DEN Rebanking (again)?

Old Feb 12, 20, 10:40 pm
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DEN Rebanking (again)?

I recently noticed that, effective this Thursday, February 14, UA is making a change to the Denver hub's bank structure. The airline is basically swapping it's major eastbound and westbound banks in the morning.

Currently, the 8:30 a.m. (arrival) to 9:45 a.m. (departure) bank is a westward flow, while the 10:00 a.m. (arrival) to 11:15 a.m. (departure) bank is an eastward flow. These two directional banks get swapped starting Thursday... which marks a return to to the way things were prior to last year's big rebanking effort. As far as I can tell, no other banks later in the day are affected by this week's change.

The major impacts of this switch:

1) Early morning departures to DEN from the west coast, which had been in the reasonable 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. time frame this past year, revert back to the 5:15 to 5:45 a.m. departure time frame later this week.

2) It won't be as easy for eastern US residents to arrive on the west coast prior to Noon when connecting through DEN, since the 9:45 a.m. westward bank will become an 11:15 a.m. westward bank.

Any insight into the reasoning behind this shift?

Last edited by PDXalways; Feb 14, 20 at 7:55 pm
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Old Feb 14, 20, 1:35 pm
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UA trying to steer people to nonstops going east-to-west, or to connecting at SFO instead of DEN? (The latter seems foolhardy to me.)
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Old Feb 14, 20, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by PDXalways View Post
The major impacts of this switch:

1) Early morning departures to DEN from the west coast, which had been in the reasonable 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. time frame this past year, revert back to the 5:15 to 5:45 a.m. departure time frame later this week.

2) It won't be as easy for eastern US residents to arrive on the west coast prior to Noon when connection through DEN, since the 9:45 a.m. westward bank will become an 11:15 a.m. westward bank.

Any insight into the reasoning behind this shift?
I can't remember whether it was an earnings call, investor update or some other presentation, but this bank swap was discussed. Apparently, UA found that earlier eastbound West Coast departures have higher PRASM than similarly-timed westbound flights from the East Coast, whereas slightly later East Coast departures perform better than similarly-timed West Coast departures. There was some discussion/speculation as to why West Coast pax favor earlier flights, including the fact that it results in earlier East Coast arrivals, and that West Coast passengers tend to be up at an earlier hour if their business involves working with people on the East Coast (early start, early finish).

Anyway, that was the explanation at the time.

PHL and SJC are a good examples:

PHL-DEN 2/12
0610 - 0839 UA323

DEN-SJC 2/12
0945 - 1137 UA311

SJC-DEN 2/12
0630 - 1001 UA1890

DEN-PHL 2/12
1051 - 1620 UA2030

PHL-DEN 2/14
0740 - 1010 UA323

DEN-SJC 2/14
1145 - 1337 UA5283

SJC-DEN 2/14
0520 - 0853 UA5808 (mainline at 0900)

DEN-PHL 2/14
0951 - 1521 UA2130
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Last edited by EWR764; Feb 14, 20 at 2:13 pm
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by EWR764 View Post
I can't remember whether it was an earnings call, investor update or some other presentation, but this bank swap was discussed. Apparently, UA found that earlier eastbound West Coast departures have higher PRASM than similarly-timed westbound flights from the East Coast, whereas slightly later East Coast departures perform better than similarly-timed West Coast departures. There was some discussion/speculation as to why West Coast pax favor earlier flights, including the fact that it results in earlier East Coast arrivals, and that West Coast passengers tend to be up at an earlier hour if their business involves working with people on the East Coast (early start, early finish).

Anyway, that was the explanation at the time.
Ok. As a West Coaster, if I have to travel East and have to do stuff at work, I'm going to take the last flight out that gets me in the same day/ish and is _not_ a red eye. As an example, I'll take the ~4 PM Pacific LAX-IAD non-stop and get in around midnight Eastern. Between the 4 PM and the red eye flights starting around 9 PM Pacific, there's nothing on UA.

I personally would consider getting into the East Coast after midnight if UA offered a 5 or 6 PM (or later that's still not a red eye) but they don't.

On the return, I'm usually looking for the latest flight(s) out of the East Coast that will get me home by either midnight Pacific or perhaps 1 or 2 AM. With UA discontinuing their long time ~10 PM Eastern IAD-LAX non-stop, now I'm looking at either taking the latest non-stop flight out of IAD (~7 PM Eastern) or starting a series of maneuvers that require a tight connection either in EWR, ORD, IAH or DEN if I don't want to fight afternoon Beltway traffic to get to IAD (flying out of DCA or BWI instead).

I think UA is missing a bunch of loose change by not having a later bank of flights out of the East Coast for us (biz type) folks who are not wanting to fight evening traffic and would fly non-stops to the West Coast departing between 8 and 10 PM Eastern. Maybe because of MAX, they're now short mainline planes but they've pulled a whole lot of non-stop flights from IAD and left nothing in return.

David
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Ok. As a West Coaster, if I have to travel East and have to do stuff at work, I'm going to take the last flight out that gets me in the same day/ish and is _not_ a red eye. As an example, I'll take the ~4 PM Pacific LAX-IAD non-stop and get in around midnight Eastern. Between the 4 PM and the red eye flights starting around 9 PM Pacific, there's nothing on UA.

I personally would consider getting into the East Coast after midnight if UA offered a 5 or 6 PM (or later that's still not a red eye) but they don't.

On the return, I'm usually looking for the latest flight(s) out of the East Coast that will get me home by either midnight Pacific or perhaps 1 or 2 AM. With UA discontinuing their long time ~10 PM Eastern IAD-LAX non-stop, now I'm looking at either taking the latest non-stop flight out of IAD (~7 PM Eastern) or starting a series of maneuvers that require a tight connection either in EWR, ORD, IAH or DEN if I don't want to fight afternoon Beltway traffic to get to IAD (flying out of DCA or BWI instead).

I think UA is missing a bunch of loose change by not having a later bank of flights out of the East Coast for us (biz type) folks who are not wanting to fight evening traffic and would fly non-stops to the West Coast departing between 8 and 10 PM Eastern. Maybe because of MAX, they're now short mainline planes but they've pulled a whole lot of non-stop flights from IAD and left nothing in return.

David
Looks like the 10 PM IAD - LAX returns 3/5/20
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by smxflyer View Post
Looks like the 10 PM IAD - LAX returns 3/5/20
Good to know.

Back on thread topic, I would reconsider DEN as a connecting hub for my cross country flights if a) the spread between banks was better and b) I didn't have to even contemplate running from B11 to B60 (or higher) in < 10 minutes to get to the boarding door - at DEN altitude. Besides, UA basically funnels most of the connecting mid-con flights to ORD and IAH anyways. Very few options in/out of DEN.

David
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Besides, UA basically funnels most of the connecting mid-con flights to ORD and IAH anyways. Very few options in/out of DEN.
There are a bunch of western airports that UA serves through DEN that do not have flights to IAH or ORD. UA is planning to have something like 700 daily departures there once they get the new gates.

DEN matters.
​​​
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Old Feb 14, 20, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
. As an example, I'll take the ~4 PM Pacific LAX-IAD non-stop and get in around midnight Eastern. Between the 4 PM and the red eye flights starting around 9 PM Pacific, there's nothing on UA.

I personally would consider getting into the East Coast after midnight if UA offered a 5 or 6 PM (or later that's still not a red eye) but they don't..

David
Different strokes and all that, but arriving midnight onward in DC is effectively a red eye for me. By the time you get from C/D at IAD into your rental car and then drive 30-45 minutes to a beltway hotel, check in and get settled, it’s after 2am. The 4-5 hours sleep I get from there (if I’m lucky) is as crappy as red eye plane sleep.

You can count me as one of the people who takes the earlier flights. I just work on the plane.

Getting to SFO early is a lot easier if you have to cross a bridge, too.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Ok. As a West Coaster, if I have to travel East and have to do stuff at work, I'm going to take the last flight out that gets me in the same day/ish and is _not_ a red eye. As an example, I'll take the ~4 PM Pacific LAX-IAD non-stop and get in around midnight Eastern. Between the 4 PM and the red eye flights starting around 9 PM Pacific, there's nothing on UA.

I personally would consider getting into the East Coast after midnight if UA offered a 5 or 6 PM (or later that's still not a red eye) but they don't.

On the return, I'm usually looking for the latest flight(s) out of the East Coast that will get me home by either midnight Pacific or perhaps 1 or 2 AM. With UA discontinuing their long time ~10 PM Eastern IAD-LAX non-stop, now I'm looking at either taking the latest non-stop flight out of IAD (~7 PM Eastern) or starting a series of maneuvers that require a tight connection either in EWR, ORD, IAH or DEN if I don't want to fight afternoon Beltway traffic to get to IAD (flying out of DCA or BWI instead).

I think UA is missing a bunch of loose change by not having a later bank of flights out of the East Coast for us (biz type) folks who are not wanting to fight evening traffic and would fly non-stops to the West Coast departing between 8 and 10 PM Eastern. Maybe because of MAX, they're now short mainline planes but they've pulled a whole lot of non-stop flights from IAD and left nothing in return.

David
Some folks on here might find the discussion in this thread to be useful/interesting: What happened to the 4 PM SFO-BOS?

FWIW, I see a 5:15pm LAX-EWR and a 5:30pm SFO-EWR in the summer/fall schedule, though at this time that should probably be viewed as a placeholder and subject to change.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Some folks on here might find the discussion in this thread to be useful/interesting: What happened to the 4 PM SFO-BOS?

FWIW, I see a 5:15pm LAX-EWR and a 5:30pm SFO-EWR in the summer/fall schedule, though at this time that should probably be viewed as a placeholder and subject to change.
Agreed - been following that thread as well. Having done a number of SFO-BOS/BOS-SFO as well as the LAX-SFO-EWR / EWR-SFO/LAX segments over these past few years, my biggest challenge is the LAX-SFO / SFO-LAX segments. UA has gotten rid of the 6 am LAX-SFO so making the early SFO-BOS isn't really do able and the delays on the 6 pm SFO-BOS means that I would get the 739s that fly LAX-BOS instead of the 752s and 772s.

Additionally, given the late afternoon crapfest that is EWR's standard ground stop hell, I'm not a fan of the A to C dash and/or the run to/from C130x that UAX regionals force you into to make a EWR-LAX late afternoon/early evening flight.

David
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Old Feb 14, 20, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Ok. As a West Coaster, if I have to travel East and have to do stuff at work, I'm going to take the last flight out that gets me in the same day/ish and is _not_ a red eye. As an example, I'll take the ~4 PM Pacific LAX-IAD non-stop and get in around midnight Eastern. Between the 4 PM and the red eye flights starting around 9 PM Pacific, there's nothing on UA.

I personally would consider getting into the East Coast after midnight if UA offered a 5 or 6 PM (or later that's still not a red eye) but they don't.

On the return, I'm usually looking for the latest flight(s) out of the East Coast that will get me home by either midnight Pacific or perhaps 1 or 2 AM. With UA discontinuing their long time ~10 PM Eastern IAD-LAX non-stop, now I'm looking at either taking the latest non-stop flight out of IAD (~7 PM Eastern) or starting a series of maneuvers that require a tight connection either in EWR, ORD, IAH or DEN if I don't want to fight afternoon Beltway traffic to get to IAD (flying out of DCA or BWI instead).

I think UA is missing a bunch of loose change by not having a later bank of flights out of the East Coast for us (biz type) folks who are not wanting to fight evening traffic and would fly non-stops to the West Coast departing between 8 and 10 PM Eastern. Maybe because of MAX, they're now short mainline planes but they've pulled a whole lot of non-stop flights from IAD and left nothing in return.

David
I am working from unreliable recollection, but I believe as recently as three years ago, they had ~1a arrivals at SFO (at least, unsure about LAX), from all the east-of-Mississipi hubs/regions. I'm not sure why that stopped, whether it is MAX or PRASM, but it was nice to have the option.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
I am working from unreliable recollection, but I believe as recently as three years ago, they had ~1a arrivals at SFO (at least, unsure about LAX), from all the east-of-Mississipi hubs/regions. I'm not sure why that stopped, whether it is MAX or PRASM, but it was nice to have the option.
Even through last year, many of those late night/early AM arrivals from the East Coast were operating and I would book.

Not anymore so far in 2020.

And, to make sure this discussion stays on topic, I would consider going through DEN if a) the flights left the East Coast later than the transcons and b) I could reliably connect to either LAX or SFO from DEN.

The other issue with DEN is there's basically no hotels local to the airport except for the Westin if you miss your connection.

David
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Old Feb 14, 20, 11:17 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
The other issue with DEN is there's basically no hotels local to the airport except for the Westin if you miss your connection.
Unless you define "local" as walking distance, there are lots of hotels a simple shuttle ride away that is no different than a shuttle ride from SFO to a Burlingame/Millbrae/SoSF hotel.

Hotels on Tower next to Peña Blvd.
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Old Feb 14, 20, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO 1K View Post
Unless you define "local" as walking distance, there are lots of hotels a simple shuttle ride away that is no different than a shuttle ride from SFO to a Burlingame/Millbrae/SoSF hotel.

Hotels on Tower next to Peña Blvd.
Well, for myself, last time UA had me stuck at DEN, I was given a room at some el cheapo motel near Tech Center that obviously had no shuttle to/from DEN. This ended up being about a half hour cab each way from DEN.

In contrast, UA gave me a voucher to el Crowne Plaza SFO when my IAD-SFO flight got to SFO 5 hours late. el Crowne Plaza did/does have a SFO shuttle. About 10 minutes at worst each way.

I'm not saying SFO is ideal but there's far more infrastructure to handle IRROPS nearby than DEN. Maybe UA's gotten better at DEN IRROPS and would take pity on me or others and send us to the hotels on Tower now but I'll let others who've gotten that option to post since I've given up on DEN as a connection for now.

David
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