Cranky on the Web (December 21 – 25)

BNET, Continental, Delays/Cancellations, Delta, Fares, IAD - Washington/Dulles, Star Alliance, United, US Airways

New York Snowstorm Sees Delta Start Canceling Earlier Than JetBlue, AmericanBNET
You may have been stranded but from an operational perspective, the airlines did pretty well at JFK during this major snowstorm.

US Airways and Continental See Different Fortunes with United at Washington/DullesBNET
As Continental ramps up Dulles, US Airways cuts back. Clearly they’re each seeing different opportunities with United.

Three Reasons Why Delta Slashed First Class Fares Between New York and the West CoastBNET
Delta made some pretty steep cuts to First Class fares between New York and LA/SF last week. Here’s why I think they did it.

Airlines find coach travelers willing to pay extra for perksChicago Sun Times
This week, the Sun Times took on the issue of fees, and I was asked to comment.

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6 comments on “Cranky on the Web (December 21 – 25)

  1. CF:

    Re: CO/US: Your article makes it look like CO is adding new service between IAH, CLE, and IAD. I can’t speak to CLE, but I do know that CO used to serve IAH-IAD before joining Star. So it really isn’t “new” service in so much as it is resumed service. Maybe you might consider writing a separate article talking about the merits of dropping and resuming service on that route?

    And the more I think about the points you raised in that article, the more it makes me scratch my head… UA has relatively weak European service from IAD (although there’s a bit more when you consider Star overall)… US has a major hub with more substantial European service 90 miles up the road from IAD in PHL, so it looks to me like they would be cannibalizing their PHL operation for no reason, and ergo, the PHX-IAD is dropped.

    But if that’s true, what explains the resumption of IAH-IAD? Just a tad further up the road from PHL lies CO’s hub at EWR, and I can’t imagine that IAD adds anything that EWR doesn’t have. Perhaps CO’s move is a result of none of this, and is merely reacting to the improvements in the economy by resuming previously existing service?

    (Note: UA does have South American service from IAD, but I can’t imagine that folks coming from PHX/IAH would use a northeastern hub for that connection.)

  2. CF:

    Re: Paying extra for more legroom. Yeah, I happen to agree with you on that one. I can’t figure out why the airlines, especially UA, haven’t figured out this one a long time ago. As a previous frequent flier, I like having the ability to pay for things that are important to me, yet no longer have available because of my lack of status. And hey, paying $350 for UA’s annual E+ access pass beats making mileage runs!

  3. Dan wrote:

    Your article makes it look like CO is adding new service between IAH, CLE, and IAD. I can’t speak to CLE, but I do know that CO used to serve IAH-IAD before joining Star.

    Fair enough. The routes were both previously served, but they were suspended about a year ago. I highly doubt that we would see these routes coming back without the Star connection. When a merger between CO and UA was discussed, there was no discussion of walking away from Newark or Dulles. They would most likely run a dual hub operation. There is a ton of local traffic in Newark and good government traffic in Dulles. But for connections, it’s great to be able to offer another flight option. Remember, they’re going to be sharing the revenue on all these routes, so it’s really just a way to offer more frequency. For US Airways, they aren’t part of that agreement, so there is a detriment to directing traffic to a Star partner.

  4. Cranky — are you sure about UA disallowing upgrades on p.s.? My understanding is that p.s. flights aren’t included in the automatic “free” unlimited upgrades program for elites, but 1Ks can still earn and redeem CR1s (regional upgrades) and anyone can upgrade with miles. Their website confirms my understanding (see Route Exclusions):,6867,53214,00.html

  5. @ Oliver:
    Looks like you’re right. I had forgotten that the CR1s were brought back, but yes, it does appear to be right. Thanks for the correction.

  6. On the CR1 thing — it’s only for 1Ks, and only two per quarter that you fly 10k miles or more, so if you’re a weekly p.s. commuter, you’re not going to have enough CR1s to upgrade every flight. But then, I sort of understand that UA wants you to actually buy those seats ;)

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