Cranky on the Web – Delta’s Shrinking Hub, Triage When Things Get Tough

CVG - Cincinnati, Delta

Delta downsizing flights to 14 more citiesCincinnati Enquirer
I was asked when I thought the Delta hub in Cincinnati would be gone now that more cuts are company. I responded that it’s already gone.

In the Trenches: Triage During a Difficult SituationSmall Business Center
And I thought letting someone go was tough. Try having another person leave with no notice right after.

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9 comments on “Cranky on the Web – Delta’s Shrinking Hub, Triage When Things Get Tough

  1. “You can imagine how surprised I was when I received an email from him 20 minutes before his shift saying he was resigning and he was giving absolutely no notice. He wouldn’t even be working that day. My initial reaction was one of anger”

    Imagine the blog post the employee who was fired the week before might have written about his experience. Would it have been similar? ;)

  2. Everyone in the CVG area should have known CVG was going to be reduced in size after the NW/DL merger with DTW being so close and a big international gateway.

    1. I don’t think it was that obvious. Either CVG or DTW was going to lose the hub, but it wasn’t so clear which one.

      1. Yeah… I did some work on this for my grad school masters thesis in 2008. Of the seven hubs, DTW had the lowest O&D fares. CVG not only had the highest fares, but highest in the nation. Combine that with high fuel prices and CVG being a more efficient connecting point for most flows (I think I calculated a 7% advantage), I didn’t think it was obvious at all.

        Now you start getting into semantics about “what’s a hub” (how many flights) and all of that.

        One drawback is that I couldn’t get international fare data, I’m not sure how much that skews things.

  3. As someone who lived in the area for several years until recently, I am not a fan of CVG. Getting to/from CVG and from parking lot or curb to gate takes far too long for an airport of that size. For many of the wealthier residents and companies in the northern suburbs (around and north of the peak of the 275 loop), going to CVG at any time close to rush hour or a big time is a risk and a potential long time in traffic. DAY is about the same drive, much cheaper and much easier to get from curb to gate. From curb to gate, and I will admit that this is probably because of the former-hub status, CVG tends to be slow and a bit of a walk for an airport of its current size.

    Also keep in mind that Columbus, Dayton, Indianapolis, Lexington, and Louisville are all somewhat smaller cities that are a ~2 hour drive or less from Cincinnati, with fares that are often much cheaper (side note: back in the days of the hub, people from Cincy used to drive to Dayton for a flight to CVG and a connection there to save money, instead of flying out of CVG directly), and with airlines other than the big 3.

    The one thing that CVG gets right, IMHO (or got right, at least; I haven’t used it in almost 2 years) was economy parking. Go through a booth, an attendant tells you which row to park in and radios the location and a description of your car to the shuttle driver. By the time you have parked and pulled your bags out of the car, the shuttle driver is at your side and helping with the bags, then gives you a ticket he has filled out that tells you which row you parked in. Meanwhile, as the shuttle driver drops people off in front of their vehicles (pax hand him their parking slips as the shuttle picks them up from the airport curb), he tells the attendant in the booth the locations of empty parking spaces that are closest to the entrance/exit, and the cycle continues. This for ~$7 a day. All in all, it is an incredibly convenient and efficient system for a large economy lot, at least from the point of view of a consumer, and is not something one would expect at a cheap airport-run economy lot. Honestly, I am jealous that I did not think of that system, and hope whoever did was well rewarded.

  4. “Delta’s lease on CVG’s Concourse B and the ticketing desk doesn’t expire until 2020. At the end of this year, CVG’s contract with all airlines expires. In the current contract, Delta has major control over decision-making at the airport, allowing the airline to have major control over ticket prices.”

    It takes a few leaps of faith in logic to reach that conclusion….

  5. Cincinnati is my hometown airport. I was delayed out of Houston on Delta last Friday due to weather. The plane, originally full was only a quarter full once it finally took off. The agent said they transferred the connections through other hubs.

    While I don’t doubt that the hub days may be numbered, Delta is still running CVG as a hub.

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