Holiday weekend air traffic down, car travel up

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, May 29, 2012.

  1. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    US is also down .5% YOY.

    So essentially, YOY growth for the industry is flat. The increases seen at other carriers are likely people shifting travel behaviors.

    The greatest threat to American freedom of movement would seem to be TSA, but I don't have any hard data to back that up. :rolleyes:
  2. patom

    patom Original Member

    I've been severly curtailing my flight activity to "must do" trips. Flew to AUS on Thursday and back yesterday to attend a funeral. Some other old friends when they got the word on Monday set out by car from the Washington, D. C. area. The gentleman, a retired LEO, told me he absolutely will not fly. I too would have made the trip by car if I could have departed early enough to make the sevices on Friday.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  3. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I posted a similar observation last year but will do so again:

    I am in a flight path to EWR. While in past years, I used to be awakened in the early morning by noise from incoming flights, that doesn't happen any more. It is no longer plane after plane after plane flying over my house; there are fewer planes overhead than there were last year. Further, when I look up when I'm outside, the planes that I do see are smaller than in the past; seldom does one see a behemoth overhead.

    Further, a couple of days ago, I took a short road trip and tried to look at license plates. I was never more than 25 miles from home as the crow flies, but I saw license plates from: CA, WA, TX, AZ, KY, MO, IL, IN in addition to the out-of-state plates normally seen in this area.
    Lisa Simeone and barbell like this.
  4. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    To be fair to EWR, while it was the crown jewel of CO's network, it now has to compete with its sister IAD hub, and Star Alliance partner PHL hub. That might explain some of the reduction in traffic, but not all. It certainly is a valid observation.

    It's funny because I made a similar observation this morning. I drove through MEM this morning. There were 3, yes 3, aircraft parked at the passenger gates, at 7 on a Friday morning in the summer. That's not a sign of a robust travel economy. To be fair to MEM, much of DL's post-merger traffic has moved to ATL. However, there should be more than 3 aircraft on a Friday morning. As a comparison, this time last year every single gate was occupied, and I've made this observation about this airport several times.

    Additionally, they're completing an update project on a ginormous new control tower, building huge new parking garages to move rental facilities into the airport from off-site, and completely redoing the entrances into the airport. All of this, and the place is a ghost town. I counted 7 cars dropping off passengers this morning. Yeah, good luck with that.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  5. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Weird - I took my girlfriend to MDW this morning and it was actually sort of packed. I'm chalking it up to Chicago being a big city and it being a Friday, so people would be going on weekend trips, but I've also noticed the OOS license-plate thing. I've seen some pretty distant states represented around here. You see a lot of FL plates just because of the snowbirds but that's nothing new. The Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington state plates, though, are far more prevalent than they once were. Seen a couple of Cali plates, too, and even one...wait for it...Hawaii plate.

    How the (expletive deleted) much do you have to hate TSA to put your car on a ferry from Hawaii and drive all the way to Chicago instead of flying?

    "Oh, people trust TSA, people aren't complaining, we keep you safe." Uh-huh. *loud raspberry* Tell me another one.
  6. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I'm going to make my license plate one of those out of state plates. Land yatch is full of fresh oil, safety checked, ready to load and go.
    Screw the airlines!
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Northwest always scheduled MEM in waves -- most flights arrive and leave at about the same time -- so as to maximize its utility as a connecting hub. It was not unusual for it to be sparsely populated between waves.

    Still it's so close to ATL that I would expect it to go the way of CVG over time.
  8. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Indeed. I'm used to that phenomenon having been through HP's PHX hub at all hours of the day.

    I'm 15 minutes from MEM. The waves aren't really that big anymore. I think I read on that MEM is now at around 100 departures daily. I think US may still have more flights than that at PIT.
  9. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    So had bad does it have to get before the travel industry does something?
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    MEM downsizing is a side effect of the NW/DL merger. It was a Republic hub inherited by NW but is very close to DL's main ATL hub.

    CVG was weak for O & D traffic (esp. the international flights) but was also hit hard when DL started de-emphasizing 50-seaters. I absolutely hated being stuck in CVG Concourse C (the Barbie Jet farm) for any length of time, and their Lounge hours were tuned for the A & B concourses.

    Here is a photo from 2007 taken in Delta's CVG tower -- Cholula is the short guy in the middle, I am standing behind him:

  11. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    They will never admit it is due to TSA.

    They will need to find a convenient scapegoat like fuel, labor, decreased demand due to economy. TSA will never be taken into the equation.

    Indeed, they are all engaged in Merger Mania to some degree at this moment. It's about getting bigger and bigger, and reducing capacity to alter the current supply/demand ratio in their favor. Once that dust settles, who knows? A failing airline is a good target for a competitor to inherit assets.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Really, really, really bad.

    The majors have all come out of bankruptcy (exc. CO which has been there a couple times & was well managed in recent years) or are there now. Delta's been sitting on billions in cash reserves.

    The failure of any one airline will make things temporarily better for the survivors, so as long as you're not the next to go, who cares?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  13. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    That's really depressing. :(
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  14. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Overall the enplanements have declined ~4% each year since 2009. Lately I've seen references to flight capacity, e.g. 90% full flights instead of overall head counts.

    Since there are substantially fewer flights out there tghe remaining flights are more crowded. Crowded flights, involuntary bumps and surly FAs should really help the industry.
  15. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    What was happening in 2009? The scanners weren't out in force until Nov. of 2010 (which is when I quit flying). For all of 2009 it seemed 'business as usual' -- at least on the west coast.....
  16. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The airlines still have to report that data to DOT, which publishes it: Air Travel Consumer Reports for 2012

    The latest report is June, 2012, covering the 12 months ending with April, 2012.

    Up a level in their directory reports are available for the last 14 years: Air Travel Consumer Report
  17. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Ouch! Looks like the waves are at risk of becoming ripples ...

    Commercial Appeal: Delta Air Lines to cut another 25 flights at Memphis International Airport

    Assuming flights leaving from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., this gives them an average of 9 flights / hour.

    A number of us predicted that DL+NW will shrink to much less than the sum of its parts, and this seems to be happening.
  18. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    And the suits still don't get the message that TSA is the reason why people don't fly?
  19. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    They're in denial. Like half of the USA.
  20. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Yet look at the doofus news articles claiming that a crush of airline passengers over the next six or eight years absolutely requires us to to build strip search tunnels so we can be peeked at while on the move. Fr*king liars.

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