LUS Routings vs LAA Routings

Old Jun 22, 18, 1:41 pm
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LUS Routings vs LAA Routings

Because I live in Dallas, I have flown exclusively on AA for many years. As such, the one-off LUS flights I take interest me because it's almost like flying another airline.

One of the differences I've noticed is how LAA routes their planes vs LUS. I'll use a 32B vs a 321 as an example:

N929AA (LAA 32B) - since 6/19 has flown DFW-ORD-LAX-BOS-DFW-LAS-DFW-SMF-DFW-SEA-DFW-SAN-DFW-SAN-DFW
N542UW (LUS 321) - since 6/19 has flown MIA-PHX-CLT-LAS-CLT-MCO-DFW-LAS-CLT-BOS-PHL-MCO-PHX-SAN-DFW-SEA

LAA generally "bounces" planes back and forth from the same hub whereas LUS planes seem to "dance" around the network serving multiple hubs in a short period of time. It seems clear to me that LAA and LUS have different strategies for routing planes. Which of these strategies do you think will survive once the metal and FA's are completely integrated? Also, when will the metal and FA's be fully integrated? I must also add that I appreciate the consistency from the LUS crew - it's not the most polished or friendly, but it's consistent, and they seem to follow company policies and standards more consistently than LAA (such as PDBs and free alcohol in MCE).
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Old Jun 22, 18, 1:53 pm
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Thatís actually a great question.
I suppose weíll begin to find out the answer in October when FOI is completed and LAA/LUS truly become one airline, with all assets (including people) able to drift around the entire system.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:00 pm
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The logistics behind it all intrigues me. Especially from the software side of things, and what can be done.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:13 pm
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Watch out you might start getting some of the LUS planes
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by AAway View Post
Because I live in Dallas, I have flown exclusively on AA for many years. As such, the one-off LUS flights I take interest me because it's almost like flying another airline.

One of the differences I've noticed is how LAA routes their planes vs LUS. I'll use a 32B vs a 321 as an example:

N929AA (LAA 32B) - since 6/19 has flown DFW-ORD-LAX-BOS-DFW-LAS-DFW-SMF-DFW-SEA-DFW-SAN-DFW-SAN-DFW
N542UW (LUS 321) - since 6/19 has flown MIA-PHX-CLT-LAS-CLT-MCO-DFW-LAS-CLT-BOS-PHL-MCO-PHX-SAN-DFW-SEA

LAA generally "bounces" planes back and forth from the same hub whereas LUS planes seem to "dance" around the network serving multiple hubs in a short period of time. It seems clear to me that LAA and LUS have different strategies for routing planes. Which of these strategies do you think will survive once the metal and FA's are completely integrated? Also, when will the metal and FA's be fully integrated? I must also add that I appreciate the consistency from the LUS crew - it's not the most polished or friendly, but it's consistent, and they seem to follow company policies and standards more consistently than LAA (such as PDBs and free alcohol in MCE).
I've flown quiet a bit from DFW-CLT and they not only repeat flight numbers, but the same plane is going both ways
I seem to always be on LUS aircraft. (No power )

Last edited by mvoight; Jun 22, 18 at 2:30 pm
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Old Jun 22, 18, 2:21 pm
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Why has it taken nearly 5 years to integrate planes and personnel into one network? This may be a silly question because I’m not sure what goes on “behind the scenes,” but it seems like this should have happened awhile ago.

I’m always interested to know what planes go where and why. For example, some LAA routes are using LUS equipment already (take DFW-ATL on an A320, for example), but what purpose does that serve? So I wonder if we’ll see a whole bunch of cross-fleeting later this year, or it it’ll be pretty much the same as now.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by arc727 View Post
Why has it taken nearly 5 years to integrate planes and personnel into one network? This may be a silly question because Iím not sure what goes on ďbehind the scenes,Ē but it seems like this should have happened awhile ago.

Iím always interested to know what planes go where and why. For example, some LAA routes are using LUS equipment already (take DFW-ATL on an A320, for example), but what purpose does that serve? So I wonder if weíll see a whole bunch of cross-fleeting later this year, or it itíll be pretty much the same as now.
Labor is almost always the reason why stuff like this takes so long. Just look at UA/CO...
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Old Jun 22, 18, 3:24 pm
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To some extent, it will continue to be most efficient to keep things separate.
Eg, crew bases will revolve around the hubs. And it makes sense to keep fleet types spread over as few hubs as possible.
This is more efficient because it requires fewer parts stores per fleet. Eg if 332s are based only at two airports, then they only need two sets of parts inventory.
Consequently, pilots certified on those aircraft will also only fly from those bases, etc.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by arc727 View Post
Why has it taken nearly 5 years to integrate planes and personnel into one network? This may be a silly question because Iím not sure what goes on ďbehind the scenes,Ē but it seems like this should have happened awhile ago.

Iím always interested to know what planes go where and why. For example, some LAA routes are using LUS equipment already (take DFW-ATL on an A320, for example), but what purpose does that serve? So I wonder if weíll see a whole bunch of cross-fleeting later this year, or it itíll be pretty much the same as now.
Among other things, an airline has procedures that are approved by the FAA. Those procedures go into great detail, ranging from weight and balance to procedures to emergency procedures. Changing those procedures requires approval by the FAA, which is horribly backlogged. So, LUS and LAA each have their own procedures and their crews are trained to those procedures.

So while an LAA A321 might (or might not) have an identical cockpit to a LUS A321, the FAA has approved slightly different procedures for each airline. Until the FAA approves those procedures and the crews are trained on the integrated procedure, they really can't integrate crews. You wouldn't want a FO and a Captain following different procedures during an emergency descent!

Having approved procedures is one reason why ancient airlines still operate aircraft. For example, that's why Piedmont, Midwest Express, PSA are still "airlines" operating aircraft. It's easier to approval to implement procedures for a new aircraft at an existing airline than to get the certificate and procedure approved for a new airline.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 6:00 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Among other things, an airline has procedures that are approved by the FAA. Those procedures go into great detail, ranging from weight and balance to procedures to emergency procedures. Changing those procedures requires approval by the FAA, which is horribly backlogged. So, LUS and LAA each have their own procedures and their crews are trained to those procedures.

So while an LAA A321 might (or might not) have an identical cockpit to a LUS A321, the FAA has approved slightly different procedures for each airline. Until the FAA approves those procedures and the crews are trained on the integrated procedure, they really can't integrate crews. You wouldn't want a FO and a Captain following different procedures during an emergency descent!

Having approved procedures is one reason why ancient airlines still operate aircraft. For example, that's why Piedmont, Midwest Express, PSA are still "airlines" operating aircraft. It's easier to approval to implement procedures for a new aircraft at an existing airline than to get the certificate and procedure approved for a new airline.
To clarify, isnít it the case that the cockpit crew is already integrated and itís just the FAís and metal that arenít ?
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Old Jun 22, 18, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by AAway View Post


To clarify, isnít it the case that the cockpit crew is already integrated and itís just the FAís and metal that arenít ?
Yes.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
For example, that's why Piedmont, Midwest Express, PSA are still "airlines" operating aircraft. It's easier to approval to implement procedures for a new aircraft at an existing airline than to get the certificate and procedure approved for a new airline.
What flights is Midwest Express operating? According to Wikipedia its operating certificate lapsed in 2009.

And Piedmont and PSA are airlines, not "airlines". Just like any other wholly-owned subsidiary regional airlines out there.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ATLMike1234 View Post
What flights is Midwest Express operating? According to Wikipedia its operating certificate lapsed in 2009.

And Piedmont and PSA are airlines, not "airlines". Just like any other wholly-owned subsidiary regional airlines out there.
Originally Posted by YtravelF View Post


Yes.
That's not correct. Pilots have an integrated seniority list but cockpit crews are not integrated. Pilots can bid larger aircraft but not aircraft in the same category. I suppose a PHX based LUS A319 pilot could bid on a DFW based LAA A321, go through training and be qualified on that aircraft and fly with a LAA A321 pilot. Otherwise, it is my understanding that LAA and LUS pilots are not sharing cockpits unless they have qualified in that aircraft.

And yes, Piedmont is an airline ... but you can't by tickets on that "airline" and no one knows them. I could be wrong about Midwest Express. I think Republic still is using their operating certificate but maybe they gave it up in bankruptcy.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
That's not correct. Pilots have an integrated seniority list but cockpit crews are not integrated. Pilots can bid larger aircraft but not aircraft in the same category. I suppose a PHX based LUS A319 pilot could bid on a DFW based LAA A321, go through training and be qualified on that aircraft and fly with a LAA A321 pilot. Otherwise, it is my understanding that LAA and LUS pilots are not sharing cockpits unless they have qualified in that aircraft.
A PHX based pilot would almost certainly already be flying all three variants (319/320/321) in the family on a routine basis.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 6:45 am
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This is just speculation, but prior to the merger US had a very simple fleet. With the exception of widebody flying and a very small number of E90s that mostly served the northeast shuttle routes, everything else was the A32X series. Therefore every LUS hub has an A32X crew base, A32X pilots on reserve, and A32X spares available to substitute. This makes it "safe" to construct routes that cut through several hubs rather than returning to the same hub.

On the other hand LAA has a more complicated fleet and hub structure and they do not have a crew base for every type at every hub, which may necessitate forcing the plane back to the same hub every so many segments, either because of a scheduled crew change (trip start/end) or because they don't want to have the plane stuck at a hub that has no reserve pilots that can fly the plane (in case a crew times out, for instance). The 321 is a relatively new type for LAA and from the OP's example it seems that this particular plane is only staffed out of the DFW base.

Of course having the ability to "dance around the system" as the OP puts it is better because it gives the route planners more flexibility (they always have the option to return the plane to the same hub but they don't have to if there's a more efficient routing).
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