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Do you think any UA hubs will be eliminated or added? If so, which one?

Do you think any UA hubs will be eliminated or added? If so, which one?

Old Oct 30, 2023, 7:42 pm
  #1  
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Do you think any UA hubs will be eliminated or added? If so, which one?

Purely speculating on this rainy Monday night (posted a similar thread in AA's forum because I'm bored). Always fascinating watching how airlines change/add/eliminate hubs every now and then!

Also, ORD/IAH seems on equal ground for UA as their top hubs, but do you think there's a smaller inch given to ORD as UA's primary hub, or do you think IAH is considered their primary hub?
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Last edited by MrAndy1369; Oct 30, 2023 at 7:54 pm
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 7:53 pm
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ORD top hub? Did you forget about New Jersey/Newark.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 7:56 pm
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In no particular order, I think these are United's most important hubs:

ORD (Midwest)
DEN (Mountain West)
IAH (South)
EWR (East)
SFO (West)

IAD is also important but I was trying to pick one from each region, and if only one, EWR over IAD.


That would leave LAX and GUM. I can write a long story for each, and I know United considers importance for each, but when push comes to shove, if in a hypothetical, these two would be the front runners for de-hubbing.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 8:04 pm
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With the demise of CLE, all the hubs now serve a purpose other than being a reliever and/or UA has a very strong competitive position in a significant market. LAX is probably the weakest, but I don't see it going away.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 8:17 pm
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Barring a major economic meltdown, United won't be closing any hubs.

Worth noting, though, that United's best performing hubs have been DEN, ORD and IAH over the last few years, plus EWR. IAD, SFO and LAX haven't quite made it back to pre-pandemic levels. But that's not to say any of them are going away.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 8:28 pm
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Why is there any reason to beleive UA would close / downgrade any mainline hub?

There have been concerns about LAX but UA has made heavy recent investments in the LAX UC and Polaris Lounge. And number of flights have been increasing. The LAX market is too big to downgrade.

None of this seem even remotely likely.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 9:18 pm
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I would say none.

It is hard to find one to close even if it is just speculation.

I must admit I knew little of DEN until my recent travels there. What is fortress UA has built there! UAs dominance at DEN is impressive.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 9:32 pm
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None - all of UA's hubs make sense at this point. the very most aggressive action I see is a retrenching at LAX given it's highly competitive, but DEN, IAH, IAD, SFO and EWR are true fortress hubs with network logic and in the case of everything but DEN high degrees of paid premium traffic. And even without the structural economic advantage, DEN is apparently the best performing hub, so they're doing something right there too.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Why is there any reason to beleive UA would close / downgrade any mainline hub?

There have been concerns about LAX but UA has made heavy recent investments in the LAX UC and Polaris Lounge. And number of flights have been increasing. The LAX market is too big to downgrade.

None of this seem even remotely likely.
I believe the OP said they were just bored and speculating for the sake of conversation.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 9:35 pm
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369 (Post # 1)
Do you think any UA hubs will be eliminated? If so, which one?
No. None.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by EWR764
Barring a major economic meltdown, United won't be closing any hubs.

Worth noting, though, that United's best performing hubs have been DEN, ORD and IAH over the last few years, plus EWR. IAD, SFO and LAX haven't quite made it back to pre-pandemic levels. But that's not to say any of them are going away.
I think a better question would be does it make sense for United to create another hub.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by MrAndy1369
....
Also, ORD/IAH seems on equal ground for UA as their top hubs, but do you think there's a smaller inch given to ORD as UA's primary hub, or do you think IAH is considered their primary hub?
UA @ EWR had about 30M passengers in 2022 while ORD was closer to 25M. IAH was also about 30M.
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan
I think a better question would be does it make sense for United to create another hub.
Was about to ask this . . . Southeast would likely make the most sense to do it in. (Other than rehubbing somewhere internationally - HND and LHR might be candidates)
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Old Oct 30, 2023, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy
Was about to ask this . . . Southeast would likely make the most sense to do it in. (Other than rehubbing somewhere internationally - HND and LHR might be candidates)
I was thinking the southeast too. I have wondered about LHR and the lack of *A carriers there. LHR resembles a hub; it just lacks flights to US non-hubs.
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Old Oct 31, 2023, 12:00 am
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At LAX, Scott Kirby has repeatedly stated UAs desire for a portion of the T9 gates, which have now broken ground and should be finished before the 2028 Olympics here. Losing PMCO and PMUAs gates in T6 was a huge strategic (boneheaded) mistake of a certain predecessor, so UA currently doesnt have much space to grow LAX as a hub even if it wants to.
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