Interesting Routing

Old Aug 9, 18, 4:28 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,178
Interesting Routing

We see such routing all the time on WN.
Why is it so?
Software unable to exclude such stupidity?

Flight details (4 stops, includes 1 plane change)

  • #2294
    • Depart: Albuquerque, NM (ABQ)6:00 AM
    • Arrive: Las Vegas, NV (LAS)6:30 AM
    1st stop, no plane change0h 35m layover
  • #2294
    • Depart: Las Vegas, NV (LAS)7:05 AM
    • Arrive: Sacramento, CA (SMF)8:35 AM
    2nd stop, change planes 1h 0m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: Sacramento, CA (SMF)9:35 AM
    • Arrive: St. Louis, MO (STL)3:10 PM
    3rd stop, no plane change0h 50m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: St. Louis, MO (STL)4:00 PM
    • Arrive: Orlando, FL (MCO)7:20 PM
    4th stop, no plane change0h 50m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: Orlando, FL (MCO)8:10 PM
    • Arrive: Philadelphia, PA (PHL)10:35 PM


Going to New Mexico to PA via stopping in BOTH CA and FL (nearly 15 hours trip - You can fly to Hong Kong for that much time)

And.. it shows lowest fare of about 579 USD!!
(cheaper fares are "sold out")
desi is offline  
Old Aug 9, 18, 8:29 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LAS
Posts: 1,466
Faster than walking!
NextTrip is offline  
Old Aug 9, 18, 8:37 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DAY
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Skymiles, Hilton HHonors, SPG/Marriott Rewards
Posts: 1,721
What’s the problem? If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Is having more options a problem?
Cledaybuck is offline  
Old Aug 9, 18, 9:14 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by desi View Post
We see such routing all the time on WN.
Why is it so?
Software unable to exclude such stupidity?

Flight details (4 stops, includes 1 plane change)

  • #2294
    • Depart: Albuquerque, NM (ABQ)6:00 AM
    • Arrive: Las Vegas, NV (LAS)6:30 AM
    1st stop, no plane change0h 35m layover
  • #2294
    • Depart: Las Vegas, NV (LAS)7:05 AM
    • Arrive: Sacramento, CA (SMF)8:35 AM
    2nd stop, change planes 1h 0m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: Sacramento, CA (SMF)9:35 AM
    • Arrive: St. Louis, MO (STL)3:10 PM
    3rd stop, no plane change0h 50m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: St. Louis, MO (STL)4:00 PM
    • Arrive: Orlando, FL (MCO)7:20 PM
    4th stop, no plane change0h 50m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: Orlando, FL (MCO)8:10 PM
    • Arrive: Philadelphia, PA (PHL)10:35 PM


Going to New Mexico to PA via stopping in BOTH CA and FL (nearly 15 hours trip - You can fly to Hong Kong for that much time)

And.. it shows lowest fare of about 579 USD!!
(cheaper fares are "sold out")
Long story short WN has ancient IT. Basically, because they run 3 separate schedules (M-F, Sat, Sun) they need to use 3 completely separate sets of flight numbers for each. (i.e. you can't run flight 728 M-F and Sat at different times or on different routes like the other guys do). So... they have to attach the same flight numbers to as many flights as possible, hence why one flight number has 4 stops. This is also why the flight numbers are quickly approaching the high 6000s.

Of course nobody wants to take that routing, hence the ridiculous fare... but because of the way the IT works it sees it as one flight and is willing to sell it to you
jk88usa is offline  
Old Aug 9, 18, 9:17 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,856
Where's the beef? Don't like the option, don't book it.
Cledaybuck and IndyHoosier like this.
Often1 is offline  
Old Aug 9, 18, 10:15 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: OZ Diamond/*G, IHG Spire Amb, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,097
Originally Posted by jk88usa View Post
Long story short WN has ancient IT. Basically, because they run 3 separate schedules (M-F, Sat, Sun) they need to use 3 completely separate sets of flight numbers for each. (i.e. you can't run flight 728 M-F and Sat at different times or on different routes like the other guys do). So... they have to attach the same flight numbers to as many flights as possible, hence why one flight number has 4 stops. This is also why the flight numbers are quickly approaching the high 6000s.

Of course nobody wants to take that routing, hence the ridiculous fare... but because of the way the IT works it sees it as one flight and is willing to sell it to you
I thought they recently upgraded to Amadeus Altea, which is the same system that many top airlines like TG and SQ use.
1353513636 is offline  
Old Aug 9, 18, 10:44 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by 1353513636 View Post
I thought they recently upgraded to Amadeus Altea, which is the same system that many top airlines like TG and SQ use.
They did, but AFAIK Amadeus software currently runs separate from scheduling software. Their scheduler is fairly simplistic in comparison to what is used by some of the other carriers and especially the legacies, hence for example why all WN flights are blocked in 5 minute increments compared to 1 minute breakdowns at other carriers. Thatís not to say that it doesnít get the job done, it just canít do some of the intricacies that other carriers can.

I think Amadeus also offers an optimize/scheduling feature but WN didnít get it or hasnít switched over yet? Itís been awhile since I was at WN, well before Amadeus, but the effects on scheduling donít seem to have changed
jk88usa is offline  
Old Aug 10, 18, 12:02 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,629
Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Whatís the problem? If you donít like it, donít buy it. Is having more options a problem?

Um... when they're stupid, yes.
ursine1 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 18, 7:16 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,178
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Where's the beef? Don't like the option, don't book it.
Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
What’s the problem? If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Is having more options a problem?



Reservation system quirks discussion has been fairly common subject on FT (not just for WN)

Kindly ignore if found not of interest.

Last edited by desi; Aug 12, 18 at 12:16 am
desi is offline  
Old Aug 10, 18, 7:26 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Peoria
Programs: Southwest, Best Western Gold, La Quinta, Dollar
Posts: 740
Choosing a random date a couple weeks from now, I look and see there are five one-stop flights and several 2-stops listed for that date, ABQ-PHL. Call me crazy, but I probably could find one of those which suits my needs OK without going to California and Florida on the same itinerary.

Sorry, I couldn't control the urge to post.
Cledaybuck likes this.
Peoriaman1 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 18, 7:58 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Peoria
Programs: Southwest, Best Western Gold, La Quinta, Dollar
Posts: 740
Note also that on the days the 4-stop itinerary exists, one can choose a better alternative of connecting to a nonstop LAS-PHL flight at Las Vegas instead of the LAS-SMF-STL-MCO-PHL routing outlined in the original post. But that one involves a 2+ hour layover at Las Vegas; maybe some people don't want that?
Peoriaman1 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 18, 9:58 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: HH Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 10,077
Originally Posted by jk88usa View Post
Long story short WN has ancient IT. Basically, because they run 3 separate schedules (M-F, Sat, Sun) they need to use 3 completely separate sets of flight numbers for each. (i.e. you can't run flight 728 M-F and Sat at different times or on different routes like the other guys do). So... they have to attach the same flight numbers to as many flights as possible, hence why one flight number has 4 stops. This is also why the flight numbers are quickly approaching the high 6000s.

Of course nobody wants to take that routing, hence the ridiculous fare... but because of the way the IT works it sees it as one flight and is willing to sell it to you
WN just upgraded to a new reservations system. They do have scheduling flexibility now to have flights change by day of week. Just check the schedules out of most cities now -- you will see that the restrictions no longer apply.

That said, it does appear that their "connection builder" software needs some help. But, if you tighten the criteria, then you allow fewer legal connections. So, it's probably better for all of us to have a few "strange" connections and direct flights. I once booked a ooe-stop flight from PVD to PHX and the stop was at MCO!!! However, the price and the overall flight time were reasonable, so I took it.
formeraa is offline  
Old Aug 10, 18, 4:41 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Programs: VX Gold/WN Companion
Posts: 629
Boggles my mind that they system will spit out options like this yet you can not "build" your own routing.

I ave often found segments that work better than what is available but can not book as one flight.
ursine1 likes this.
PAX62 is offline  
Old Aug 11, 18, 6:23 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: RDU/CHI
Programs: DL Plat, BA Silver, WN A-, AA LT Gold, IHG S/KIC, NCR EC
Posts: 12,144
Many years ago, EasySaabre on Compuserve (see, I told you it was many years ago) would offer UA 1 for LAX-JFK as a three stop. Of course, UA1 and UA2 were the round-the world flights, so the routing was LAX-HKG-DEL-LHR-JFK.

Sadly, it wouldn't price out in F to be the same as UA 2 LAX-JFK nonstop....
steved5480 and oopsz like this.
ElmhurstNick is offline  
Old Aug 12, 18, 8:00 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 24,464
Originally Posted by desi View Post
We see such routing all the time on WN.
Why is it so?
Software unable to exclude such stupidity?Flight details (4 stops, includes 1 plane change)
  • #2294
    • Depart: Albuquerque, NM (ABQ)6:00 AM
    • Arrive: Las Vegas, NV (LAS)6:30 AM
    1st stop, no plane change0h 35m layover
  • #2294
    • Depart: Las Vegas, NV (LAS)7:05 AM
    • Arrive: Sacramento, CA (SMF)8:35 AM
    2nd stop, change planes 1h 0m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: Sacramento, CA (SMF)9:35 AM
    • Arrive: St. Louis, MO (STL)3:10 PM
    3rd stop, no plane change0h 50m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: St. Louis, MO (STL)4:00 PM
    • Arrive: Orlando, FL (MCO)7:20 PM
    4th stop, no plane change0h 50m layover
  • #2549
    • Depart: Orlando, FL (MCO)8:10 PM
    • Arrive: Philadelphia, PA (PHL)10:35 PM
Going to New Mexico to PA via stopping in BOTH CA and FL (nearly 15 hours trip - You can fly to Hong Kong for that much time)
Because Southwest refuses to go hub and spoke like the other carriers, and thus goes point-to-point-to-point-to-point, not to provide service from the first point to the last point, but stmply to use the plane efficiently for a number of separately-needed point-to-point flights.

They don't necessarily fly enough between any of those (mostly) secondary cities to be able to dedicate a plane to flying and back and forth on any shorter "more logical" subset of these routes.

I'm not sure easily they can solve this without going to something closer to a hub-and-spoke model. But then wouldn't likely have flights like Sacramento to St Louis, etc, because probably neither one of those cities would be a hub for Southwest.

If you want a hub-and-spoke airline, fly a hub-and-spoke airline, instead of flying Southwest.

Or if you want to fly Southwest efficiently, ignore where their planes go throughout the day and just book the most time-efficient connection (if there is no nonstop). Don't look for "direct" flights, this is what "direct" flights are on Southwest.

There's probably no person that actually flies this routing the whole day, only the plane itself does. No passengers choose that routing, the crew times out so they have to change crews along the way, etc. It's just to keep the plane in use all day, that's it.

Last edited by sdsearch; Aug 12, 18 at 8:06 pm
sdsearch is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: