Increasingly Restricted Legal Routings

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Old Feb 20, 19, 1:02 am
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Increasingly Restricted Legal Routings

So, I've noticed mounting restrictions on connection options. In general, this wasn't too bad (generally trimming extremely roundabout connection options), but I'm now noticing that there are cases where it is functionally impossible to book a premium cabin between two airports (e.g. RIC-JFK) due to the Delta Connection carrier using Satan's Chariot [1] but the system won't allow an alternate routing. In another case (PHF-NYC), due to PHF only flying to Atlanta, nothing is showing up as legal (since presumably PHF-JFK/LGA would be "non-stop or direct only" and DL doesn't offer that).

I know that Delta wants to keep the number of nutty routings under control, but are hangups like this showing up elsewhere in the system? Or is this just a one-off bug in eastern Virginia?

[1] AKA the CRJ-200, or possibly another single-class CRJ.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 4:56 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
I'm now noticing that there are cases where it is functionally impossible to book a premium cabin between two airports (e.g. RIC-JFK) due to the Delta Connection carrier using Satan's Chariot [1] but the system won't allow an alternate routing.
Tomorrow's schedule shows Delta with:

1 CRJ, 1 E75 and 1 E75 on RIC-JFK

3 E75 and 2 CR9 on RIC-LGA

AA has 5x E140s RIC-LGA

UA has 5X E145s RIC-EWR

ITA Matrix finds no carrier with non-stops PHF-NYC tomorrow. It's curious that nobody perceives a satisfactory market even to the LGA/JFK and EWR hubs.

Delta Connection uses fewer single-class CRJs today that at any point in time in the last 20 years.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 5:04 am
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OP, in an another post linked below I noted the same increase in routing restrictions for CHO. That change took effect in late November, perhaps in preparation for DL adding a second CHO-LGA (both on the dreaded SC666). I recall that the RIC changes occurred earlier in the fall, not certain if there was a trigger. The aircraft on the RIC-NYC route have been improving, with notable exceptions.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30719878-post30.html
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Old Feb 20, 19, 5:27 am
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Didn't Delta post some sort of marketing propaganda about no more CRJ-200's at LGA a few years ago?
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
Didn't Delta post some sort of marketing propaganda about no more CRJ-200's at LGA a few years ago?
As another poster noted above, RIC-LGA is all two class RJ's.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
As another poster noted above, RIC-LGA is all two class RJ's.
But CHO-LGA is all crj-200.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post


But CHO-LGA is all crj-200.
They said they would stop flying the MD-88 to LGA. Nothing about CRJ-200's.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
They said they would stop flying the MD-88 to LGA. Nothing about CRJ-200's.
I'm pretty sure Delta claimed a few years ago that all regional flights from LGA would have two classes of service. I'll have to search for it.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
I'm pretty sure Delta claimed a few years ago that all regional flights from LGA would have two classes of service. I'll have to search for it.
Just a quick search shows several routes have at least one daily flight on a single class RJ service, including Bangor, ME, Burlington, VT, Norfolk, VA and Manchester, NH. I stopped looking after that. The only "marketing" I recall about single class versus 2 class RJ's was that DL has the internal policy to avoid using single class RJs on routes over ~750 miles. I don't recall anything about LGA specifically.

At one point DL advertised "all flat beds across the Atlantic". Once they launched KEF, that went out that window and it's gone even further out the window with some new routes that use domestic 757s TATL and domestic F as "PS" - point being that things (markets) change.
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Old Feb 23, 19, 4:16 am
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Quick return to this:
You are all correct about there being two-class planes RIC-JFK/LGA right now I was on one two days ago. When I check two weeks out (in March), however, I run into this, so I think there's an equipment shuffle coming.

ORF has had similar things...there used to be one or two two-class flights. There are such flights in August. But I'm not getting them to JFK on 3/12 (for example) or 3/14. I am getting them to LGA, and I'm getting a bunch of one-stops to EWR as well. But no JFK. Ditto RIC (lots of LGA, no JFK).

Incidentally, this did cause a problem for me (I want all F/J legs for crediting reasons[1][2], SDC rights, and a few bad experiences dealing with luggage rights on mixed-cabin itineraries on B6 [3][4]...I've never tried to handle an SDC on a split-cabin itinerary and I feel like it would be a recipe for trouble). My solution was to book from DCA instead of RIC/ORF/PHF. This is relevant, not just because of the restrictions on the city pairs in question but also because the only lie-flats from the east coast to Seattle right now depart from JFK.

And the all-two-class-to-LGA would explain some of why JFK has been getting "stabbed" some as of late, and of course some of it might also be ongoing fleet shuffling.

For the record, I noticed restrictions on RIC popping up in the fall because RIC-BOS also became more restricted (RIC-ATL-BOS dropped off the legal routings list).I think ORF might have gotten updated and then PHF just took collateral damage.

On PHF: The problem is that the airport is basically a zombie because it is caught between a RIC and a hard place RIC and ORF. Both have solid service. However, if you're on the Peninsula, RIC is generally over an hour away (and may the gods watch over you if you try to make that trek on the wrong weekend day in the summer...Outer Banks traffic has historically overloaded I-64 on weekends in the summer, so plan on two hours) while ORF...let's just say that there are times of the day you build in 90 minutes of travel time because the tunnel tends to melt down pretty badly with some regularity.

DL and AA do flights strictly to hubs out of PHF (ATL and CLT/PHL, respectively). If DL keeps building up BOS, maybe PHF will get a flight or two there...if the airport doesn't keel over first. B6 does RIC-BOS but not RIC-JFK/LGA, so there might be logic there. But I digress.

This situation does, however, raise an uncomfortable question as to why they don't (for airports such as PHF) slap in a blanket "may connect through XXX" rule. WAS has no published fares (fine, I get it, it's "too close", though for frak's sake...if someone wants to pay to go PHF-ATL-WAS, maybe don't turn away the money?). PHL and NYC also return total blanks (so not even PHF-ATL-EWR shows), probably because of routing rules.

By the way, I'm amused...I threw PHF-NYC into ITA Matrix. Some of the routings it produced (since ITA will break routing rules and price a multi-city) are hilariously out-of-the-way since it does not want to terminate one leg in ATL and then start another leg in ATL. The cheapest flight combo on 3/12 from PHF to NYC? PHF-ATL-YUL-LGA, followed by PHF-ATL-YYZ-LGA and then a bunch of stuff through JAX.

[1] Yeah, it's generally 500 miles vs 750 miles, but having this happen 3-4 times a year turns into a "flight to nowhere" I have to bother with come December.
[2] Adding misery to this, I've occasionally noticed that an F/Y flight [ORF/RIC-JFK-XXX] and an F/F flight on the same have the same price since the whole thing prices through. Which is, of course, obnoxious on top of that.
[3] B6 can't handle "Mint on one leg, no Mint on other leg because flight does not have Mint" and it automatically pairs Mint legs with a baggage-restricted fare legs. The result has been me flying DL legs to connect with B6 when I do get a super-cheap Mint fare.
[4] Ironically, I don't care that much about the seats, though the free drink(s) never hurt.
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Old Feb 23, 19, 7:00 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post

By the way, I'm amused...I threw PHF-NYC into ITA Matrix. Some of the routings it produced (since ITA will break routing rules and price a multi-city) are hilariously out-of-the-way since it does not want to terminate one leg in ATL and then start another leg in ATL. The cheapest flight combo on 3/12 from PHF to NYC? PHF-ATL-YUL-LGA, followed by PHF-ATL-YYZ-LGA and then a bunch of stuff through JAX.
ITA is not really "breaking routing rules". These apply to single through fares. Since there are no fare filings on the route, it is simply piecing together multiple fares to get between the points. ITA breaks out the fares involved in the details section. Some of the cheaper coach fares do not permit such combinations (they only allow A-B-A roundtrip fare combinations) and can only be bought as separate tickets. But that is a fare combination rule, not a routing rule.

Last edited by LBJ; Feb 23, 19 at 7:19 am
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Old Feb 23, 19, 9:59 pm
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Oh, I know they're not breaking the rules. I'm just amused at absurdly roundabout split fares being the cheapest way to get from A to B because DL made a hash of their rules.

BTW, the PHF-PHL pair stands out as particularly absurd since AA serves that directly from PHF.
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Old Feb 23, 19, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
Oh, I know they're not breaking the rules. I'm just amused at absurdly roundabout split fares being the cheapest way to get from A to B because DL made a hash of their rules.

BTW, the PHF-PHL pair stands out as particularly absurd since AA serves that directly from PHF.
Again, it goes back to not having a fare filing (not routing or fare rules) due to the fact that it's silly to fly between PHF and PHL via ATL. Why bother with a fare filing when there would be almost no demand? It's not like this is unique to DL. UA and AA also have routes where there are no fair filings because they make no sense.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
Again, it goes back to not having a fare filing (not routing or fare rules) due to the fact that it's silly to fly between PHF and PHL via ATL. Why bother with a fare filing when there would be almost no demand? It's not like this is unique to DL. UA and AA also have routes where there are no fair filings because they make no sense.
If nothing else, because ORF and RIC have routings permitted on Delta.com. I don't think PHF-ATL-PHL is fundamentally any "sillier" than ORF/RIC-DTW-PHL (it's something like two hundred miles longer than ORF-DTW-PHL but that's what? 20 minutes of layover worth of difference...or, more bluntly, morning traffic on the HRBT). It seems that there was, frankly, a blinkered attempt to wipe out Virginia-Atlanta-Northeast routings as much as was possible.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
Again, it goes back to not having a fare filing (not routing or fare rules) due to the fact that it's silly to fly between PHF and PHL via ATL. Why bother with a fare filing when there would be almost no demand? It's not like this is unique to DL. UA and AA also have routes where there are no fair filings because they make no sense.
I agree, no reason to file a fare on this route, but what has made life difficult for some is the move to restrict end-on-end ticketing on most fares. I. In the old days if you really wanted to fly PHF-PHL you could simply book a PHF-ATL and ATL-PHL on a single ticket. Now you cant do that, or can only do it with crazy high fares. All the legacys, except AS, have moved in this direction.

I wonder if this change has been revenue positive? They certainly reduced the crazy connections for low fare trips, but they are also losing the higher fare PHF-PHL premium passengers.
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