Why not SLC?

Old Sep 14, 05, 3:29 pm
  #1  
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Why not SLC?

I realize that it's a DL hub, but as I have watched AS expand it's route structure, I've sometimes wondered why they skipped right over SLC.

I, for one, would love to see an SEA-SLC (maybe even an ANC-SEA-SLC on the same plane?!)

Any insight?
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Old Sep 14, 05, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by eastwest
I realize that it's a DL hub, but as I have watched AS expand it's route structure, I've sometimes wondered why they skipped right over SLC.

I, for one, would love to see an SEA-SLC (maybe even an ANC-SEA-SLC on the same plane?!)

Any insight?
O&D isn't that great and prices are low due to large WN presence.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 4:53 pm
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At least there's a Delta codeshare from SEA now so you can earn AS miles.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by BLI-Flyer
At least there's a Delta codeshare from SEA now so you can earn AS miles.
Do you need a codeshare to earn miles? I thought you could earn AS miles on the DL-coded, DL-operated flight anyway.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 5:47 pm
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Funny you should pose this question.

I pondered an AS SEA-SLC route the other day while i was surfing Flyertalk.

I have to disagree about the low fares. It runs around $200-$225 usually.

That has to be more of a money maker than SEA-OAK for $150.

Junkie-
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Old Sep 14, 05, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Junkie
Funny you should pose this question.

I pondered an AS SEA-SLC route the other day while i was surfing Flyertalk.

I have to disagree about the low fares. It runs around $200-$225 usually.

That has to be more of a money maker than SEA-OAK for $150.

Junkie-

The Bay Area is about 7x the size of the Salt Lake area, so frequency can be supported. And presumably not everyone is paying $150, and some are connecting onward.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 6:00 pm
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Sea - Slc

Remember the Horizon Air one-stops from SEA - Sun Valley - SLC? Used to always see SLC on Alaska's routemap and in the timetables due to this quirky seasonal "spur" out of Sun Valley.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Junkie
I have to disagree about the low fares. It runs around $200-$225 usually.That has to be more of a money maker than SEA-OAK for $150. Junkie-
That's what I was thinking. I looked at fares in the SEA-SLC market and they looked fairly high to me. I figured that a 737 doing shuttle runs three times a day between the two cities might do okay.

Obviously there is more to this than meets the eye. Maybe RASMGuy or other AS employees can shed some light on this question?
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Old Sep 14, 05, 6:58 pm
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I know that during the winter when I have travelled to SLC from SEA, it can often be hard to get flights, and that was with DL flying not only 737's but also 767's, which were always PACKED.

It would be a great seasonal route (especially if the snow in WA is so terrible again this winter )!
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Old Sep 15, 05, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by Alaska 2F
I know that during the winter when I have travelled to SLC from SEA, it can often be hard to get flights, and that was with DL flying not only 737's but also 767's, which were always PACKED.

It would be a great seasonal route (especially if the snow in WA is so terrible again this winter )!
You can also go SEA-GEG-SLC. Of course, GEG-SLC is on a regional Delta carrier, but there might be more availability. I've done that to get the last few segments to requalify for MVP Gold, but it does add extra time to your itinerary.
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Old Sep 15, 05, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by channa
Do you need a codeshare to earn miles? I thought you could earn AS miles on the DL-coded, DL-operated flight anyway.
You are correct.
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Old Sep 15, 05, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by eastwest
That's what I was thinking. I looked at fares in the SEA-SLC market and they looked fairly high to me. I figured that a 737 doing shuttle runs three times a day between the two cities might do okay.

Obviously there is more to this than meets the eye. Maybe RASMGuy or other AS employees can shed some light on this question?
The fares are comparable to the Bay area, but the market size is small (a volume problem). Although the fares are running in the $200s, it doesn't mean that is what the markets average fare is, which is actually around $80 each way. Since the market is thin, AS has to make money on fare quality as opposed to pax volume. The fare is too low and the market too small to work with AS current cost structure.

The DL code makes the market much more attractive and given the desire to grow SEA, I don't think SLC is unreasonable.
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Old Sep 15, 05, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by RASMguy
The fares are comparable to the Bay area, but the market size is small (a volume problem). Although the fares are running in the $200s, it doesn't mean that is what the markets average fare is, which is actually around $80 each way. Since the market is thin, AS has to make money on fare quality as opposed to pax volume. The fare is too low and the market too small to work with AS current cost structure.

The DL code makes the market much more attractive and given the desire to grow SEA, I don't think SLC is unreasonable.
To get the true sense of the fares paid, I believe that you need to look at the Southwest sale fares. So, wait until WN's next big systemwide sale and look at the lowest fare to see what people are truly paying.

That will probably provide an explanation of why AS isn't in the market. In addition, there are plenty of flights right now on DL and WN. That being said, if DL shrinks in bankruptcy, I could see an opportunity for AS,
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Old Sep 15, 05, 1:05 pm
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Thanks for the input! I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Old Sep 16, 05, 2:09 am
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I remember hearing rumblings that when the AS/DL codeshare started, it might mean the end of year-round DL service in ANC. Fortunately for us, that never happened. DL must do pretty well in ANC, since they run a 763 up here through most of the winter alongside a 757.

I also remember hearing rumors that AS had leased gate space at SLC in anticipation of starting service. Don't know what became of that. However, I would suspect that if DL reduces service to SEA or ANC, or even PDX, in the wake of bankruptcy that AS/QX might try and fill the gap, similar to DFW. SLC would seem like a pretty natural addition to the current AS route system, especially with Park City nearby.
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