would consider to be as good an airport for connecting as CLT, and all of which are further than 130 miles away).

    Why? Not serving your biggest overseas market from your biggest fortress hub is dumb (fun fact: PHL metro is bigger than DFW), even if you have a ATI agreement with BA. You give up the ability to treat your elites special (or BA does). You cede market share to whoever gets the slot instead of making them earn it (and PHL is a large enough city that 2xLHR is sustainable, 3x might well be, especially once US's network is plugged into OW not *A).

    If anything, if US is going to keep RDU-LHR like you say, there's probably a better argument to drop CLT-LHR; running shuttles out of CLT to RDU is easier than running PHL-JFK (eats up valuable JFK slots, you get screwed by Eastern Seaboard ATC regularly), CLT is a smaller metro area than PHL, much smaller, US's CLT-LHR service is new (it used to be CLT-LGW).

    Thanks to the DL/VS ATI agreement, it doesn't really matter, but I'd point out that DL has 752s they fly TATL (one of the routes they do that on is PHL-CDG). VS not so much. So sticking a 752 on PHL-LHR might work out better than making VS fly the route on a bigger plane (and lose more money).
     
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  19. Phudnik
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    Phudnik Gold Member

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    I live in the Philly suburbs, so I am well aware of how many people live in the area. I see most of them on the highways during rush hour. ;)

    However, PHL is much less busy than DFW, in part because the hub is smaller and in part because there is minimal O/D traffic from PHL to NYC and WAS, US's constant shuffling of DH8s back and forth to LGA notwithstanding. The area also bleeds a little traffic to EWR (raises hand and waves, at least from time to time).

    The BA flights are, I think, 10-12x/week instead of two per day, but given the ATI, does it matter that AA wouldn't have a flight on its own metal? I suppose if it did they could replace the early BA with an AA flight, though I doubt that would happen.

    That makes more sense to me than dropping RDU, which as I said is kept alive to satisfy a rather large client. I don't think there's enough banking traffic to fill CLT-LHR on an O/D basis. Nonetheless, given that CLT would be the southern hub, and it's easier to get people there than to MIA, I think dropping one of the PHL-LHR flights is more likely. I don't know what the O/D figures are for PHL-LHR on US, but people connecting from the west coast, etc., could just as easily connect at ORD.

    I had forgotten about the DL/VS ATI agreement, but I doubt that a DL 752 would generate much in the way of premium traffic compared to a VS 330 or something. The PHL-CDG route is seasonal anyway; I'd be surprised if they could make money with a 752 year-round, and why bother to run an LHR route seasonally?
     
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  20. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    PHL still a really big hub, and LHR is still AA's #1 overseas destination. Can you name an AA hub that doesn't have AA nonstop LHR service on AA metal? And remember, all the connecting traffic that right now goes PHL-FRA-XXX is going to be going PHL-LHR-XXX once US pulls the plug on *A- where do all those pax go? Reducing your capacity into the most logical European connecting hub for your alliance and handing it to DL (instead of keeping your capacity stable, or possibly even INCREASING it, and making DL or VS earn their PHL-LHR market share) strikes me as, well, nuts. If anything AA is going to want to INCREASE their ability to connect people into LHR from their US hubs, because that's the entire point of their BA/IB ATI agreement. So their slot pair has to come from somewhere that's not an AA hub important for connecting traffic, logically. The only places in the network that aren't AA hubs are RDU and BOS... and US+AA actually have focus city status in BOS. If anything, I'd say there's a better case to pull a frequency from someplace like JFK (where you have many frequencies) than PHL.

    AA didn't have a very well developed hub 130 miles away from RDU to help satisfy a client before this (and that hub is a lot better for connecting from RDU than the competition's hubs at ATL, DTW, ORD or IAD).

    For that matter, who knows? Maybe BA starts flying RDU-LHR.

    Is the highest and best use of a VS plane PHL-LHR, though? That's the thing; VS doesn't have a ton of spare metal (not as much as DL does). DL is also very aggressive throwing metal at routes and seeing if it sticks (see: new SEA focus city, LAX-SYD, DTW Asia routes). But yeah, a VS A330 is also a possibility.
     
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  21. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Why? Sure, FRA is outside the hubs of the JV, but that's part of the allure. oneworld pax can connect to airberlin in Germany. Sure, airberlin concentrates in TXL and DUS instead of FRA, and maybe there's some adjustment there, but this brings opportunities for non-BA oneworld partners to get some more connecting traffic.

    Inside the JV there's Iberia, too, with connections through MAD and BCN. I'd personally more strongly consider routes that connected me through somewhere other than Heathrow, especially with the APD (and YQ on BA). So let me connect through MAD, BCN, TXL or DUS and I'll consider it... and maybe this prompts a decision by airberlin to increase ops at Frankfurt, or US/AA to consider rerouting FRA flights to TXL/DUS.


    There's no way, none, zero, that AA will drop a JFK slot for PHL. Ever. JFK is all meat... covered in gravy compared to the side of broccoli that is PHL.
     
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  22. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    YQ is irrelevant unless you're on an award; it's folded into the fare (BA's fares aren't out of scale, it's just when you go to awards that YQ becomes a problem). And Germany has APD too.

    There's no way AB or IB is going to be newAA's primary way of connecting pax in Europe. Zero, none, nil. That would be like UA using WAW and LO for connections instead of FRA/MUC and LH. Makes no sense; BA has the route network out of LHR, and AB/IB are second-class citizens in comparison. Go look at AB's route network; it's second-rate compared to BA's. (Fun fact: AB does not even serve LHR.)

    And AB isn't even making profits these days; neither is IB. The chances that they will invest in additional operations to turn their hubs into better connecting hubs for AA traffic resemble goose eggs.

    You need to be realistic; when it comes to OW in Europe, all roads lead to LHR. I don't see that newAA is going to let any competitor waltz in and take marketshare to their primary overseas destination in a city with 6 million inhabitants (that's six mill-yun) without a fight, even if they have to give up an LHR slot. Remember, PHL is a fortress hub. Why would you let a competitor inside the fortress without so much as a fight? The EU is going to ask for a competitor on PHL-LHR, not unconditional surrender of the route. So why surrender instead of fight?
     
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