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Alaska Airlines Please Come to SAN or LAX

Alaska Airlines Please Come to SAN or LAX

Old Sep 15, 09, 5:48 pm
  #1  
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Alaska Airlines Please Come to SAN or LAX

I am amazed by the ongoing difference in fares from the northwest cities where Alaska is now flying to Hawaii (Seattle and Portland) and to a somewhat lesser extent Phoenix (where USAirways is flying to Hawaii) versus the southern California cities (SAN and LAX) where only the majors and Hawaiian are flying to Hawaii. The following chart of fares is fairly typical:

Book: Now - 9/18/2009

Travel: Now - 12/11/2009

Las Vegas - Honolulu $585*
Los Angeles - Honolulu $498*
Oakland - Honolulu $454*
Phoenix - Honolulu $355*
Portland - Honolulu $338*
Sacramento - Honolulu $518*
San Diego - Honolulu $550*
San Francisco - Honolulu $434*
San Jose - Honolulu $454*
Seattle - Honolulu $318*

Portland - Maui $358*
Seattle - Maui $402*
(Roundtrip fares)

Alaska Airlines, I promise to fly you often if you come to SAN or LAX and match these fares (especially to Maui) . . . .
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Old Sep 16, 09, 12:46 am
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I'm not sure how much of a difference AS' entrance into the SEA/PDX-HNL market has made on fares. Fares to and from these Northwest cities have historically been lower than that through the southern cities, at least, based on my experiences and observations.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 8:37 am
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I can't speak for long ago history. But, I can say that over the last 4-5 years up until the loss of Aloha and ATA the fares from SAN to OGG and HNL were basically the same as we see here for Portland and Seattle. In fact, the SAN fares were often lower than the northwest cities. Now, without any lower fare competition, the fares are routinely the highest from SAN and even high from LAX.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
I can't speak for long ago history. But, I can say that over the last 4-5 years up until the loss of Aloha and ATA the fares from SAN to OGG and HNL were basically the same as we see here for Portland and Seattle. In fact, the SAN fares were often lower than the northwest cities. Now, without any lower fare competition, the fares are routinely the highest from SAN and even high from LAX.
SAN makes sense. You had direct service from AQ with competition from HA.

LAX, routinely high? Not sure about that. Just this summer, LAX fares could be had for $300 a pop R/T. That's a seasonal variation in the fare; if last year's (post-AQ/ATA demise) fares are any indication, we should see a drop in fares from LAX in a few months or weeks.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 3:22 pm
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Fair point about LAX. There are times when you can see decent fares. But, not all year. The strange part about LAX is that HA doesn't seem to compete with the majors from LAX on price very much.

I'm still mourning the loss of nonstop service to OGG from SAN in addition to the loss of Aloha that seems to have allowed HA to price on a monopoly basis.

As I said in the OP, Alaska please come to SAN (to Hawaii)!
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Old Sep 16, 09, 7:45 pm
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This is all a bunch of bunk. Fares in the PNW have traditionally been much higher than S. California to Hawaii. The fares you see now are promo specials because of the new flights. Also consider that Oregon and Washington have much higher unemployment and other business and economic issues dragging it down.

Yes, right now fares are lower. That is true. But I recall the days when I couldn't find a RT to Hawaii for less than $700 or more.

The other problem is Alaska has a surplus of planes right now. Alaska was a big player in Mexico. Well, not only is the economy tanking in the PNW, no one wants to fly to Mexico because of the violence. So Alaska is siphoning off customers of Hawaiian's flights, adding flights to Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta, etc. There are no increases in flights or planes, its just a different mix of flights.


Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
I am amazed by the ongoing difference in fares from the northwest cities where Alaska is now flying to Hawaii (Seattle and Portland) and to a somewhat lesser extent Phoenix (where USAirways is flying to Hawaii) versus the southern California cities (SAN and LAX) where only the majors and Hawaiian are flying to Hawaii. The following chart of fares is fairly typical:

Book: Now - 9/18/2009

Travel: Now - 12/11/2009

Las Vegas - Honolulu $585*
Los Angeles - Honolulu $498*
Oakland - Honolulu $454*
Phoenix - Honolulu $355*
Portland - Honolulu $338*
Sacramento - Honolulu $518*
San Diego - Honolulu $550*
San Francisco - Honolulu $434*
San Jose - Honolulu $454*
Seattle - Honolulu $318*

Portland - Maui $358*
Seattle - Maui $402*
(Roundtrip fares)

Alaska Airlines, I promise to fly you often if you come to SAN or LAX and match these fares (especially to Maui) . . . .
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Old Sep 16, 09, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
Fair point about LAX. There are times when you can see decent fares. But, not all year. The strange part about LAX is that HA doesn't seem to compete with the majors from LAX on price very much.

I'm still mourning the loss of nonstop service to OGG from SAN in addition to the loss of Aloha that seems to have allowed HA to price on a monopoly basis.

As I said in the OP, Alaska please come to SAN (to Hawaii)!
IIRC... SAN's biggest obstacle are those who dislike the airport... (NIMBY - Not in my back yard)... which creates a restriction on the amount of noise, and subsequently the amount of 'stuff' the A/C can carry... so the 73H's that AS has ETOPS on would have to be severely weight restricted, and they can't exactly take fuel off, so the number of pax would suffer... and so would AS CASM... yielding an unprofitable flight. AQ made it work (well... maybe not since they did go under - no pun intended ) since they used 73G's which don't have the same capacity of the 73H...

Same issue with SNA...

Also, not sure AS wants to have these lower fares in place, from what I understand they are trying to redeploy their resources to increase their RASM, with lots of lift being transferred from the H1N1 territory (Mexico) to Hawaii, AUS, IAH and ATL...

(Looks like WebTraveler beat me to some of it )
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Old Sep 16, 09, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by slippahs View Post
I'm not sure how much of a difference AS' entrance into the SEA/PDX-HNL market has made on fares. Fares to and from these Northwest cities have historically been lower than that through the southern cities, at least, based on my experiences and observations.
No, fares have traditionally been higher. This is why Hawaiian only serves Maui from Portland and Seattle; all other cities on the west coast get Honolulu only. The reason is that historically they could charge a premium for this and people paid it. I have relatives in Hawaii and all over California. We often compared fares. Fares from Oakland and LAX have always been lower.

Hawaiian tried a Maui flight from San Diego, but cancelled it, presumably no one took it at high enough fares.

LAX has so much competition to Hawaii, from United, America, Delta, Continental, Hawaiian, and probably someone else.

I used to fly through CA cities to save cash when going to Hawaii (including San Jose on AA when those were operating, LAX, SFO, and Oakland.) I used to spent 3-4 hrs more to save hundreds of dollars sometimes over the flights from Portland.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by WebTraveler View Post
No, fares have traditionally been higher. This is why Hawaiian only serves Maui from Portland and Seattle; all other cities on the west coast get Honolulu only. The reason is that historically they could charge a premium for this and people paid it. I have relatives in Hawaii and all over California. We often compared fares. Fares from Oakland and LAX have always been lower.
Again, as I've pointed out in my post, my statement was based on my own experiences and observations--not yours. I have in the past 10 years traveled a number of times to SEA and PDX to get to destinations like LAS and SFO because those fares priced out lower (including the connection) than connecting in LAX or a non-stop to SFO. It's been my experience that loads are generally higher on the ex-LAX flights whereas PDX/SEA generally had lower loads, thus probably the explanation for the lower fares out of the Pac-NW. This was usually in peak travel periods.

Last edited by slippahs; Sep 16, 09 at 11:03 pm Reason: changed thread to post
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Old Sep 16, 09, 10:45 pm
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In 2005-2008 I was able to book sub-300 LAX-HNL fares at least 2-3 times a year. 2009 - not once. Fares have gone up a lot from LAX since Aloha's demise.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
IIRC... SAN's biggest obstacle are those who dislike the airport... (NIMBY - Not in my back yard)... which creates a restriction on the amount of noise, and subsequently the amount of 'stuff' the A/C can carry... so the 73H's that AS has ETOPS on would have to be severely weight restricted, and they can't exactly take fuel off, so the number of pax would suffer... and so would AS CASM... yielding an unprofitable flight. AQ made it work (well... maybe not since they did go under - no pun intended ) since they used 73G's which don't have the same capacity of the 73H...
Given that BA used to fly 777s non-stop to LHR out of SAN, can it really be the case that 73H would would be weight-restricted ?

Those BA flights were usually full in the back; it was my lack of company up front that killed the economics...
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Old Sep 16, 09, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by dgwright99 View Post
Given that BA used to fly 777s non-stop to LHR out of SAN, can it really be the case that 73H would would be weight-restricted ?

Those BA flights were usually full in the back; it was my lack of company up front that killed the economics...
That is what I have heard...

Not sure on the short field performance of the 777 vs. 73H...

Here's some more info from Wikipedia:
Reverse operations

Under Santa Ana wind conditions, operations are reversed with landings and takeoffs to the east. Because of the terrain, weight limits are imposed on departing aircraft under these conditions.

Terrain east and west of the airport greatly impacts the available runway length. Runway 27 (heading west) has a climb gradient of 317 ft/nmi (52.2 m/km) feet per nautical mile leaving an equivalent takeoff distance of roughly 8,000 ft (2,400 m) for twin engine aircraft). Taking off to the east requires a 600 ft/nmi (99 m/km) climb rate, this leaves an equivalent takeoff distance of 6,400 ft (2,000 m), enough to force a weight penalty on the 737-800.

It should also be noted that Lindbergh Field does not have standard runway safety areas 1,000 ft (300 m) in length at each runway end. An engineered materials arresting system (EMAS) has been installed at the west end of the runway to catch any aircraft overruns, but its 318 ft (97 m) length, the standard is 600 ft (180 m), can only for certain stop aircraft up to 350,000 lb (160,000 kg) in weight. The east end of the runway does not have such a system as its use would reduce the runway length by at least 400 ft (120 m), further impacting the runway's capability.

Under some Marginal and IFR conditions, aircraft takeoff toward the west (Runway 27) but arrivals also approach from the west (Runway 9, the only direction equipped with ILS). This can cause traffic problems and delays both in the air and on the ground.

Last edited by beckoa; Sep 16, 09 at 11:33 pm Reason: Added wikipedia info
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Old Sep 17, 09, 11:31 am
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I very seriously doubt that weight limits or runway limits are an issue with flights to Hawaii from SAN. Over the years we've had many different aircraft in SAN that flew to Hawaii and other overseas locations including 747, L-1011, DC-10, 737, 757, etc. Even in Santa Ana wind conditions, they can allow some flights to depart to the west.

The reason for the amazingly high prices is the lack of competition after Aloha left. When Aloha and HA were flying from SAN they both offered non-stop flights to HNL and OGG. Fares were very competitive. Once Aloha died, HA moved the OGG aircraft to the pacific northwest (I think to fight with AS and try to keep their turf). As a result, we've seen monopoly pricing from SAN to HNL (and connecting to anywhere in HI). SAN was often the lowest or nearly lowest fare to HI on HA and Aloha and is now often the highest or nearly the highest fare to HI on HA. Frustrating.

The surprise is that LAX doesn't offer a guarantee of a better fare, particularly on HA. You can find good fares from LAX for some periods of the year. But, at other times, the fares can be much higher than the fares from Seattle, Portland, or Phoenix.

My opinion is that the difference is very simple. There is low fare competition in Seattle, Portland, and Phoenix. And, there isn't in SAN and LAX. That's why I hope that AS starts flying SAN to OGG or HNL. Bring back some competition. The market is proven.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 11:48 am
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Since the original poster stated LAX and San Diego, I am not sure it is relevant to throw in fares from SFO and LAS to the mix, since the comparison was PDX/SEA and SAN/LAX.

Originally Posted by slippahs View Post
Again, as I've pointed out in my post, my statement was based on my own experiences and observations--not yours. I have in the past 10 years traveled a number of times to SEA and PDX to get to destinations like LAS and SFO because those fares priced out lower (including the connection) than connecting in LAX or a non-stop to SFO. It's been my experience that loads are generally higher on the ex-LAX flights whereas PDX/SEA generally had lower loads, thus probably the explanation for the lower fares out of the Pac-NW. This was usually in peak travel periods.
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Old Sep 17, 09, 3:21 pm
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Originally Posted by sdflyer04 View Post
I very seriously doubt that weight limits or runway limits are an issue with flights to Hawaii from SAN. Over the years we've had many different aircraft in SAN that flew to Hawaii and other overseas locations including 747, L-1011, DC-10, 737, 757, etc. Even in Santa Ana wind conditions, they can allow some flights to depart to the west.
<snip>
I think its a combination of the odd takeoff requirements, plus noise abatement that SAN has for the airport... It's just what I've heard... otherwise, yes, it seems that AQ has shown there's a market from SAN...
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