And the Nominees for the 2024 Cranky Network Awards are…

Cranky Network Awards

It’s that time of year again. When the calendar turns over, that means it’s time to announce the nominees for the Cranky Network Awards. This year’s fourth annual celebration is presented by Oakland International Airport and will take place on February 22.

As always, we aim to award the best in US/Canada airline network planning. This includes everything that was announced in 2023 regardless of when it started flying.

Enough of these caveats. Let’s announce this year’s nominees.

Sexiest New Route – Short-Haul

  • Anchorage – San Diego on Alaska
  • Atlanta – Curaçao on Delta
  • Los Angeles – Nassau on JetBlue
  • New Haven – San Juan on Avelo
  • Ottawa – Las Vegas on Flair

Sexiest New Route – Long-Haul

  • Atlanta – Nice on Delta
  • Montréal – Marrakech on Air Transat
  • Munich – Seattle on Lufthansa
  • Newark – Faro on United
  • Vancouver – Dubai on Air Canada

Calculated Risk Award

  • Allegiant for its return to Orlando (MCO)
  • American for its focus on Southern US hubs
  • Delta for its Austin expansion
  • Southwest for moving its Florida international gateway from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando
  • United for investing heavily in long-haul growth

Most Clever Flight Number

  • Alaska 777: San Diego – Washington/Dulles
  • American 3846: College Station – Miami
  • Flair 1512: Calgary – Las Vegas
  • JetBlue 72: Edinburgh – New York/JFK
  • Sun Country 1916: Missoula – Minneapolis/St Paul

Best Airport Partner

  • Abe Weber, Appleton International Airport (ATW)
  • Janet Fischer, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation (HDN)
  • Joe Rotterdam, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Julie Curtis, South Bend International Airport (SBN)
  • Paul Forde, Winnipeg Airports Authority (YWG)

Best Aircraft-Enabled Opportunity

  • Anchorage – New York/JFK on Alaska
  • Calgary – Keflavik on WestJet
  • Cincinnati – San Francisco on Breeze
  • Montréal – Marrakech on Air Transat
  • New York/JFK – Amsterdam on JetBlue

Most Promising New Partnership presented by Pittsburgh International Airport

  • Alaska and Hawaiian (merger)
  • American and Dallas/Fort Worth (new terminal development)
  • JetBlue and both Allegiant and Frontier (asset divestitures)
  • Porter and Air Transat (new joint venture)
  • United, Lufthansa, and Deutsche Bahn (multimodal)

Best New Destination

  • Christchurch on United
  • Nuuk on Air Greenland
  • Salem (OR) on Avelo
  • Tijuana on American
  • Tulum on Air Canada, American, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit, and United

Most Improved Network presented by Oakland International Airport

  • JetBlue (European growth)
  • Lynx (US expansion)
  • Porter (Embraer E2 growth markets)
  • Southwest (additional frequency across the network)
  • United (Pacific expansion)

There are two more categories returning from last year that do not have nominees but rather have a pre-ordained winner. We won’t announce those winners in advance, but you can see the categories here. 

  • Network Victory Award presented by Boeing – honoring a larger successful network achievement
  • Route Victory Award – honoring a single route’s success

We are also working on one or two more, including one that we’re putting together with Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport that will be a new one this year.

Some of those flight numbers are easy to understand while others… maybe not so much. But we’ll talk more about what they all mean when we hold the awards. This year won’t be streamed, but we will have a wrap-up video to share in addition to all the winners.

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19 comments on “And the Nominees for the 2024 Cranky Network Awards are…

    1. I don’t know about the flight number but this sounds to me like maybe it belongs in the “calculated risk” catagory

  1. For those of us who aren’t so clever, can you please include the explanations for why the flight numbers are so clever? Thank you!

    1. Well, we weren’t going to talk about that now, but I guess since it’s not streaming, it’s probably worth explaining in advance for those playing at home.

      *AS 777 SAN-IAD was in response to United putting a 777 on the SAN-IAD route after Alaska entered the market *AA 3846 CLL-MIA was a gameday flight to honor De’Von Achane from Texas A&M who was drafted in 3rd round, 84th pick, and wore #6 at A&M *F8 1512 is the exact difference in elevation (in feet) between the standard departure gate (E92 at YYC) and the arrival gate (D20 in LAS) *B6 72 EDI-JFK is for the par on St Andrews *SY 1916 MSO-MSP honors the first woman was sent to Congress in 1916, she was representing Missoula

          1. I was (mostly) joking but consider this my vote for AS 777. Spite rules the roost!

      1. Having lived in LA and having been to NAS and multiple places in Hawaii, I can’t imagine any Angeleno wanting to fly twice as far to Nassau as opposed to going to anyplace in Hawaii.

        1. ? LAX-NAS is shorter (not by much) than LAX-HNL.

          Though yes, don’t really see the attraction of the Bahamas vs Hawaii.

  2. I think FAE-SWF by Atlantic Airways can be nominated for sexist new route. Does it miss the chance for being neither short haul nor long haul?

    1. Wany – We thought about that. The cutoff we used was 3,000 miles, and that is 3,024 so it would technically be long-haul. But there were only 5 flights operated in total and… there is nothing sexy about Newburgh. In the end, it just didn’t make the cut.

    1. Angetenar – It’s a narrowbody kind of year on that front. WestJet and Alaska were -8 MAXs, JetBlue and Air Transat were A321LRs, and Breeze was an A220.

  3. Surprised neither Avelo’s Wilmington to Wilmington, nor Breeze’s Charleston to Charleston made it on the shorthaul list!

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