3 Links I Love: United’s Network Brain Trust, BA’s New Suite, Southwest Makes a Deal

This week’s featured link:

Meet the route planners mapping United’s futureCrain’s Chicago Business
Here’s a nice look at the dynamic duo behind United’s recent network strategy. Patrick Quayle (international) and Ankit Gupta (domestic) both came from American and have clearly been having way too much fun getting United’s network in shape.

Two for the road:

BA’s new Collins Club Suite opens Pandora’s Door of questionsRunway Girl Network
After years of watching other airlines pass them by, British Airways has rolled out an impressive new business class seat that will debut this year. John Walton took a deep dive into the seat. I’m sniffing around a couple other angles on this.

Southwest Air, Mechanics Reach Contract Agreement in PrincipleBloomberg
Southwest and its mechanics have reached what seems to be a pretty good deal. Now we have to wait to see if it passes. Most importantly, it should end the shenanigans that are canceling flights and causing problems. Let’s all act shocked when Southwest’s operation instantly starts running better.

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3 Responses to 3 Links I Love: United’s Network Brain Trust, BA’s New Suite, Southwest Makes a Deal

  1. Jim M says:

    Cool United article. I wonder how big the team is that works on this type of strategic planning.

  2. Ron says:

    I found this quote fascinating: “United figured that enough L.A. passengers bound for Denver would be willing to connect through Missoula in return for a lower fare than they would pay for nonstop service.” I’ve seen hub-spoke-hub routings offered for sale, but I didn’t think these were normally discounted.

    Picking an arbitrary date (Wednesday July 17) I see that most LAX–DEN nonstops are priced at $113/143 (basic/regular economy); connections through a hub (SFO) are priced at $225/255; and aside from one connection through a spoke (SEA) which is similarly priced at $202/262, other spoke connections start at $388 (SLC) and go put to $580 (EUG). A connection through Missoula is not offered, because the flight from LAX arrives after the last departure to Denver.

    A separate thing I noticed is that while for nonstop and hub connections (in this case SFO) the difference between basic and regular economy is $30, in the spoke connections there is either no basic economy offered, or else the difference is $60. This suggests that United is not treating LAX–spoke–DEN connections as something to market at a discount. So I’m not quite ready to trust the reporter on this point.

    • I also have found that some of these LAX – Spoke – DEN connections to price more expensively in Basic Economy than Refundable Economy w/advance purchase. I also ran the example within a few days of purchase – figuring that if non-stops are full, they might want to route passengers over a spoke between hubs and still get a decent yield. Prices were still lower on the non-stops. I feel that LAX – DEN is kind of an odd market to cite, yes it probably has big demand, but there is direct competition on this route from WN, F9, AA, and DL. So who is this passenger that is willing to route 3 hours out of the way when they can just fly a competitor?

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