Northwest and Delta Moving to LHR

 
Old Jun 6, 07, 5:10 pm
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Northwest and Delta Moving to LHR

I read in the Star Tribune today, that March 2008 KLM and Air France will give some of their LHR slots to Delta and NWA. All Sky Team partners will be located together in the same terminal at LHR. I cannot find this story on line, but it was in the June 6 Star Tribune. It did mention that DTW and MSP flights will be swapping to LHR in March.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 5:22 pm
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I guess the plus side of this is more connections US(DTW/MSP)-LHR-CDG/MXP/AMS-EU will be possible using award tickets... that was not feasable before since just about all of the SkyTeam flights to European destinations from London were from LHR.

Bad part is LHR means more delays and it is also a madhouse compared to the idyllic LGW.... not to mention connecting in the UK incurs some additional taxes!
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Old Jun 6, 07, 5:45 pm
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Pretty interesting and probably inevitable with open skies and all. I wonder if we will ever know what sort of number NW had to give AF-KLM for the slots? (Assuming they got them from AF-KLM...)
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Old Jun 6, 07, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by jjvan View Post
I read in the Star Tribune today, that March 2008 KLM and Air France will give some of their LHR slots to Delta and NWA. All Sky Team partners will be located together in the same terminal at LHR. I cannot find this story on line, but it was in the June 6 Star Tribune. It did mention that DTW and MSP flights will be swapping to LHR in March.
I didn't see anything in the Star Trib today online, and don't recall if I read the print version or not. This story is in print and online with the St. Paul Pioneer Press however:

NWA gains access to Heathrow
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Old Jun 6, 07, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by humanoid94 View Post
Pretty interesting and probably inevitable with open skies and all. I wonder if we will ever know what sort of number NW had to give AF-KLM for the slots? (Assuming they got them from AF-KLM...)

I heard about this possibility a month ago...the debate wasn't *if* NW would move operations to Heathrow, it was "Can NW move ALL their flights to Heathrow?" They weren't positive they could get the slots for both the DTW and MSP flights switched over at the same time. From what I gathered they were considering splitting the service, ie, if they could only get one slot, moving the DTW flight out of LHR and keeping the MSP flight out of LGW, with the hopes that they would eventually get both flights operating out of LHR.

Hopefully it won't come to that. I'd assume if NW is negotiating with Air France / KLM they would be asking for the whole shmear.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 6:30 pm
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Given that Northwest and KLM evenly split profit from transatlantic flights, regardless of who flies it, I wouldn't be so sure it cost anything.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Sam Drucker View Post
I didn't see anything in the Star Trib today online, and don't recall if I read the print version or not. This story is in print and online with the St. Paul Pioneer Press however:

NWA gains access to Heathrow
The Pioneer Press?? Come on now, every Minnesotan knows it's not *real* news unless it's in the Strib.....

*ducks*



On a serious note, though, not even AF and KL are always together in LHR--- who knows where NW will be thrown, and/or how easy connections may be. Based on my LHR adventures a couple weeks ago, I can attest that going from an inbound KL flight to the AF ticket counter required riding the Heathrow Express (!) from T4.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 6:52 pm
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IIRC, ST is supposed to be consolidated in T4 next year when T5 opens. Most OW airlines/flights will move to T5. *A gets T3.

I don't see the point of LHR being a transfer hub for ST. ST flights from there to non-U.S. destinations are limited (CDG, AMS, PRG, MXP, FCO, SVO/DME, ICN?) and AMS is much more pleasant. Even CDG can be. At least pax transferring within T4 don't have the bus ride or the FCC security nonsense over at T1/2 (though there can be a potentially-long walk to the T4 FCC and back to the connecting gate).

There was a story that AF-KL was planning to apply for anti-trust exemption to expand the KL-NW revenue and code sharing scheme to include AF and DL.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 7:48 pm
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Am I the only one not to greet the LHR annoucements with unmitigated enthusiasm?

The crowding at LHR, the immigration lines, the baggage reclaim issues, the seediness of the terminal buildings, the Holideck lounge compared with - until now - the S Term CO PC at LGW with its great view of the runway and the SleazyJet ramp, the inconvenience of the disappearing T4 car rental shuttles compared with the walk down the ramp to the rental complex at LGW, the none-too-speedy driving exit from the airport, the difficulty of navigating onto the North Perimeter Road compared with N or S Terms at LGW...aaaargh!

I know this move probably meets the needs of a segment of business clientele and makes paid SkyTeam C/J more competitive for LON origination pax, but for me, this isn't a step forward.

RTS
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Old Jun 6, 07, 7:56 pm
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The big plus in my view is the direct tube/rail access from LHR.

But right now I find it hard to get too excited about the UK given their high landing fees (which they're trying to push on the rest of the EU) and the insane security restrictions that have originated there.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 7:56 pm
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You're right, but the cold truth is that BA has managed to brainwash premium travelers into thinking that LHR is the end-all, be-all London airport, and thus a fare differential of anywhere from c. 20-50% (!) exists in a given market for a ex-LHR vs. ex-LGW flight option.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 8:40 pm
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>>>>The big plus in my view is the direct tube/rail access from LHR.

I don't know. Last March I got the 4* Hilton Kensington for $75 on Priceline, and the train from Gatwick went to within a block of the hotel--did not even have to cross any streets ot get there from the Kensington Olympia rail station--and it took no longer than the tube from Heathrow takes to central London destinations--I think a bunch less. I also like East Croydon as both a layover shopping-stop as well as a cheap hotel option (i.e. the Jurys and the Holiday Inn). With a few hours layover, heading to East Croydon beats anything close to Heathrow.

And though a lot of people think that you have to pay top dollar for the Gatwick Express to Victoria, the Southern train only takes a few minutes longer because it stops twice, and costs almost half--and the ride is a lot nicer than the tube from Heathrow.
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Old Jun 6, 07, 9:00 pm
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As much as I don't like Gatwick, I think I dislike Heathrow that much more, Tube access notwithstanding. As always, we'll just adapt. I wonder what happens with Gatwick though, losing all those ST flights and whatnot...
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Old Jun 7, 07, 12:47 am
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Originally Posted by redtailshark View Post
Am I the only one not to greet the LHR annoucements with unmitigated enthusiasm?
Nope. While it doesn't impact me that much, I am not that enthusiastic. As others have noted, however, a lot of people are very excited about LHR (and pay more to fly there), so it makes plenty of sense for NW & DL.
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Old Jun 7, 07, 1:14 am
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I second the anti-LHR sentiments around here. Can't stand the place myself, I'll take LGW. The only thing I will stress is that there are loads of more "obscure" airlines operating into LHR and with more global connections than you will find at LGW; I'm talking flag carriers of smaller countries like SA, MH, KQ, etc., etc. The sheer variety of destinations served from LHR is pretty staggering.

This whole open skies thing is a bit interesting, as I wonder what will happen to LGW and how BAA will manage this whole thing, as LHR is already near it's breaking point and that's where the major carriers want to fly.

I'd have thought that perhaps money would be better spent on putting in some sort of high-speed direct rail line between the two airports to facilitate connections than spending loads of money on trying to adequately expand and balance the two.
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