Will presence of new OW members induce better MIA service?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jfhscott, Jun 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Obviously MIA is a AA hub, but I've been disappointed by UA's capituation in that market. For ages, even after dropping FLL, UA ran RJ's on IAD-MIA, and then only twice a day.

    Was wondering if feed to Copa, Taca, and Avianca will encourage better service to MIA as a general matter?
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'd be surprised if feed to those carriers over MIA matters enough to make it a bigger station. Unless they get to the point where there is an ATI or other revenue sharing arrangement that seems unlikely to me.
     
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  3. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    If anything, I could see a scenario unfold where UA adds 737 flights from MIA to a few major LatAm business markets depending on AA's corporate disposition. But even that would need not entail more UA domestic flying to/from
    MIA.
     
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  4. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I won't dispute you.

    But it dismays me.

    I live in a UA hub (actually 2 miles from DCA, but I can tolerate IAD). Two RJ's from IAD a day to MIA is pitiful to a significant (if disproportionately leisure) market. Of course, Avianca, Taca, and Copa serve IAD, so lack of UA feed at MIA does not impact them too much. I'd still think there would be opportunties to be had.
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    LAN has a major operation at MIA independent of AMR, the LAN freight base worldwide is in MIA. TAM, Avianca, Taca, Copa and dozens of others do too. It does seem to be what it is though, a fortress hub for AA. Still AA has less dominance at MIA than does DL at ATL, for example. I suspect neither ST nor *A want to push too hard there because neither has the LA force needed to make a serious go of MIA.

    ...or at least it seems so to me.
     
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  6. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I don't think you will see any major changes until the outcome of AA is decided.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    AA/AEX own a 75% market share at MIA. That's HUGE. There are ~450K annual passengers from MIA-DCA and those are mostly handled by US AA if you want a non-stop flight. UA has IAH, EWR and IAD now for moving cargo to LatAm so adding MIA as a hub for that doesn't make a ton of sense.

    Yeah, there is a market in MIA, but AA owns most of it and until there is an incentive to UA to beef up the operations there I just don't see anything changing too dramatically. Even a couple daily additional flights from IAD doesn't really do much to increase the lift into the market versus the US/AA options there.

    (Stats from bts.gov: http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1)
     
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  8. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    I agree. The only real shot of a UA (or WOS) buildup at MIA is in response to a restructured AA that bolsters LatAm business markets from most/all of its cornerstones (MIA/DFW/NYC/LAX/ORD) -- UA/DL would then be compelled to consider adding some minimum level of service to the #1 LatAm O&D gateway or else risk losing corporate contract/premium traffic even at their own fortress hubs (in the same vein that the inability to serve LHR forced the likes of CO to leave a lot of TATL corporate money sitting on the table for those airlines that did serve the #1 O&D airport to Europe).
     
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  9. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Oh, I would not suggest anything as aggressive as a hub for UA.

    Rather, my inquiry is only whether one should anticipate juiced up service (either more flights or upgauging), with any additional flights perhaps times to offer decent connections with the new members, who collectively have 300 weekly flights at MIA:

    http://www.staralliance.com/en/services/destination-information/airport/mia/mia/mia/

    And, could it be that MIA now has more of international *A flights than any other airport which has no *A Gold lounge?
     
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  10. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Nobody can disagree with the first paragraph of this logic, but the continuing growth of South America traffic and Latin American corporate activities in Miami do offer a potential incentive for non-OW carriers. Depending on the shakeout of Latam and AMR there could be an opening. Likely? probably not. Latam is mooted as a shoe-in for OW because Lan is a founding member of OW, and TAM only joined Star a couple years ago. However, with both Star and SkyTeam pushing for better regional coverage and with longer range more efficient aircraft coming (B737MAX, A320NEO, B787) it could well be that increases in MIA services from OW competitors will come. MIA-Europe also has a good many opportunities where there is good traffic and poor OW connections (e.g. Paris, Frankfurt).

    I do not want to suggest that this scenario is highly likely, only that it is plausible, especially if AMR emerges from Chapter 11 weakened.
     
  11. CGK
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    CGK Gold Member

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    Think you have a typo there: should be AA, not US, that handles the DCA-MIA nonstops. I don't think US even serves that route nonstop anymore.
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'll give you possible, but I'm not sure I'm willing to stretch to anything remotely implying probable.

    AMR would have to be severely weakened coming out of bankruptcy for MIA to be at risk. Unless someone shows up with a couple dozen daily flights headed south - and the feed from the north to fill them - there's not much of a threat to the AA operation there. And I don't think that TAM going independent is going to sway that either.
     
  13. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    MIA is to AA what EWR was to pre-merger CO. When UA had a larger presence there (a long time ago), the MIA market was much more competitive. Latin America had not yet undergone the explosive growth it has in the last several years and the AA hub was not nearly as developed as it is today. Even with Chapter 11, I contend that MIA is American's most important, highest-yielding hub and as such will be the last to see cuts, if at all.

    Today, MIA is practically a OW fortress. The global trend has been away from non-core flying, especially point-to-point services from competing alliance hubs. Thus, I would be very surprised to see UA add any service at MIA except to existing hubs, especially in light of the impending loss of TAM from *A. I think it's safe to say that we will not see United's franchise at MIA grow in any substantial way for the near future.
     

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