ONT is a ghost town

Old Aug 11, 13, 5:04 pm
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ONT is a ghost town

Any other UA flyers worried about UA at ONT? There's less & less frequency of flights, along with the aircraft being reduced to all regional (this isn't about the other thread regarding regionals so please don't merge!).

I spoke with the baggage rep and they are worried for their job since UA has decreased everything. Apparently it would take the consumers to express dissatisfaction with UA, but it has fallen on deaf ears with no replies, according to the rep.

The UA/Delta terminal is DEAD with no shops open, and rarely one "restaurant" (fast food) open. It's pathetic. It's really such a nice airport. Meanwhile, Southwest thrives and the other terminal.

I had decided to move my flights to OC, which is about 10-15 mins further of a drive for me, where there are almost always larger jets. Maybe others are doing the same? Anyone have any insight?
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Old Aug 11, 13, 5:18 pm
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It Doesn't Sound Promising

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,3694251.story

Touted by Forbes magazine several years ago as one of the best alternative metropolitan airports in the nation, Ontario lost almost 40% of its 7.2 million annual passengers from 2007 to 2012. A further 8% decline is expected this year, which would bring the volume of travelers to just under 4 million, the lowest in a generation.
I remember ONT when it was a Ted hub and UA used all four gates at the end of the terminal. I flew into ONT a few months ago and noticed that UA had abandoned their gates and had moved closer to the middle of the terminal. Sad; the terminal itself is nice and modern, but the lack of a lounge and decent shops is problematic. The distant rental car facilities and lack of a reasonable public transportation option also make it hard to like ONT; sadly, I have a hard time seeing how UA could buck the overall trend of decline.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 5:38 pm
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Local Control

It's not a United problem...it's an Ontario problem. ONT is run by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the "regional" organization that also runs LAX. I put the word regional in quotes because seemingly everything they've done in the past several years has helped LAX and hurt ONT.

An Ontario-based group is attempting to regain local control of the airport. That effort has been endorsed by over 130 cities and elected officials from across Southern California. LAWA has rejected every offer made to transfer ownership to the newly-formed public agency. LAWA insists that they should be paid an astronomical amount, which is at odds with the norm. (In the past two decades, SAN, DTW, and CMH were all transfered. In all three cases, the former operating agency did not receive any payment.)

More information on ONT Local Control:
http://setontariofree.com/
(FYI: That's not a very user-friendly site. You have to scroll to the bottom of the home page to find the page links.)

Finally, just a slight correction. Although Southwest airlines operates the most flights out of ONT, they are not thriving. In 2007, Southwest has 53 daily departures. In 2012 (the last year I could find data), that figure dropped to 33 flights/day.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 7:30 pm
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They had great dreams for ONT as an international hub but it has not happened. Now there are acres of unused parking lots that literally have weeds growing through cracks in the pavement. The economic downturn in the Inland Empire has not helped, but yes apparently LAWA gets much of the blame. Although I'm not sure how realistic the dream was in the first place.

It was also silly of them to build a remote car rental facility. (Someone's cousin probably owned the land.) Depending on where I'm going, I'll always choose BUR or SNA over ONT because you literally walk out the door and pick up your rental car.

The terminal that WN operates from is also losing tenants. Last time I was there (in January) the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf had closed. Currently, the "best" food option is Carl's Jr.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 8:26 pm
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This is not a UA problem. All legacies have cut back service to/from ONT over the years. Even B6 doesn't fly there anymore, and ONT was its original entry point to the Southern California market. As has already been mentioned, LAWA has mismanaged ONT, but the economic malaise in the Inland Empire also has a lot to do with it.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 8:32 pm
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This is sad to hear. I've flown into ONT many times to and from DEN, and have always enjoyed the approach whereby the plane travels down the nearby mountain range, turns right, and starts its final descent.

Once on the ground, the ease of walking out, the laid-back setting, and the great scenery outdoors can't be beat.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 8:42 pm
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Yes it's very sad to see ONT in decline. I believe the reasons already listed have created the perfect storm.

At least UA still has a Bus to IAH.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 8:43 pm
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My dad travels to ONT several times a year for work as one of the distribution centers is based there, about 10 minutes from the airport.

If AA ends their operations at ONT, I wonder what he will do as connecting in SFO will suck, so does DEN (CR2 for 2+ hours). Perhaps WN via PHX or LAS.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 8:50 pm
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Every time I fly home into LAX (except from up the coast), I see ONT down below as we pass by. Maybe that's a metaphor for the reality of things. And in a way, the approach into ONT is like an appetizer while the approach into LAX is an 8-course banquet. The approach into LAX is truly legendary, especially at dusk and night. It's beautiful to watch even from the ground up, looking east to the sky.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 8:53 pm
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I personally find the ONT airport too far away from anything of interest in LA area (theme parks, beach, etc.)...it use to be a great way to go to PSP but the airfares into PSP have dropped to reasonable levels (sometimes the same as ONT) so the extra drive is no longer needed.

I always want to take UAX flight between LAX and ONT for an easy 500 PQMs Did they even have to turn the plane on that route or was it it direct line into LAX approach??
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Old Aug 11, 13, 9:12 pm
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Angry

The convenience of the ONT airport for those of us in the Inland Empire is a blessing, yet LAWA is the obstacle. It is truly sad that LAWA is doing what they are to the residents of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.. as all other airport options are at least 45 minutes away... in good traffic.

Unfortunately it is a self fulfilling prophecy, as the frequency is cut and planes downsized (to lovely CRJ200s up to SFO, oh joy), we more and more use SNA or LAX just to have choices and backup flights in the case of weather.

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Old Aug 11, 13, 9:39 pm
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I personally think that the people that want local control of ONT are delusional and don't understand airport economics.

ONT's CPE is high because airlines have been cutting service because of the economic malaise in the IE and there really is not much that can be done about that...LAWA can't just wish ONT's debt away; it has to be serviced. I would argue that costs would be even higher if it weren't for LAWA's ability to leverage resources across airports and get cheaper contracts due to its size....

Most of this controversy is just sour grapes because LAWA has been investing in LAX instead of forcing people (that really don't want to) to use ONT due to congestion and capacity restraints. UA has been cutting back because they can't compete with WN intra-west and demand from ONT to the east has been quite soft for the last few years hence UA's IAH service is the longest legacy carrier flight from the airport (there is one WN flight to MDW)...
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Old Aug 11, 13, 9:45 pm
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I imagine the demand is not sufficient to support higher fares, and low fares are won by WN. actually, i'm sure high fares are won by WN as well since they have many more flights and casual travelers tend to prefer them v UA. i know my aunt just flew out of there and paid $500 one way to go to MDW. i would never pay that much for a one way flight to chicago on any airline from any airport, but WN seems to generate loyalty such that folks will spend more to fly them.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian View Post
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,3694251.story



I remember ONT when it was a Ted hub and UA used all four gates at the end of the terminal. I flew into ONT a few months ago and noticed that UA had abandoned their gates and had moved closer to the middle of the terminal. Sad; the terminal itself is nice and modern, but the lack of a lounge and decent shops is problematic. The distant rental car facilities and lack of a reasonable public transportation option also make it hard to like ONT; sadly, I have a hard time seeing how UA could buck the overall trend of decline.
Those frequent flyers who decried the lack of first class on TED planes have definitely learned to be careful what you wish for. Next time you're stuck on a CRJ200 you can have fond memories of the good old days...

Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
I always want to take UAX flight between LAX and ONT for an easy 500 PQMs Did they even have to turn the plane on that route or was it it direct line into LAX approach??
Pretty much a straight in route. And you could tack LAX/ONT/LAX onto the end of a routing with very little change in fare, and earn 1,000 EQMs easily. I did that several times in the days prior to online check being available; got off the plane, went into the terminal, got my new boarding pass and reboarded. The FAs thought I was crazy, and they may not have been too far off the mark.

You could do the same for LAX/SNA/LAX. What was established by UA as a feeder to long haul flights out of LAX instead became a mileage runners dream.
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Old Aug 11, 13, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by dls25 View Post
I personally think that the people that want local control of ONT are delusional and don't understand airport economics.

ONT's CPE is high because airlines have been cutting service because of the economic malaise in the IE and there really is not much that can be done about that...LAWA can't just wish ONT's debt away; it has to be serviced. I would argue that costs would be even higher if it weren't for LAWA's ability to leverage resources across airports and get cheaper contracts due to its size....

Most of this controversy is just sour grapes because LAWA has been investing in LAX instead of forcing people (that really don't want to) to use ONT due to congestion and capacity restraints. UA has been cutting back because they can't compete with WN intra-west and demand from ONT to the east has been quite soft for the last few years hence UA's IAH service is the longest legacy carrier flight from the airport (there is one WN flight to MDW)...
Interesting that you see it this way.

As a resident near ONT, I don't think that anyone who lives in LAX territory is or feels "forced" to use ONT for any reason. It is the opposite way around. ONT wanna-be passengers are "forced" to use SNA or LAX when we would really rather use ONT. Just about everyone I know is amazed that I leave from SNA or LAX instead of ONT when I fly on a domestic itinerary, and my answer is that there are so few flights from ONT. So, as I said, it is a self-fulfilling situation.

On the plus side in favor of ONT:
almost never any fog
on time (or early) departures
no lines at TSA checkpoint
always available parking spots (although the bus can be slow to come around)
lots of really big airplanes to look at... 747, MD1011, 767, DC10, A330 (just none of them commercial flights)
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