Did DL miss the boat in Austin???

Old Mar 12, 21, 9:08 am
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Was DL supposed to expand further in AUS during the pandemic?
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Old Mar 12, 21, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
DL has just under half the gates available to them. Nothing other than DL basically on that end. If you pull up map fir some reason they only label DL as gate 7-10, but if look more you'll see gates 1-6 labeled as AM.

DL thus has ten gates for use at AUS. Gates 1/2 are used for international non-preclearance flights. Technically I believe 1-6 can be all used for international, but gates 1/2 are the ones that DL shares as needed for non-DL/AM international flights. I believe they can use gates 11/12 when they can't use gates 1/2.

Bottom line DL is well positioned gate wise at AUS and has said they're committed to AUS. If anything AA is playing catchup and with bizarre cities. (Unless they're purposefully inciting a war with UA/DL/WN)
How many of those gates are exclusively for DL though? Based on the information you provided it sounds like they only have exclusive/primary use of gates 7-10 and the others are common use gates. If that is the case, I can see AA requiring more gates for the increased operations and thus bumping everyone down the line (terminal) into other common use gates thus taking away availability for DL usage (and everyone else for that matter). Just a thought. I'll admit I'm a DL fanboy and want them to succeed no matter what. But until AUS builds that new satellite terminal gate space (and growth by any airline) will be hard to come by.

Originally Posted by RooseveltL View Post
As no one can predict future air travel until we can look at pandemic in the rear view mirror - find the topic of the email premature. E.g. Miss the boat on potential business routes (not knowing how business travel will resume)? Or leisure routes (which is guarantee to draw LCC carriers making it more competitive). Or population shift so Austin becomes a major population hub in TX requiring more direct flight vs. current option of drive from the other hubs DFW? Just not sure anyone has the answers whereas AA operating with a hub only ~200 miles away not a significant investment.
Of course no one has the answers. That's why I ended the title with question marks; I want to get people' to answer the question yes or no and get their thoughts and opinions about the topic and what they think will happen moving forward (during Covid and post Covid).

Originally Posted by steveholt View Post
Was DL supposed to expand further in AUS during the pandemic?
Initially of course not. But given the fact they talked so much about making AUS a focus city prior to Covid one would think they would have plans set or close to being set to move forward once things got better or started getting better. Now that things are starting too get better (slowly) it begs the question in the title of the thread; has DL waited too long to implement these plans and now they're stuck? Or perhaps they still have time? As I mentioned in the response above this one no one knows but I want to get other people's opinions.

OPS
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Old Mar 12, 21, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by DL Platinum View Post
My understanding was that Delta locked up most of those gates in the new terminal expansion and that the build of the Skyclub was part of the deal made with the airport for that exclusivity. Given the rapid growth Austin is experiencing, I feel that every airline will want a piece of the action in AUS. But, given that AA has a huge DFW presence and UA at IAH, why would those airline want to add directs to anywhere other than their hubs so close by?
DFW and IAH are completely separate markets and nonstops can command a premium while a connection, even if a short hop, is still an inconvenience.

Originally Posted by DL Platinum View Post
Given covid, anything is possible, but Austin is in process of planning to greatly expand the airport by adding a separate in field concourse. (Yet no additional runway capacity...) ".
I’d be shocked if AUS adds a new runway any time soon. AUS has two runways already and even with massive growth in flights wouldn’t be anywhere near max runway capacity. Plenty of far busier airports around the US and the world make do with only one or two runways or even if they have more, effectively only have two runways as the crosswind runways are too short or the use would interfere with regular ops on the two parallel runways.

Last edited by ATOBTTR; Mar 12, 21 at 12:31 pm
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Old Mar 12, 21, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by mattya9 View Post
How many of those gates are exclusively for DL though? Based on the information you provided it sounds like they only have exclusive/primary use of gates 7-10 and the others are common use gates. If that is the case, I can see AA requiring more gates for the increased operations and thus bumping everyone down the line (terminal) into other common use gates thus taking away availability for DL usage (and everyone else for that matter). Just a thought. I'll admit I'm a DL fanboy and want them to succeed no matter what. But until AUS builds that new satellite terminal gate space (and growth by any airline) will be hard to come by.
It's long been 'reported' around here and similar forums that DL has rights (or perhaps preferential rights) to those gates, though I don't think we've ever seen anything official so who knows what (if any) agreement DL has with AUS.

Gates 1-6 are common use although there aren't any generally many domestic airlines that need common use at that end most times of day (even in non-pandemic times). Jetblue appears to use Gate 6 as overflow from their main gate (Gate 12) a couple of times a day. Otherwise, Gates 1-6 seem to mainly be for international (BA if/when they return, LH if/when they return, AM, AC, WS, Norwegian who won't be returning) and perhaps Sun Country. Overall that's not a lot of daily flights in normal times. (It's possible HA may use one of those gates as well when they launch since they are using a 332). So, at least currently (again, even outside of the pandemic), there's is a good amount of slack in those gates for DL, if they have the rights to 'call dibs' on them.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
I’d be shocked if AUS adds a new runway any time soon. AUS has two runways already and even with massive growth in flights wouldn’t be anywhere near max runway capacity. Plenty of far busier airports around the US and the world make do with only one or two runways or even if they have more, effectively only have two runways as the crosswind runways are too short or the use would interfere with regular ops on the two parallel runways.
Agreed. It's about number of flight operations and timing of said operations, not number of pax. FLL handles about the same number of PAX and does so easily with two parallel runways. Part of that is because most of the flights are mainline aircraft and there are few RJ or commuter flights. Take a similar sized airport like PHL where almost half of all operations are RJs and you can have gridlock on a sunny day.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by steveholt View Post
Was DL supposed to expand further in AUS during the pandemic?
Yes. Part of this was to even include KLM adding nonstop AMS service. AUS would make a great mini hub for DL and like LAX the hold back was gates.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
AUS would make a great mini hub for DL and like LAX the hold back was gates.
Agreed. AUS works on a number of levels including rapid growth, a lot of businesses relocating and its position as a southern midcontinent alternative to MSP. It's far enough away from ATL, SLC and MSP to fill in a gap in the overall route network. DL is playing a long game in AUS and their larger competitive challenge will be WN. AA may try to slow DL in AUS but if DL wants to eventually hub AUS they'll do it.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 9:19 pm
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Originally Posted by SOBE ER DOC View Post
Agreed. AUS works on a number of levels including rapid growth, a lot of businesses relocating and its position as a southern midcontinent alternative to MSP. It's far enough away from ATL, SLC and MSP to fill in a gap in the overall route network. DL is playing a long game in AUS and their larger competitive challenge will be WN. AA may try to slow DL in AUS but if DL wants to eventually hub AUS they'll do it.
AA/UA adding a few nonstops makes sense. However with DFW/IAH both being 45 minutes away I see neither going mini hub.
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Old Mar 12, 21, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by SOBE ER DOC View Post
Agreed. It's about number of flight operations and timing of said operations, not number of pax. FLL handles about the same number of PAX and does so easily with two parallel runways. Part of that is because most of the flights are mainline aircraft and there are few RJ or commuter flights. Take a similar sized airport like PHL where almost half of all operations are RJs and you can have gridlock on a sunny day.
Although number of total flight operations at PHL has decreased over the last few years as AA has up-gauged routeds and reduced RJ frequencies, banishing the current need for the previously planned extra runway. Still, a fair number of RJs.

The other issue with PHL is runway and terminal layout. PHL is a very very large operation, with 124 gates all on one side of the airfield. Arriving or departing planes will have to cross another active runway in order to depart or taxi to the gates, severely restricting taxiway capacity. Another issue that the layout presents is the narrow terminal alleyways. Between A-East and B, B and C, C, and D, D and E, you can have maximum 2 planes pushing back in the alley at a given time, if they are at gates far enough apart. If a plane on the northern end of the terminals needs to be pushed back, it has to be pushed back away from the terminal connectors, so with its back toward the runways, and no other planes can push back. Not to mention with all of this going on, planes have to then wait to taxi in.

With certain mid-field layouts (AUS, DFW, ATL) planes can taxi in one direction, creating a nice single-direction flow with shorter hold times on the apron.
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Old Mar 13, 21, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by DMPHL View Post
Although number of total flight operations at PHL has decreased over the last few years as AA has up-gauged routeds and reduced RJ frequencies, banishing the current need for the previously planned extra runway. Still, a fair number of RJs.

The other issue with PHL is runway and terminal layout. PHL is a very very large operation, with 124 gates all on one side of the airfield. Arriving or departing planes will have to cross another active runway in order to depart or taxi to the gates, severely restricting taxiway capacity. Another issue that the layout presents is the narrow terminal alleyways. Between A-East and B, B and C, C, and D, D and E, you can have maximum 2 planes pushing back in the alley at a given time, if they are at gates far enough apart. If a plane on the northern end of the terminals needs to be pushed back, it has to be pushed back away from the terminal connectors, so with its back toward the runways, and no other planes can push back. Not to mention with all of this going on, planes have to then wait to taxi in.

With certain mid-field layouts (AUS, DFW, ATL) planes can taxi in one direction, creating a nice single-direction flow with shorter hold times on the apron.

Agree on all fronts. PHL is an airport designed during a different era of air travel and pax numbers. Unfortunately it is landlocked by the Delaware River and I-95 so fixing it is not going to cheap or easy. Most people hate PHL as an airport. I don't mind it...so long as I am not forced to sit in the gate houses for any prolonged period of time.
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Old Mar 14, 21, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Last year as I was coming downstairs from the AUS SC I saw a BA plane heading nonstop to LHR.
I flew LHR-AUS-DFW a little while back, which was fortuitous because the LHR-DFW flight was cancelled. I unknowingly had a coworker and his family booked on that flight and they were stuck for 24 hours.
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