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Old Feb 14, 10, 3:39 pm   #1
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Pittsburgh Hub

The PIT US Airways hub was always a very nice one. They dismanteled
it pc by pc. Lots of people lost there job too. Yet they turn around and put a hub in PHL. Just woundering the thought behind this. Do they make more money with PHL as a hub.
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Old Feb 14, 10, 8:21 pm   #2
  
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The demise of the Pittsburgh hub is a sad, sad, story - almost as sad as the demise of cities like Cleveland.

Some points -

The Pittsburgh market wasn't big enough for the folks doing origin/destination type travel, which is important for a hub (folks flying with a PIT - ... Itenerary as opposed to connecting).

Folks on the East Coast, even though they heard Pittsburgh wasn't that full of air traffic delays, weren't really interested in flying 1 hr west to then fly somewhere else, especially all of the Europe Destinations (London, Paris, Frankfurt)

US Airways eventually saw big East Coast Cities like PHL was where the $ was and moved more flights there.

I think too that they just had way too many flights to smaller airports in the western pa/northeast Ohio region - Youngstown-Pittsburgh and Latrobe-Pittsburgh come to mind. Heck, they even had Reading PA - Pittsburgh etc...

On Airliners.net there is a huge Pittsburgh crowd who was debated/written at great lengths about the demise of PIT. Sure, there have been airports that have shrunk in size, or medium airports with smaller hubs that went away (think America West/Columbus) but for such a new airport to be so huge, then shrink to so little size in only 10-12 years after opening, wow...

The silver lining for PIT folks is that the loss of the hub brought in WN and grew Airtran (I think they were around during the hub days - in fact - they briefly did PIT-PHL, bringing the fares down from $1,000 roundtrip) so folks from PIT do have affordable flying - just less destinations.
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Old Feb 14, 10, 9:29 pm   #3
  
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<insert standard "loss of PIT" lament here>
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Old Feb 15, 10, 8:23 am   #4
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<then read all of the "Why did US leave Pittsburgh" threads from the last 5 years>
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Old Feb 15, 10, 8:40 am   #5
  
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Hey maybe I am the only one with a long memory :-) While business is business, I still don't think US Airways bargained/worked with Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh in good faith. So for me I voted with my wallet and United became my primary airline and my other business is widely spreadout depending on price and convenience between Airtran, Delta, and Southwest. United doesn't provide good service to southern Florida which is one of my regular leisure destinations. Now with Continental as part of Star Alliance, I'll see if they can meet that need for me (though I stay away from EWR like the plague). To this day, I still try to avoid giving US business and only do so as a last resort. I am sure my small amount of business has no impact on US but it still feels like the correct ethical thing to do for me. Each to their own....

--Jon
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Old Feb 15, 10, 11:24 am   #6
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyefanflyer View Post
Yet they turn around and put a hub in PHL. Just woundering the thought behind this. Do they make more money with PHL as a hub.
How far back in the history of the old US did PHL become a hub? Was it before PIT? Were they identified as hubs around the same time? Or was PIT truly a hub before PHL?

I've been flying US out of PHL for about 20 years and always remember it as a hub.
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Old Feb 15, 10, 1:53 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHLflying View Post
The silver lining for PIT folks is that the loss of the hub brought in WN and grew Airtran (I think they were around during the hub days - in fact - they briefly did PIT-PHL, bringing the fares down from $1,000 roundtrip) so folks from PIT do have affordable flying - just less destinations.
US, or at least pre-merger US, had an amazing ability of ripping off their population bases around their hubs as much as humanly possible. I remember when the Pittsburgh-Albany route opened on WN. Even with a transfer through BWI, there was a mass migration of people to WN, despite PIT-ALB being a direct flight and WN having no business class. It was literally 1/3 of the price. The last time I flew it on US, which was a few years ago, it was propeller service, and I switched alliances almost immediately after getting off of the plane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyefanflyer View Post
The PIT US Airways hub was always a very nice one. They dismanteled
it pc by pc. Lots of people lost there job too. Yet they turn around and put a hub in PHL. Just woundering the thought behind this. Do they make more money with PHL as a hub.
I heard from disgruntled ex-US elites that Governor Ed Rendell gave US a deal for expanding at PHL, and they in turn cut service in PIT and sent it that way. It wouldn't shock me, but that isn't a scientific report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Maiman View Post
Hey maybe I am the only one with a long memory :-) While business is business, I still don't think US Airways bargained/worked with Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh in good faith. So for me I voted with my wallet and United became my primary airline and my other business is widely spreadout depending on price and convenience between Airtran, Delta, and Southwest. United doesn't provide good service to southern Florida which is one of my regular leisure destinations. Now with Continental as part of Star Alliance, I'll see if they can meet that need for me (though I stay away from EWR like the plague). To this day, I still try to avoid giving US business and only do so as a last resort. I am sure my small amount of business has no impact on US but it still feels like the correct ethical thing to do for me. Each to their own....

--Jon
You're not the only one. It is hard to believe, every time I'm in that airport, that it's really just a regional airport...a regional airport with statues of George Washington and Franko Harris
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Old Feb 15, 10, 4:09 pm   #8
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitburgr View Post
How far back in the history of the old US did PHL become a hub? Was it before PIT? Were they identified as hubs around the same time? Or was PIT truly a hub before PHL?
US began building up PHL in the early 90's and by the middish 90's PHL was a hub, along with PIT. The PIT reductions started in earnest during BK1.

Jim
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Old Feb 15, 10, 7:33 pm   #9
  
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I am not from PIT so I have no special interest. The international airlines were all serving PHL, not PIT. BA, LH, AF, etc. I believe SAS was there for some years. Yes, I know TWA served PIT to London and yes BA did when US was a partner. PHL is the international city. PIT as a great airport but that a hub does not truly make.

When US decided to expanded internationally, is choice had to be PHL over PIT.

I know these sites are filled with diehard PIT people.

Before deregulation ROA was the PI major hub. Was it going to work for a national Piedmont - I think not. Before they expanded the airport at CLT , PI was sending non-stops from ROA to BOS, DFW, etc. Sometimes folks got to make business decisions and not just on sentiment.
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Old Feb 15, 10, 7:38 pm   #10
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One of the reasons I stopped flying US (and I think I am by no means alone in this) is that they switched their hub to PHL from PIT. PIT was a much better hub. Far fewer delays than PHL. I would much rather fly an hour and connect in PIT than fly 30 minutes, which was more like two hours typically, and connect in PHL. Plus there were the amenities in PHL, like nasty people and lost bags. In any case Im quite a bit happier on AA now.
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Old Feb 15, 10, 7:54 pm   #11
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santarosaflyer View Post
Before deregulation ROA was the PI major hub.
I think your history is a little off. Before deregulation, PI had no hubs. Several cities had nonstop service to multiple markets - GSO, RDU, CLT, even FAY.

It was only after deregulation that PI developed a hub - CLT and later BWI followed by DAY.

Jim
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Old Feb 15, 10, 8:17 pm   #12
  
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PHL is a relatively major city; PIT is not. The O&D combined with the connects is what makes PHL the hub.

That's your answer despite where all the individual preferences may wish/hope/remember/dream/want.
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Old Feb 15, 10, 8:59 pm   #13
  
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Originally Posted by geo1005 View Post
PHL is a relatively major city
Not just that, but it was the only relatively major city in the core US market (pre-HP merger) with both the geographical location and no other airline's hub already there to compete with.

Jim
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Old Feb 15, 10, 9:54 pm   #14
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Maiman View Post
So for me I voted with my wallet and United became my primary airline
Me too.....only I went to Delta, but for the same reasons.
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Old Feb 15, 10, 11:12 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
One of the reasons I stopped flying US (and I think I am by no means alone in this) is that they switched their hub to PHL from PIT. PIT was a much better hub. Far fewer delays than PHL. I would much rather fly an hour and connect in PIT than fly 30 minutes, which was more like two hours typically, and connect in PHL. Plus there were the amenities in PHL, like nasty people and lost bags. In any case Im quite a bit happier on AA now.
Agreed, though I'm with Delta. PHL is still without a doubt the worst airport I've ever been in/frequented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geo1005 View Post
PHL is a relatively major city; PIT is not. The O&D combined with the connects is what makes PHL the hub.

That's your answer despite where all the individual preferences may wish/hope/remember/dream/want.
Philadelphia's size/importance means it would have become a hub for some airline, regardless of what US decided to do. I do think that US has improved a lot in the last year or so, but they have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of damage that needs to be undone. And, unfortunately, as this thread and countless others on flyertalk demonstrate, they lost a lot of loyal customers.

I don't begrudge people for staying with US, however. You have to have the best FF program for you, and for many, US is good option.
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