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Old Oct 4, 10, 5:37 pm   #1
 
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Delta cuts DEN red eye flights

Last winter I took the 12:50am red eye from Denver to Detroit several times. I loved the flight because it allowed me to ski a weekend in Colorado and still be back on the east coast first thing on Monday morning. The flight was always full when I took it. There was also a 1:10am red eye to Atlanta that also was full when I was at the airport.

This winter when I went to book my first trip, I noticed that the DTW red eye was gone and there are only 3 flights a day to/from DTW. I thought that was a bit surprising, but there still are plenty of flights to other DL hubs.

I booked on the red eye through ATL instead. Today, I got an e-mail from Delta telling me that I had been rebooked on the 6:15am flight. The ATL red eye is now only operating on Saturday and Sundays (since it is a 1:10am flight, that would be Friday night and Saturday night)

Does anyone know why Delta did this? I guess the numbers didn't work, but other airlines (US Airways, Frontier, and JetBlue) still have them.

This is very disappointing because Delta really has no other options on Sunday night to get you back to the east coast unless you leave DEN at 7:15pm and do a double connection through SLC and ATL.
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Old Oct 4, 10, 6:51 pm   #2
 
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I have taken the red-eye from DEN-ATL quite a few times this year, all were very full flights. I know that that does not guarantee a profit, it does seem odd. The bigger question is does this mean that there are no longer late evening arrivals in DEN from both ATL and DTW? If so, that would really not be a good thing. Many times I have caught the last flight ATL-DEN.
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Old Oct 4, 10, 9:21 pm   #3
 
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The late ATL-DEN is still there. However, the last DTW-DEN flight is now just before 4pm.
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Old Oct 4, 10, 9:27 pm   #4
 
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I just happened to stumble onto this thread, but I have to say that nothing about those red-eyes sound pleasant. How long are those flights?
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Old Oct 4, 10, 9:45 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by coolbeans202 View Post
I just happened to stumble onto this thread, but I have to say that nothing about those red-eyes sound pleasant. How long are those flights?
Not very long for a red-eye. I think most of my flights to Detroit last winter were about 2 hours and 15 minutes in the air. They are brutal flights, but if it means an extra day of skiing, I'll happily do it.
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Old Oct 4, 10, 10:21 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by AirlineDeregulation View Post
Does anyone know why Delta did this?
Yes, there are two reasons that come to mind. 1) They weren't making money on the flights or 2) They were making money but they could make more money flying other routes. Since they were red eye flights (and many planes aren't in service in the middle of the night), I would assume it is the former.

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Originally Posted by AirlineDeregulation View Post
I guess the numbers didn't work, but other airlines (US Airways, Frontier, and JetBlue) still have them.
Maybe the other airlines have different cost structures. Maybe the other airlines make more (net) money on ancillary stuff (cargo, baggage, etc.).

Regardless, I can assure you that if Delta was making money on the flights, they wouldn't have eliminated them. They are a public company in the business to make moolah.
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Old Oct 5, 10, 6:34 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by AirlineDeregulation View Post
Not very long for a red-eye. I think most of my flights to Detroit last winter were about 2 hours and 15 minutes in the air. They are brutal flights, but if it means an extra day of skiing, I'll happily do it.
I certainly can't begrudge you for wanting an extra day of skiing. Every time I take a red-eye (usually LAX/SFO-IAD, slightly more bearable) I swear never again, but then the lure of almost an extra day of vacation is just too strong.
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