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Long haul flights not allowed from DCA / Washington National?

Long haul flights not allowed from DCA / Washington National?

Old Jul 8, 20, 11:14 am
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Long haul flights not allowed from DCA / Washington National?

Not really an American question but was reading an American article: https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/...nternatio.aspx

"Long-haul flights are prohibited at American's Washington, D.C. hub..."

I tried Googling but couldn't find anything on this. Is it just the small runways and location of DCA or is this actually some kind of law?
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Old Jul 8, 20, 11:20 am
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Wiki page for the airport is always a good start

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald...r_restrictions

but yes there is a law to keep if short haul but with lots of exceptions
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Old Jul 8, 20, 11:22 am
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DCA Reagan National - Slot & Perimeter Rules

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Old Jul 8, 20, 11:30 am
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Yeah, I am quite sure that like LGA which has restrictions on long hauls (to force long hauls to use JFK), there are actual restrictions on how far out a flight can be to/from National (to force long hauls to Dulles).

National (and LGA) are preferable airports location wise, so it's a way to prop up the use of the farther out airports. Of course, short runways and such do matter too.

As for the blog post -- I am a bit tired of reading how DFW makes a poor international hub. East and West coast airports have tons of options for transPac and TransAtlantic flights; why should AA enter all in on that mess. Meanwhile, tons of us live in the center of the country and much more easily connect straight to DFW than any coastal airport. Any SWO-DFW-anywhere flight is worth hundreds of dollars more to me than any SWO-DFW-coast hub-international destination for both the obvious reason that an extra layover is no fun, but also I would rather just make a long haul segment a couple of hours longer than break up a flight schedule into more equal time segments. I detest east-coast trans-Atlantic flights because there is barely enough time between the evening meal service and the morning arrival to actually get any meaningful rest.
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Old Jul 8, 20, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by MarkOK View Post
Yeah, I am quite sure that like LGA which has restrictions on long hauls (to force long hauls to use JFK), there are actual restrictions on how far out a flight can be to/from National (to force long hauls to Dulles).

National (and LGA) are preferable airports location wise, so it's a way to prop up the use of the farther out airports. Of course, short runways and such do matter too.

As for the blog post -- I am a bit tired of reading how DFW makes a poor international hub. East and West coast airports have tons of options for transPac and TransAtlantic flights; why should AA enter all in on that mess. Meanwhile, tons of us live in the center of the country and much more easily connect straight to DFW than any coastal airport. Any SWO-DFW-anywhere flight is worth hundreds of dollars more to me than any SWO-DFW-coast hub-international destination for both the obvious reason that an extra layover is no fun, but also I would rather just make a long haul segment a couple of hours longer than break up a flight schedule into more equal time segments. I detest east-coast trans-Atlantic flights because there is barely enough time between the evening meal service and the morning arrival to actually get any meaningful rest.
I would agree. My wife and I went to Hawaii at the beginning of the year (what timing!) and flew DTW-DFW-OGG and HNL-DFW-DTW on the way home. It was definitely nice having the Detroit flights be sub-3 hours...just short enough to not feel like two huge segments.
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Old Jul 8, 20, 5:23 pm
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Of course, before IAD, DCA did have long-haul international flights! I believe the first international flight out of DCA was a Sabena flight to Brussels; First Lady Mamie Eisenhower "inaugurated" that flight with a champagne bottle broken across the nose of the B-707. Yes, it was that long ago...

After IAD opened, it was several decades before a few international flights (Bermuda, eastern Canada) returned to DCA.
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Old Jul 8, 20, 8:57 pm
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The article states:
Washington, D.C. Long-haul flights are prohibited at American's Washington, D.C. hub,
Doesn't specifically mention DCA, but DCA is an American hub.
AA has flights out of IAD - just that they have continued to cut them and a few years back closed the AA Club at IAD.
When AA picked up DCA-SAN with the merger with US, they moved that slot to a second DCA-LAX, and cancelled one of its IAD-LAX fights.

Not sure if AA is flying any flights out of IAD? Maybe the redeye from LAX.

DC has three airports like NYC. DCA, IAD, BWI. None are in Wash DC. DCA is in Arlington VA, and Dulles is what used to be Herndon-Sterling, now called Dulles.

No reason AA could not do more flights out of IAD but doesn't make sense with East Coast connections at DCA, and PHL being an international hub.
DCA is a good hub -but expensive domestic flights on non-stop, along with an affluent area - where people will buy F, as well as business travelers.

Last edited by cova; Jul 8, 20 at 9:04 pm
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Old Jul 8, 20, 9:48 pm
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IAD is pretty damned small: one or two dailys to LAX, a few to DFW, and some to CLT. That's it. MIA got axed a year or two back. Post HP-US merger, US used to run IAD-PHX. If you go way back, US had designs of making IAD a hub in its own right or as a Metrojet hub. All attempts failed.

As to DCA, the perimeter is 1,250 miles. There are a total of 20 round-trip beyond perimeter exemptions.

AA has beyond perimeter exemptions to LAX (2x daily), LAS (1x daily) and PHX (2x or 3x daily). I know AA is exercising both LAX flights and may be doing all of the PHX flights. I don't know about LAS. LAS recently was a LAS-DCA redeye and was one of the first arrivals into DCA each day.

What will be interesting is that AS is pushing up its timetable to becoming a full One World member. In doing so, AA flyers will likely be able to access AS's non-stop flights to LAX, SFO, PDX, and SEA. Prior to COVID, all were 1x daily except SEA which was 2x daily.

Last edited by IADCAflyer; Jul 8, 20 at 9:55 pm
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Old Jul 8, 20, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
What will be interesting is that AS is pushing up its timetable to becoming a full One World member. In doing so, AA flyers will likely be able to access AS's non-stop flights to LAX, SFO, PDX, and SEA. Prior to COVID, all were 1x daily except SEA which was 2x daily.
AA flyers can already access AS's nonstop flights, since AA and AS are partners with mutual earning of EQMs and RDMs. I see no reason to believe that the earning rates will change when AS joins oneworld, and lounge members already have reciprocal access. You gain reciprocal status benefits (bag fee waivers, preferred seating, lounge access on long haul itineraries), and the alliance membership gives the partnership a level of expected longevity, but I think the major change for AAdvantage members wanting to fly AS out of DCA happened when they resumed reciprocal earn and burn in April.
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Old Jul 9, 20, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer View Post
As to DCA, the perimeter is 1,250 miles. There are a total of 20 round-trip beyond perimeter exemptions.
And the exemptions are often doled out with a political angle. One of the first, if not the first, was DCA-PHX on America West, not because of public demand, but because Sen. John McCain wanted to get home to Arizona for his weekends nonstop without having to trek out to Dulles.
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Old Jul 9, 20, 6:35 am
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The runway is not long enough for long haul aircraft. Runway is 7169ft - a 787 for example requires 8,300ft.
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Old Jul 9, 20, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
And the exemptions are often doled out with a political angle. One of the first, if not the first, was DCA-PHX on America West, not because of public demand, but because Sen. John McCain wanted to get home to Arizona for his weekends nonstop without having to trek out to Dulles.
Googling this story shows that John McCain actually refused to take the non-stop for many years due to rumors like the above that the flights were added for him.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/john-m...-america-west/
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Old Jul 9, 20, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
The article states:

No reason AA could not do more flights out of IAD but doesn't make sense with East Coast connections at DCA, and PHL being an international hub.
DCA is a good hub -but expensive domestic flights on non-stop, along with an affluent area - where people will buy F, as well as business travelers.
I live here, and my experience is this is generally true. I've always wondered why AA doesn't have a handful of non-stops to the Caribbean from DCA --- for example, GCM, PLS, STT, NAS. Or at least those airports where customs is cleared before departure back to the states. Is it primarily limitations on slots and no political pull for exemptions?

I think they'd fill up planes easily from DCA to these destinations, especially if only a couple flights a week. Many of my acquaintances here would be flying for long weekends once or twice a month with the convenience of non-stop DCA flights. I'd be blowing through way too much money way to often with non-stops to the Caribbean from DCA, 😁

The only option from the DC area non-stop with a F class seat to the Caribbean, is United out of IAD, with seasonal limitations.
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Old Jul 9, 20, 7:23 am
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The DL 767-300 flew at DCA
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Old Jul 9, 20, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by jhaas2629 View Post
Not really an American question but was reading an American article: https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/...nternatio.aspx

"Long-haul flights are prohibited at American's Washington, D.C. hub..."

I tried Googling but couldn't find anything on this. Is it just the small runways and location of DCA or is this actually some kind of law?
I think it has something to do with security for the US capitol. Post 9-11 I believe most flights in and out of DC have armed security on them to prevent hijackings.
It is probably easier to staff for these positions if the armed security flies connections in the US.
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