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Another airline pulls out of MSP-ORD

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"United One-Seventy Eight Heavy, taxi into position and hold, Three-Five-Left..."

I can't count how many times I heard that call from ATC, waiting to take off from Denver's Stapleton, on my way home from Denver to New York JFK, in the seventies...

I wonder if they still offer that on an audio channel?

They used to do it for take off and landing on a movie channel, but on one flight, the Cap left it on the whole way. Interesting hearing the 'handoffs' from the Denver Center to the Minneapolis Center to the Chicago Center, to the Cleveland Center, to the New York Center, and then to the New York Tracon. :cool:

Edited by railiner

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I really need to find a way to get a ride on this sexy beast before they're all gone...

Me too! They remind me of one of my favorites...the DC-8-61 and 63....With their long, long fuselage, and relatively small tail, they look like trains when seen taxiing, when you see them from the vantage point of a taxiway underpass....And on the inside, the cabin seems to go on endlessly.

 

I've ridden DC-9's but DC-8's were before my time. The extended length variants always looked interesting but I've only ever seen them in photographs.

 

 

"United One-Seventy Eight Heavy, taxi into position and hold, Three-Five-Left..."

I can't count how many times I heard that call from ATC, waiting to take off from Denver's Stapleton, on my way home from Denver to New York JFK, in the seventies... I wonder if they still offer that on an audio channel? They used to do it for take off and landing on a movie channel, but on one flight, the Cap left it on the whole way. Interesting hearing the 'handoffs' from the Denver Center to the Minneapolis Center to the Chicago Center, to the Cleveland Center, to the New York Center, and then to the New York Tracon.

Prior to the UA/CO merger the ATC audio feed generally remained intact on UA mainline hardware. From a functional perspective it was often disabled unless and until a passenger specifically requested activation from a sometimes agreeable captain via an occasionally willing flight attendant. After the merger with CO the CH9 ATC feed was eventually lost to a sea of mixed fleets and staffing pools. Some aircraft never had the ATC feed, some were originally connected but suffered from defective or disabled personal audio circuitry, and others featured elaborate and opaque AVOD menus with no mention of CH9 or ATC.

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I wonder if any airlines still offer that? I suppose you may be able to get some of it now, via a wifi connection to some ATC website...

Another thing I enjoyed, was a front view camera of the takeoff on an ANA 747 I flew from Tokyo to Hong Kong back around 2,000. :)

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I wonder if any airlines still offer that? I suppose you may be able to get some of it now, via a wifi connection to some ATC website...

Another thing I enjoyed, was a front view camera of the takeoff on an ANA 747 I flew from Tokyo to Hong Kong back around 2,000. :)

 

Hard to say for sure but having flown 35 other airlines I've yet to see or hear of a similar service mentioned anywhere else. I looked for CH9 on a UA 788 but couldn't find anything and the FA didn't seem to understand what I was talking about. I gave up on CH9 before flying UA's 789. I could be wrong but I don't think the ATC feed was ever setup to interface with digital media systems. I would also not expect ATC over onboard WiFi to be very practical. Many audio streams are blocked, when allowed they're often choppy and delayed due to network interference and overhead, and in general aircraft WiFi isn't turned on during most of the heavy ATC action anyway. Unfortunately the use of portable radio scanners remains banned on commercial airlines serving the US market. On the plus side passenger accessible external cameras remain available on larger Boeing aircraft and have become standard equipment on many Airbus widebodies.

 

More recent and detailed information on UA's CH9 can be found here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/922470-consolidated-channel-9-availability-discussion-thread-merged-8.html

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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"Prior to deregulation, airline service was barely a skeleton of what we see today...", you stated. I disagree. Using my home airport as an example, prior to deregulation, we had L-1011 service to the West Coast: LAX-DAY-IND-LAX. More non-stop flights on planes, including jets, that were larger and more comfortable than the regional jets of today. An AA non-stop 727 flight to LGA with a good dinner(!) in Coach. We were a hub airport with many non-stop choices for Piedmont Airlines including flights to/from Boston with meal service in Coach.

 

This is exactly why service changed. Putting in large airports into small cities and serving hot meals to every passenger is just not sustainable anymore. DAY is not big enough to sustain a hub anymore either. That said, the regional jets of today are more comfortable than they were. I see only a couple of flights on the CRJ-200 (50 seater) but quite a bit of service on the larger 70-76 seaters that offer 1st class, extra legroom, etc with either buy on board meals and some meals for first class for the longer flights. That ERJ-175 is a pretty nice ride and I prefer that to most Airbus and 737's even. All those services are still available if you don't mind paying for them. Probably similar to the amount you payed during regulation.

 

 

DAY has not quite a skeleton service, yet. But, if the reduction/elimination of TSA security check points take place as has been proposed very recently, our air service will be negatively affected, in my opinion. Only Delta is flying larger jets and that is only on the DAY-ATL itinerary. Deregulation has promoted the rise of the budget airlines and lowered the fares so that flying is now like traveling by bus was when I was in college. But, even airports such as DAY have suffered the loss of some of these budget airlines. You may disagree with this statement if you wish. But, my hometown airport is very much under served given the tax payer's money that has been spent in building and maintaining and improving our airport.

 

I don't think the TSA cuts are going to happen at all, but even if they did, I doubt DAY would lose the TSA, since most of the flights there are on jets larger than 60 passengers seats.

 

Looking at DAY passenger totals, they have indeed lost passenger in recent years. A peak of 1.4 million in 2010 down to a measly 950,000 in 2017. It's hard to say why, but my guess is that CVG has grown quite a bit since Delta shrunk it's hub and now LCC's have finally entered the CVG market. Perhaps CVG is stealing your passengers. Back when Delta had the huge hub, they increased prices so much that people would buy a ticket on Delta from DAY and just make the drive there and then connect right back through CVG again. On the way home, they'd just skip the last flight back to DAY.

 

Part of the problem with deregulation, is the constant merging of carrier's, and consequently the closing of many hubs, or reducing service drastically. Look at what happened to St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Nashville, Las Vegas, Reno, etc....all just from AA merger's and acquisition's....add to them the other hubs suffering from similar on DL, and UA....

 

Nashville is the 4th fastest growing airport in the US right now. It has added British Airway recently. Raleigh is now a mini-Delta hub with a flight to Paris. AA still has a flight to London. RDU has carried more passengers now than ever at 11.6 million in 2017. Pittsburgh did add British Airways as well.

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That said, the regional jets of today are more comfortable than they were. I see only a couple of flights on the CRJ-200 (50 seater) but quite a bit of service on the larger 70-76 seaters that offer 1st class, extra legroom, etc with either buy on board meals and some meals for first class for the longer flights. That ERJ-175 is a pretty nice ride and I prefer that to most Airbus and 737's even. All those services are still available if you don't mind paying for them. Probably similar to the amount you payed during regulation.

In my experience coach seats and legroom on today's regional jets are substantially less comfortable than the previous generation of mainline aircraft which they replaced. In many cases First Class on regional jets has been reduced to three rows or less with reduced pitch and recline. What we call premium economy today is tight and compact compared to standard coach seats of the past.

 

 

 

Part of the problem with deregulation, is the constant merging of carrier's, and consequently the closing of many hubs, or reducing service drastically. Look at what happened to St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Nashville, Las Vegas, Reno, etc....all just from AA merger's and acquisition's....add to them the other hubs suffering from similar on DL, and UA....

Nashville is the 4th fastest growing airport in the US right now. It has added British Airway recently. Raleigh is now a mini-Delta hub with a flight to Paris. AA still has a flight to London. RDU has carried more passengers now than ever at 11.6 million in 2017. Pittsburgh did add British Airways as well.

 

 

How does having a vanity flight to London or Paris help the vast majority of American passengers? How does having British Airways at your airport help you with the other 99% of flights that don't go anywhere near England or Europe? Your post sounds just like an airport marketing report full of cherry picked stats that sound great but mean nothing to most travelers.

Regarding Nashville...

 

The states 2018 budget included $1 million for the London flight, and another $500,000 was dedicated to the project. Metro government committed $500,000 and the airport dedicated $1 million in marketing over two years.

I hope they get their money's worth.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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How does having a vanity flight to London or Paris help the vast majority of American passengers? How does having British Airways at your airport help you with the other 99% of flights that don't go anywhere near England or Europe? Your post sounds just like an airport marketing report full of cherry picked stats that sound great but mean nothing to most travelers.

Are we talking most travelers, or just you and where you want to go? Because a lot of travelers like going to/from Europe and last I checked doing it in two legs (direct LHR/CDG, then connect to the rest of the EU)is definitely easier than three (EWR/JFK/ORD/IAD, then LHR/CDG/AMS, then connecting).

 

 

Something I was going to add before this started going off topic, but both LSE-ORD and MSP-MKE are single airline routes.

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How does having a vanity flight to London or Paris help the vast majority of American passengers? How does having British Airways at your airport help you with the other 99% of flights that don't go anywhere near England or Europe? Your post sounds just like an airport marketing report full of cherry picked stats that sound great but mean nothing to most travelers.

Are we talking most travelers, or just you and where you want to go? Because a lot of travelers like going to/from Europe and last I checked doing it in two legs (direct LHR/CDG, then connect to the rest of the EU)is definitely easier than three (EWR/JFK/ORD/IAD, then LHR/CDG/AMS, then connecting).

 

Less than half of Americans have a passport, fewer still ever travel to Europe, and those that do are unlikely to book a less-than-daily vanity flight from Nashville. I've yet to meet anyone who was dying to visit Europe but refused to book a flight because it was two connections instead of one. Most of the people I know are more concerned about when to go and how much it will cost than how many connections they can avoid. We have a British Airways flight in Austin despite the fact that DFW and IAH are less than a hour away by plane. By the time I drove to AUS I could be half way to landing at a major gateway so even in the case of traveling directly to England Austin's British Airways flight has never made any sense. These flights may look prestigious now but they're not sustainable and when the next recession hits these traveler and taxpayer funded vanity links will simply pack it up and fly away.

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"Prior to deregulation, airline service was barely a skeleton of what we see today...", you stated. I disagree. Using my home airport as an example, prior to deregulation, we had L-1011 service to the West Coast: LAX-DAY-IND-LAX. More non-stop flights on planes, including jets, that were larger and more comfortable than the regional jets of today. An AA non-stop 727 flight to LGA with a good dinner(!) in Coach. We were a hub airport with many non-stop choices for Piedmont Airlines including flights to/from Boston with meal service in Coach.

 

This is exactly why service changed. Putting in large airports into small cities and serving hot meals to every passenger is just not sustainable anymore. DAY is not big enough to sustain a hub anymore either. That said, the regional jets of today are more comfortable than they were. I see only a couple of flights on the CRJ-200 (50 seater) but quite a bit of service on the larger 70-76 seaters that offer 1st class, extra legroom, etc with either buy on board meals and some meals for first class for the longer flights. That ERJ-175 is a pretty nice ride and I prefer that to most Airbus and 737's even. All those services are still available if you don't mind paying for them. Probably similar to the amount you payed during regulation.

 

 

DAY has not quite a skeleton service, yet. But, if the reduction/elimination of TSA security check points take place as has been proposed very recently, our air service will be negatively affected, in my opinion. Only Delta is flying larger jets and that is only on the DAY-ATL itinerary. Deregulation has promoted the rise of the budget airlines and lowered the fares so that flying is now like traveling by bus was when I was in college. But, even airports such as DAY have suffered the loss of some of these budget airlines. You may disagree with this statement if you wish. But, my hometown airport is very much under served given the tax payer's money that has been spent in building and maintaining and improving our airport.

 

I don't think the TSA cuts are going to happen at all, but even if they did, I doubt DAY would lose the TSA, since most of the flights there are on jets larger than 60 passengers seats.

 

Looking at DAY passenger totals, they have indeed lost passenger in recent years. A peak of 1.4 million in 2010 down to a measly 950,000 in 2017. It's hard to say why, but my guess is that CVG has grown quite a bit since Delta shrunk it's hub and now LCC's have finally entered the CVG market. Perhaps CVG is stealing your passengers. Back when Delta had the huge hub, they increased prices so much that people would buy a ticket on Delta from DAY and just make the drive there and then connect right back through CVG again. On the way home, they'd just skip the last flight back to DAY.

 

Part of the problem with deregulation, is the constant merging of carrier's, and consequently the closing of many hubs, or reducing service drastically. Look at what happened to St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Nashville, Las Vegas, Reno, etc....all just from AA merger's and acquisition's....add to them the other hubs suffering from similar on DL, and UA....

 

Nashville is the 4th fastest growing airport in the US right now. It has added British Airway recently. Raleigh is now a mini-Delta hub with a flight to Paris. AA still has a flight to London. RDU has carried more passengers now than ever at 11.6 million in 2017. Pittsburgh did add British Airways as well.

 

I couldn't agree more with literally everything you just said. Just "liking" this post is insufficient.

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Interesting topic with good points made by all.

 

I agree with Chris about the Vanity Flights,since,as he says, they are not sustainable and require huge subsidies ( supplied by the users and citizens through Fees and taxes) that could better be spent on in country service ( sort of like Amtrak and VIA) which is booming here.

 

I live in Austin, and even though Austin has had several International Flights through the years to various Countries by various Airlines, none have lasted long, even though Austin's too small airport is very busy and growing like topsy.

 

Most people I know here who travel to International destinations make connections @ DFW or IAH as Chris says.

Edited by Bob Dylan

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Part of the problem with deregulation, is the constant merging of carrier's, and consequently the closing of many hubs, or reducing service drastically. Look at what happened to St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Nashville, Las Vegas, Reno, etc....all just from AA merger's and acquisition's....add to them the other hubs suffering from similar on DL, and UA....

 

Nashville is the 4th fastest growing airport in the US right now. It has added British Airway recently. Raleigh is now a mini-Delta hub with a flight to Paris. AA still has a flight to London. RDU has carried more passengers now than ever at 11.6 million in 2017. Pittsburgh did add British Airways as well.

 

I am not aware of the overall operation of those three airports currently, so I will accept your points. I was referring to AA, which at one time had minihubs at Raleigh and Nashville, and its former US Air had a major hub at Pittsburgh. No longer true at any of those.

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saxman is correct about the passenger switching that has gone on between CVG and DAY over the years and it all has to do with price paid by the passenger.

 

As a taxpayer, the thing that gripes me is the money that has been spent to pay the bonds sold to make the airport facilities suitable for a hub airport--which it was. And, more money that was spent to construct a third concourse for use by Delta which was mothballed after a brief period of time when it was used. It is a very much underutilized facility that has more than enough unused gates for additional flights. Money is now being spent to improve the physical plant and, I guess, the "attractiveness" of the facility. Good runways with good approaches are available. Availability of parking is good. "Easy in; Easy out" is airport's marketing slogan, and it is!

 

The airport is not physically set-up for international flights where incoming passengers could be easily kept separate from others until after Customs/Immigration. (That may have been the plan for the mothballed concourse, I don't know.)

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I've yet to meet anyone who was dying to visit Europe but refused to book a flight because it was two connections instead of one. Most of the people I know are more concerned about when to go and how much it will cost than how many connections they can avoid.

You're talking to the wrong people in the wrong segment. For those of us who fly business, and for those businesses who employ us, this is a huge deal. Or go ask anyone working in the tourism industry what it means to a city the more connections it gets.

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saxman is correct about the passenger switching that has gone on between CVG and DAY over the years and it all has to do with price paid by the passenger.

 

As a taxpayer, the thing that gripes me is the money that has been spent to pay the bonds sold to make the airport facilities suitable for a hub airport--which it was. And, more money that was spent to construct a third concourse for use by Delta which was mothballed after a brief period of time when it was used. It is a very much underutilized facility that has more than enough unused gates for additional flights. Money is now being spent to improve the physical plant and, I guess, the "attractiveness" of the facility. Good runways with good approaches are available. Availability of parking is good. "Easy in; Easy out" is airport's marketing slogan, and it is!

 

The airport is not physically set-up for international flights where incoming passengers could be easily kept separate from others until after Customs/Immigration. (That may have been the plan for the mothballed concourse, I don't know.)

You are correct, price is the reason. Going to Cincinnati, I used to fly to Dayton because it was much cheaper than CVG. I also used to fly to Columbus on Southwest, because it was cheaper even including the rental car charges.

 

CVG is much more competitive now.

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How does having a vanity flight to London or Paris help the vast majority of American passengers? How does having British Airways at your airport help you with the other 99% of flights that don't go anywhere near England or Europe? Your post sounds just like an airport marketing report full of cherry picked stats that sound great but mean nothing to most travelers.

Regarding Nashville...

 

The states 2018 budget included $1 million for the London flight, and another $500,000 was dedicated to the project. Metro government committed $500,000 and the airport dedicated $1 million in marketing over two years.

I hope they get their money's worth.

 

 

Cherry picking data? I'm trying to decide how stating the passenger counts of a few airports is cherry picking? I mention the addition of overseas flights to smaller markets because I think it is an interesting fact that others on here might also find interesting. Cities such as Austin, Nashville, Raleigh etc, are growing and booming right now among others. So I'm not surprised to see additional flights being added. BA is using the 787 exactly as it was designed to do; serve long thinner markets on small fuel efficient aircraft. I'm not sure what the definition of a "Vanity Flight" is, but I'll point out a few more. Delta serves RDU, PIT, and IND with flights to Paris. IND starts soon. BA is also starting PIT and started MSY last year. It does seem weird that the state of Tennessee put in $1.5 million and I do wonder if they would have started service without it. We'll see how it goes.

 

 

 

I've yet to meet anyone who was dying to visit Europe but refused to book a flight because it was two connections instead of one. Most of the people I know are more concerned about when to go and how much it will cost than how many connections they can avoid. We have a British Airways flight in Austin despite the fact that DFW and IAH are less than a hour away by plane. By the time I drove to AUS I could be half way to landing at a major gateway so even in the case of traveling directly to England Austin's British Airways flight has never made any sense. These flights may look prestigious now but they're not sustainable and when the next recession hits these traveler and taxpayer funded vanity links will simply pack it up and fly away.

 

You live far from AUS, so it makes sense that you would also look into connecting to another city. But did you also talk to other few million that live closer to AUS that make actually take the flight? There are business travelers too. I'm sure the marketing department at BA kinda knows what they are doing. You do realize the AUS-LHR flight has been upgauged to a 747-400 for peak seasons. It must be doing well.

 

 

 

 

I agree with Chris about the Vanity Flights,since,as he says, they are not sustainable and require huge subsidies ( supplied by the users and citizens through Fees and taxes) that could better be spent on in country service ( sort of like Amtrak and VIA) which is booming here. I live in Austin, and even though Austin has had several International Flights through the years to various Countries by various Airlines, none have lasted long, even though Austin's too small airport is very busy and growing like topsy. Most people I know here who travel to International destinations make connections @ DFW or IAH as Chris says.
Still not sure what a vanity flight is, but none of these flights are subsidized. (Aside from Nashville) Austin is the fastest growing airport now and saying most passengers connect to DFW or IAH is like saying most people drive to Houston or Dallas, therefore we shouldn't have a train.
Edited by saxman

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Good points Chris,you're mostly right about Austin,but my real point was about "Vanity Flights" that require subsidies and New Fees, and all the Marketing Hype that Airport boosters put out when New Flights to International Destinations start, and then dont last, as has happened numerous times here in River City!

 

IMO, our too Small, Booming Airport would be better served by putting their money into expansion and better service to Major Hub Airports.( compare the Fares from Austin and DFW or IAH to International Destinations. )YMMV

Edited by Bob Dylan

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Well this has gotten off-topic as usual. But my point on the MSP-ORD market is that NK pulling out means the market is smaller than people think, not bigger, and does not need additional entrants. The current airlines have enough competition; it's far from a monopoly. I thought NK is hated by most AUers anyway.

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I'm not sure what the definition of a "Vanity Flight" is, but I'll point out a few more.

Sounds like you have a pretty good idea about vanity flights whether you're willing to admit it or not. ^_^

 

 

Still not sure what a vanity flight is, but none of these flights are subsidized.

Five minutes of quick and dirty googling found the following subsidies...

 

Raleigh - Paris: $2.85 million

Nashville - London: $3 million

Pittsburg - London : $3 million

New Orleans - London: $4.2 million

Indianpolis - Paris: $5.5 million

Pittsburg - Paris: $9 million

 

To be clear these figures are rarely reported in precise terms and they're generally spread across various subsidies, performance incentives, advertising campaigns, and backstop guarantees from municipal, state, and airport budgets. In most cases the incentives only last a few years but recouping millions in giveaways is never guaranteed and although the B787 is very agile and efficient it's not a miracle worker. When the subsidies run out and the industry constricts again (market downturn, violent sectarian attack, international pandemic) the B787 will pack up and leave for greener pastures as yet another frequency between larger hubs with stronger connections of similar relevance.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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You are correct in the fact that airports routinely provide incentives to carriers to provide services, LI agencies have been trying to get domestic carriers to stick it out at MacArthur, and haven't succeeded. Sometimes it is to improve image, sometimes to bolster tourism/travel, and very often to add greater relevance to an airport that has lost a number of flights. Pittsburgh struggled with US Air/AA knocking out the hub, Jetblue tried pretty hard and didn't get anywhere, having some Europe flights gives airlines a reason to have flights connect there. Pretty nice airport, handles half as much traffic as it once did. I have not read the articles yet, but I believe a lawsuit was announced today involving the PIT subsidies to One Jet.

Edited by PVD

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