Southwest starting IAH/ORD

Old Oct 12, 20, 11:43 am
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Southwest starting IAH/ORD

That's a shot across the bow!

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/12/sout...d-chicago.html

Southwest Airlines is pushing into United Airlinesí territory.

Dallas-based Southwest on Monday said it plans to add service at Houstonís George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Chicago OíHare next year, two United hubs and the citiesí larger airports. It marks a strategy shift for the low-cost carrier that has relied mainly on secondary airports in some of the largest U.S. cities. Its operations in those cities are still centered on Houstonís Hobby Airport and Chicagoís Midway International Airport.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 12:09 pm
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I'm interested to learn where and how many gates WN will get at ORD. UA and AA have been pushing the smaller carriers out of T1, T2 and T3 to the extent that they can. DL is moving to T5 once the 10-gate addition being built if complete.

That aside, I see this as a win-win for pax. It's a win for the leisure travels who like WN and it's a win for folks like me who avoid WN because there are so many leisure travelers. My guess is the service will be to major cities from these primary airports / tourists destinations as opposed to secondary cities.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 12:52 pm
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WN relies on quick turnaround of their airplanes - with ORD prone to delays (albeit in more normal times) they may have challenges with that turnaround.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:25 pm
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Seems to me they smell blood in the water and it's time to start poaching key UA routes.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:30 pm
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It can only help lower prices I pay to fly UA. Whenever I fly again I should say.

WN is a great asset to consumers, even if you never step foot on their plane.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Seems to me they smell blood in the water and it's time to start poaching key UA routes.
On the assumption that people fly UA due to the splendor of IAH or ORD? Is Southwest going to start flying to Tokyo or Shanghai?

This smacks of desperation by WN more than anything else. They're going to torpedo their business strategy in order to... what, exactly?

Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
It can only help lower prices I pay to fly UA. Whenever I fly again I should say.

WN is a great asset to consumers, even if you never step foot on their plane.
Eh, 20 years ago, yes. These days, I don't think it makes much difference. WN hasn't offered significantly lower fares than their competition in a long time.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
It can only help lower prices I pay to fly UA. Whenever I fly again I should say.

WN is a great asset to consumers, even if you never step foot on their plane.
Yup - prices plummeted IAH-DEN on CO when WN started HOU-DEN non-stops. It'll be interesting to see frequency. I can't imagine WN staffing/operating two new stations w/ only a flight a day (and with no connecting services at either end). Maybe almost a shuttle route? Not sure there's much demand for that...
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
WN hasn't offered significantly lower fares than their competition in a long time.
It's amazing how long the myth of WN being low-price hangs around.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
On the assumption that people fly UA due to the splendor of IAH or ORD? Is Southwest going to start flying to Tokyo or Shanghai?

This smacks of desperation by WN more than anything else. They're going to torpedo their business strategy in order to... what, exactly?

Eh, 20 years ago, yes. These days, I don't think it makes much difference. WN hasn't offered significantly lower fares than their competition in a long time.
But WN offers a better product. Exactly what, in your view, is the value proposition of United coach if we completely ignore the MP program for the comparison?
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Old Oct 12, 20, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Exactly what, in your view, is the value proposition of United coach if we completely ignore the MP program for the comparison?
Reserved seating. E+. Fewer bad amateur comedians in the cockpit.

And saying "ignore MP" is like saying "ignore the food" when you pick a restaurant.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 2:03 pm
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I recall UA pissed about international flights from Hobby or United would axe CDG; unrelated sure but still a childish stance on how UA views competition. So why the hate on this new service from this board??? I welcome the competition and it's not like WN won't have competition from the other LCCs.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
WN relies on quick turnaround of their airplanes - with ORD prone to delays (albeit in more normal times) they may have challenges with that turnaround.
At least initially, it's likely that the aircraft serving IAH-ORD will be dedicated to that route, considering that that route is WN's only one from each of those airports (that is, unless ferry flights are made a regular part of the schedule). That, combined with there being no connecting passengers, makes delays much less of an issue.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 2:11 pm
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That's a pretty thin article. There's a not even a link to a SW press release or any other source. Some details would be nice. Until then, pretty meaningless "announcement".
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Old Oct 12, 20, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
It's amazing how long the myth of WN being low-price hangs around.
I don't think WN is low-price (although free bags can be impactful for some travelers), but it can bring down prices to "normal" from "usurious" between airports/cities with previously limited competition.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
WN relies on quick turnaround of their airplanes - with ORD prone to delays (albeit in more normal times) they may have challenges with that turnaround.
20+ years ago, that was why WN stayed out of rat's nests like LGA. They've since adapted fine.

Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
And saying "ignore MP" is like saying "ignore the food" when you pick a restaurant.
Not for most people. Most people earn so few miles on revenue-based tickets, and will never make PQD thresholds, MP and other FF programs are superfluous. The food is the well-priced seat flying a reliable airline. The FF program is the cheap peppermint the restaurant brings you with the check, that most people throw on the floor.
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