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Capacity/Frequency Decreased to Half from HNL to LAX in December

Capacity/Frequency Decreased to Half from HNL to LAX in December

Old Oct 24, 17, 12:43 pm
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Capacity/Frequency Decreased to Half from HNL to LAX in December

Looking to book a trip for the holidays from HNL to LAX in December and at least for the three outbound dates I'm checking 12/12, 12/13, and 12/14 the number of flights per day is down to 3. On the return on 01/05 it's back up to the normal six per day. Why is UA cutting capacity in half during peak holiday travel? I thought Hawaii flights were supposed to be increasing with the announcements this year, not decreasing.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 1:31 pm
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12-14 Dec is anything but peak holiday season. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the most dead weeks of the year for CONUS travel. 6x daily on HNL/LAX is definitely not "normal" either - that's a lot of frequencies which is clearly there for the winter break.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Looking to book a trip for the holidays from HNL to LAX in December and at least for the three outbound dates I'm checking 12/12, 12/13, and 12/14 the number of flights per day is down to 3. On the return on 01/05 it's back up to the normal six per day. Why is UA cutting capacity in half during peak holiday travel? I thought Hawaii flights were supposed to be increasing with the announcements this year, not decreasing.
"peak holiday travel?" Not

It's dead. As a doornail from T-Giving to just before Christmas.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 2:40 pm
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Okay, six flights may not be normal, but five on this route is, so down to three per day is still quite unusual and something I've never seen before living in HNL for six years.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 3:52 pm
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Thinnest December schedule for UA+CO on HNL-LAX since 2011:

Code:
 month | f2011 | f2012 | f2013 | f2014 | f2015 | f2016 | f2017 
-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------
     1 |    63 |    54 |   128 |   134 |   132 |   105 |   102
     2 |    53 |    82 |   109 |   104 |   103 |   106 |    83
     3 |    70 |    91 |   156 |   139 |   142 |   118 |   113
     4 |    54 |   150 |   143 |   136 |   142 |   121 |   113
     5 |    50 |   155 |   155 |   154 |   145 |   124 |   122
     6 |    75 |   178 |   177 |   176 |   175 |   145 |   143
     7 |   160 |   212 |   207 |   215 |   189 |   155 |   155
     8 |   139 |   207 |   202 |   204 |   174 |   139 |   138
     9 |    96 |   142 |   136 |   130 |   131 |   116 |   112
    10 |    87 |   139 |   127 |   133 |   138 |   117 |   118
    11 |    87 |   142 |   128 |   134 |   130 |   109 |   106
    12 |   109 |   166 |   155 |   158 |   145 |   141 |   135
(f is for flights)
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Old Oct 24, 17, 3:54 pm
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There is a short gap - about the only one during the year - where a savvy bargain hunter can find deals for Hawai'i airfare and hotels - and it's after Thanksgiving weekend to about December 18. It's the only period that passes for "slow" in Hawai'i anymore as even summertime is busy these days.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 3:59 pm
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There's also an awful lot of competition from LAX to HNL these days - HA, DL, AA, and VX.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Thinnest December schedule for UA+CO on HNL-LAX since 2011: ...
Down 10 to 20% for the month off of previous years, far from 50% reductions
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Old Oct 24, 17, 4:37 pm
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Yea, I'm not sure how 6/day is considered "normal" when it hasn't happened (i.e. been sustained over a month) in 2+ years.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Yea, I'm not sure how 6/day is considered "normal" when it hasn't happened (i.e. been sustained over a month) in 2+ years.
Like I said I'll take that back but five should still be considered normal.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
There's also an awful lot of competition from LAX to HNL these days - HA, DL, AA, and VX.
Right, but UA has made the claim that they are upping capacity on Hawaii routes, not decreasing it.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Oct 24, 17 at 7:22 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Oct 24, 17, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Right, but UA has made the claim that they are upping capacity on Hawaii routes, not decreasing it.
So if UA anticipates lower demand they should run empty planes just to fulfill a general statement about overall service? Also remember that the fleet is stressed most of the year, and UA needs to find small pockets of lower demand to pull planes for scheduled maintenance. Not to mention Polaris retrofit as appropriate (smaller planes can sub for larger planes that need to be taken out of service). Fleet planning is complicated. And sometimes it has to be managed outside of marketing pronouncements.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 7:11 pm
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the first two weeks of December are lowest of the low for demand.
see attached.
UA says they are increasing Hawaii service as of December 20 - that's when the peak starts.
while, as indicated, 5 x/ day is the standard service on lax/hnl, there are times during the year, during low season lulls, when that is decreased, especially on non-peak times. they have the data that tells them when capacity is needed and when it's not, and they adjust accordingly.
http://newsroom.united.com/2017-06-1...-Daily-Flights
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Old Oct 24, 17, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Right, but UA has made the claim that they are upping capacity on Hawaii routes, not decreasing it.
(a) That doesn't mean each and every route - it's systemwide, and
(b) Number of flights doe not equal capacity. Try number of seats.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 7:08 am
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If UA has miscalculated PRASM on the route, that will reflect in its P&L at the end of the year.

It goes without saying that it is easy to fill an aircraft. All you do is cut prices until the aircraft is full. But, that is not a viable strategy (just ask all those carriers which no longer exist).

Depending on destination, this is a time of year when frequencies are cut because demand is down. Either smaller aircraft or fewer frequencies. But, problem on the specific route is that those -175's just won't quite make it !
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Old Oct 26, 17, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by gradsflyer View Post
Like I said I'll take that back but five should still be considered normal.



Right, but UA has made the claim that they are upping capacity on Hawaii routes, not decreasing it.
Hi, @gradsflyer;28972178

You are correct that UA has increased capacity for Hawaii. Let's look at ASM instead of number of ops, so that we're correctly talking about capacity.

Specifically, during the entire 2017/2018 Holiday season, we're up +12% for all Hawaii markets (although only +3% for HNLLAX). The first week of the period traditionally has the lowest load factors of the season and is accordingly down 15% in ASM for those 7 days (or -23% for HNLLAX).

Last year's load factor on this route, for those days was pretty low. Hope this answers your questions!
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