Going My Way

By | July 30, 2006

The first step in being an intelligent flyer is knowing who flies where you want to go. In an ideal world, we’d all be able to get nonstops everywhere, but sometimes this isn’t the case. I once encountered someone who had an itinerary which read New York to Boston to Philadelphia. No one wants to do this, but if it meant saving money…

Airlines organize their service on a hub and spoke model…Their flights go outward like the spokes of a wheel from a central point…These are the most likely places you will have to pass through. There is also the lesser focus city or hublet, where an airline tries to build up its presence in a city. Northwest tried this not long ago in Indianapolis. Airlines also abandon hubs. USAirways downgraded BWI and Pittsburgh from hubs as a result of rising competition from Southwest. Delta removed Dallas Fort Worth as a hub and industry analysts predict Cincinatti is next.

These things are constantly in flux. But know where your players base themselves:

1. Continental – Newark, Cleveland, and Houston Intercontinental

2. Delta – Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Cincinatti
3. American – Miami, Chicago O’hare and Dallas Fort Worth

4. United – Washington Dulles, Denver and Chicago O’hare

5. USAirways – Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Las Vegas

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.