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Oct 27 Schedule Extension - Welcome Back Super Short Haul

Oct 27 Schedule Extension - Welcome Back Super Short Haul

Old Oct 27, 15, 7:41 am
  #1  
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Oct 27 Schedule Extension - Welcome Back Super Short Haul

Didn't want to put this in the schedule prediction thread as this is confirmed from Southwest. Please add your findings here.

From A.Net:
ADD: GRR-MDW (Shortest flight in the system - I believe), FNT-MDW, DAY-MDW, DSM-STL, ICT-STL, EWR-LAS, EWR-MCO, ICT-PHX,
EWR-DEN +1, EWR-MDW +1, DAL-MDW +1, SAN-SFO +1, SAN-SMF +1

DEL: FNT-BWI, DAY-BWI (GRR-BWI down to 1X), DSM-MDW, ICT-MDW, ICT-DAL, GRR-STL, CAK-LAS, CAK-MCO, CAK-TPA, HOU-EWR, GSP-HOU, BNA-EWR, RIC-MCO

from my perspective:
ADD: GSP-ATL

NOTE: GRR-MDW, FNT-MDW and GSP-ATL are 3X...DAY-MDW, STL-ICT, and STL-DSM are 2X

most of the changes involve ex-AirTran stations. Interesting to note since one A.net post speculated that they may be (intentionally?) trying one last effort before a mass closing of ex-AirTran stations. Another post notes that CAK-ATL is all that is left despite DOT reports stating that that was their WORST route in the past. Personally, I see this as Southwest refocusing on super shot haul routes with a better economy. as far as DSM and ICT are concerned, they never did well from MDW on either, and STL should be better. ICT-DAL is puzzling, but I suppose the feed wasn't worth it. The other thing to note is this schedule, other than Memorial Day Weekend, covers a gap in travel. School is still in and families have not begun their long distance summer travel yet. This is a time to try and establish routes. Perhaps this summer they are going to try to get families off the road and into the skies on shorter haul routes? Just my $0.02

Feel free to add any changes you find to this thread.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 7:49 am
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The poster whose post you are referencing on a.net is notoriously bearish on WN and often it seems like Southwest can do *nothing* right according to them. I'd take their commentary with a big chunk of salt.

Personally I'm disappointed at the loss of HOU-EWR. I'm one of those weirdos that thinks EWR is more convenient to Manhattan and am not too eager about being stuck with LGA going forward.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by alggag View Post
The poster whose post you are referencing on a.net is notoriously bearish on WN and often it seems like Southwest can do *nothing* right according to them. I'd take their commentary with a big chunk of salt.

Personally I'm disappointed at the loss of HOU-EWR. I'm one of those weirdos that thinks EWR is more convenient to Manhattan and am not too eager about being stuck with LGA going forward.
I agree which is why I referenced a second post. However, I too question STL-DSM. GRR, FNT, DAY, ICT not so much. It feels like Southwest is trying to make things work though.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 8:05 am
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I do agree that it's puzzling that they are dropping STL for MDW for some stations while doing the exact opposit and dropping MDW for STL in others. My hunch would be that connecting the small Midwest stations to MDW would be the best bet to maximize connections and O/D. It *almost* seems like this release is incomplete and that those flights were omitted but I really don't think that's the case. Back when BKG was still around there was an erroneous release that showed it as having 0 flights leading many to believe that it was going to be dropped which was not the case, at least not at that moment. Of course it did eventually end up getting the hook but that was down the road a bit.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 8:31 am
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CAK-LAS doesn't even launch for a couple more weeks and it's already cancelled by April next year. Why even add it at all?
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Old Oct 27, 15, 8:43 am
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Several of the route additions and deletions are very bizarre in my opinion.

However, the EWR changes maybe less bizarre and a result of underperformance. The EWR changes now emphasize a greater shift towards leisure flying (e.g. EWR-MCO and EWR-LAS, increase of EWR-MDW/DEN maybe for better connections to the West Coast). UA must be pleased that it has a monopoly on EWR-Houston, but the market was ignoring WN and choosing UA while WN competed. Doesn't WN have a significant frequent flier base on the Houston side? The EWR-BNA and EWR-HOU cuts might shift some connecting pax on to WN's new EWR-AUS schedule.

The RIC-MCO cut might be because B6 is on the route and the market might be too small for both WN and B6 to battle it out.

As far as the other small market route cuts/additions, they do seem very bizarre to me.

GSP-ATL is going to be entirely connections. Using ATL: it's a major hassle going through this airport, and not really worthwhile for short-haul. The drive between these cities is 2.5 hours. WN might be able to get some pax to go on GSP-ATL-CUN but these passengers could have done GSP-BWI-CUN albeit somewhat of a backtrack. For Florida, it might be more optimal than connecting in BWI, but I'd wager to guess majority of otherwise leisure passengers end up driving to Florida from South Carolina.

I'm surprised WN isn't doing well on GRR-BWI though, and cut the schedule to 1x daily. There is no GRR-DCA competing service around also which should have helped demand for WN's flight.

Looking for optimism:
Maybe there is a chance Southwest would switch it to GRR-DCA as a 2x daily as that would be more central for GRR pax heading to Washington, DC. If AA adds GRR-DCA before WN, then I'd guess WN would cut GRR-BWI entirely without that replacement.

Also, maybe Southwest will finally get into CVG and add CVG-BWI. It could be on CVG-BWI and maybe LAS, while keeping DAY for MDW.

My guess also is GSP and CAK seem most vulnerable for station closure. WN could augment CLT and CLE after that happens. Maybe WN is holding off on the DAL situation to be settled, before cutting more stations out of it's network which otherwise sends a bad image.

Last edited by beyondhere; Oct 27, 15 at 10:15 am
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Old Oct 27, 15, 11:04 am
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As a DSM flyer, albeit mostly on leisure so not too frequent, this is a bit surprising and disappointing. The a.net thread suggests that DSM won't last too much longer as a WN destination. Honestly, I thought it was a bit in the other direction and that WN was doing fairly decent in DSM.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 11:19 am
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Bummer. There is no new international routes & a new city. Oh well! What I should can do now?

Here is the press release & PDF schedule extension:

http://www.blogsouthwest.com/wp-cont...click-here.pdf
http://www.blogsouthwest.com/april-2...ere-no-foolin/
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Old Oct 27, 15, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by hughc99 View Post
CAK-LAS doesn't even launch for a couple more weeks and it's already cancelled by April next year. Why even add it at all?
My thoughts exactly. What a shame for CAK... AirTran put some time and money into the airport and they built that new area and gates for them prior to their merger.

Let us just say that airline mergers have not been kind to the Greater Cleveland area airports as far as non-stop destinations are concerned.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 1:05 pm
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The rebalance to MDW adds more connectivity. Previously from MSP, DAY and GRR were "you can't get there from here". Since MDW is at capacity you have to drop some flights to add.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 1:12 pm
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Maybe they are looking at advance bookings.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by tys90 View Post
As a DSM flyer, albeit mostly on leisure so not too frequent, this is a bit surprising and disappointing. The a.net thread suggests that DSM won't last too much longer as a WN destination. Honestly, I thought it was a bit in the other direction and that WN was doing fairly decent in DSM.
WN might be looking to find a niche on DSM-STL, while DSM-CHI was covered by two other airlines. However, connectivity will suffer as places like PVD become not available through STL but were available through MDW.

WN could add DSM-BWI. It looks like AA's DSM-DCA is just a single daily flight, and in April, it departs at 4:40pm and arrives at DCA at 8:01pm. Maybe WN could add a morning flight out of DSM to BWI, which would make it better for DSM passengers going into DC area, and that timed flight would like permit some connections to eastern US cities (like PVD, MHT, RDU, CLT) from the BWI hub, that MDW once offered.

Given that WN is the largest carrier now in DEN and has the strength on that side with connections and frequent flier base, DSM-DEN would also make sense IMO.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 1:57 pm
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For those of you thinking there might be more cuts/adds, I know a couple of months back they announced similar cuts/switches for LIT. We lost MDW and BWI and gained back STL. So this release sounds just like a continuation of the switches they started making previously.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by beyondhere View Post
WN might be looking to find a niche on DSM-STL, while DSM-CHI was covered by two other airlines. However, connectivity will suffer as places like PVD become not available through STL but were available through MDW.

WN could add DSM-BWI. It looks like AA's DSM-DCA is just a single daily flight, and in April, it departs at 4:40pm and arrives at DCA at 8:01pm. Maybe WN could add a morning flight out of DSM to BWI, which would make it better for DSM passengers going into DC area, and that timed flight would like permit some connections to eastern US cities (like PVD, MHT, RDU, CLT) from the BWI hub, that MDW once offered.

Given that WN is the largest carrier now in DEN and has the strength on that side with connections and frequent flier base, DSM-DEN would also make sense IMO.
Good point about there being three carriers to CHI, probably wasn't sustainable. Either of BWI/DEN would be nice but I figured the DSM-DEN would have happened by now if it was going to happen. I forget where I saw it but someone made a good case that LAS is a better westward connection than DEN for cities like DSM and we already have LAS service.

BWI does make a lot of sense but I'm not going to hold my breath.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 2:44 pm
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I guess I originally missed but A.Net said LAS-FNT is gone too? I was under the impression that it was a top 5 (if not the best) performing route ex-LAS for Southwest.
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