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American to pull out of Chicago Midway

American Airlines will stop flying out of Chicago’s Midway Airport on Sept. 1, according to the Chicago Tribune (free registration). American and subsidiary American Eagle currently offer five daily flights from Chicago Midway to AA’s hub at Dallas/Fort Worth. AA officials wouldn’t confirm to the paper that the airline would end service there, but city aviation officials say the airline notified them of its intent to halt the flights. "They've been in and out of Midway like a yo-yo over the years," airline analyst Michael Boyd says. "This isn't a market that does a whole lot for them." AA, however, will maintain its large hub presence across town at Chicago O’Hare. Even though AA passengers currently account for only 2% of Midway’s total, the Tribune writes the airline’s “departure increases the dominance of discount airlines” at the city’s Southside airport, where Southwest and AirTran are the top two carriers. With AA’s departure, only discounters AirTran and Southwest partner ATA will fly non-stop between Midway and Dallas.

Comments

Wait a second! This runs counter to what AA has said they HAVE to do in Dallas. Isn't Midway as close to downtown as Love is to Dallas...?

Posted by: Jack | May 3, 2006 3:04:01 PM

American likes to keep people guessing as to where they fly.

How is it TheStreet.com is questioning jetBlue's shifts and isn't worried about American? Midway, Love, LaGuardia - Hobby, Kennedy - Phoenix. JFK-Frankfurt got replaced by JFK-Brussels. Makes your head spin. For those of us trying to stay on top of these things American doesn't make it easy.

On the other hand, jetBlue NEVER should have dropped Newark - Tampa so quickly. I believe they didn't put up a decent fight, and I believe there is still opportunity for jetBlue at Newark, especially Las Vegas, Burbank, and Oakland.

I wouldn't be surprised if jetBlue looks at Midway. Problem is JFK-MDW just screams BAD for their goal of improving on-time performance.

Posted by: NYC flyer | May 3, 2006 3:34:59 PM

So, American Airlines is going to pull out of Midway twice.

Posted by: eBob | May 3, 2006 3:51:41 PM

I agree with Jack- this shows how hypocritical AA appears to be. Midway, although small, is definitely a better airport than O'Harre.

Posted by: Will B., Pittsburgh | May 3, 2006 4:15:16 PM

"Isn't Midway as close to downtown as Love is to Dallas...?"

Perhaps, but O'Hare is not nearly as far away as DFW from their respective downtowns. Both Midway & O'Hare are easily accesible by public transit.

Posted by: DeKalb Chris | May 3, 2006 4:20:30 PM

Hold on! Didn't AA jump up and down like a two year old temper tantrum and start Love Field service? Now, they don't want to compete against SW at SW's other big hub at Midway. I'm SOOOOO confused....

Posted by: Robert | May 3, 2006 4:23:02 PM

They dont compete driectly with SWA at MDW, just ATA, and now Airtran also. I could see why they stopped. It was the only route they operated and it was saturated with LCC. Dont want to see them go still.

Posted by: dgb | May 3, 2006 4:30:21 PM

O'Hare isn't what I would necessarily define as "easily accessible." I'd say it is roughly the same time-wise to drive to DFW on a semi-busy day as it is to take the El from the Loop out to ORD on a semi-busy day. If you are driving, it is hands down worse to go to out O'Hare from the downtown area.

Posted by: CHI/DFW | May 3, 2006 4:50:57 PM

I would call a one-seat ride on a rapid transit line "easily accessible". And once you arrive at ORD on the el, you walk right to the check-in counter (or directly through security if you've checked-in online). On the other hand, after you've driven out to DFW, you have to either park your car (or return it, if you are driving a rental) and find your way to the terminal. This adds at least another 15 minutes, making the total time over an hour from downtown Dallas. Or, if you took a taxi, you pay an arm and a leg (instead of $2 for the el). ORD is definitely easier and cheaper to get to than DFW. So, the difference between ORD and MDW is not as stark as the difference between DFW and Love.

Posted by: DeKalb Chris | May 3, 2006 5:29:55 PM

I don't know what you guys & gals think but I haven't seen where Southwest and AirTran have really competed hard against each other. Maybe Baltimore but other than that I haven't seen any other place. Please correct me if I'm wrong because if AirTran and Southwest/ATA are left by themselves the people who use Midway have really nothing to worry about...

Posted by: Jack | May 3, 2006 5:33:40 PM

Yea I think Southwest should demand that AA compete with them there at Midway on their MDW-STL & MDW-MCI flights...(tongue-in-cheek)

Posted by: Jack | May 3, 2006 5:45:25 PM

I think AA and Airtran should beef up service, connecting or not through midway to compete more directly with swa.

Posted by: DGB | May 3, 2006 6:53:25 PM

DeKalb Chris wrote:

"I would call a one-seat ride on a rapid transit line 'easily accessible'. And once you arrive at ORD on the el, you walk right to the check-in counter (or directly through security if you've checked-in online). On the other hand, after you've driven out to DFW, you have to either park your car (or return it, if you are driving a rental) and find your way to the terminal. This adds at least another 15 minutes, making the total time over an hour from downtown Dallas. Or, if you took a taxi, you pay an arm and a leg (instead of $2 for the el)."

Sounds more like a problem with city planning than it does with the airlines (and please folks, don't chime in with "Well, Chicago's a bigger city"...not by THAT much)!

"ORD is definitely easier and cheaper to get to than DFW. So, the difference between ORD and MDW is not as stark as the difference between DFW and Love."

Neither DFW nor Love has decent public transportation serving it, so I don't see why the difference between the two is any greater than in Chicago (where both airports have very good public transportation serving them)!

Jack wrote:

"I don't know what you guys & gals think but I haven't seen where Southwest and AirTran have really competed hard against each other."

As far as I know, the only route that Southwest and AirTran compete directly on is MDW-MCO (a route so heavily-travelled that there's more than enough room for the both of them). I don't think you'll ever see the kind of competition between them that you see between the legacies and discounters in general...the discounters don't seem to be quite as territorial as the legacies.

I guess it makes sense...

If you run a lemonade stand and a guy opens his own stand down the street serving lemonade of similar quality for a similar price, you're likely not to worry too much. If, though, he's serving lemonade of similar quality for a third of the price, you're more likely to take a baseball bat to his kneecaps!

Posted by: Ryan | May 3, 2006 10:24:48 PM

"and please folks, don't chime in with "Well, Chicago's a bigger city"...not by THAT much)!"


Metro Chicago has a MUCH MUCH bigger population than Dallas/Fort Worth!!! Metro Chicago has about 9.6 million people. The DFW metroplex has about 6 million.

http://www.demographia.com/db-metmic2004.pdf

Posted by: JR in PA | May 3, 2006 11:17:05 PM

"Metro Chicago has a MUCH MUCH bigger population than Dallas/Fort Worth!!! Metro Chicago has about 9.6 million people. The DFW metroplex has about 6 million."

I'm not sure I'd consider that "MUCH MUCH bigger", but...OK!

According to the statistics on the site you linked to...while the DFW Metroplex has a population of about 6 million, metropolitan Atlanta has a population of about 5.2 million (which - by your standards - I guess makes DFW MUCH bigger than Atlanta). Meanwhile, Atlanta has had a good heavy-rail system that extends into the Hartsfield terminal for decades.

It's not about the population of a metropolitan area, it's about the foresight that population and its leadership shares.

Posted by: Ryan | May 4, 2006 12:17:53 AM

ATL has only 1 airport though, ORD and MDW are both INTL. Also, both are busier than DAL and DFW.

Posted by: DGB | May 4, 2006 11:33:02 AM

Plus, ATL's rail isn't that good, unless you only need to get to downtown. Most other rails systems put MARTA to shame...LAs system might be the only exception.

Posted by: Jon | May 5, 2006 11:34:30 AM

It seems that AA is not the carrier being hypocritical, but SWA. SWA says that DFW is too expensive, yet now they are flying to Denver and Dulles, two similar airports with entrenched United hubs. The relationship of O'Hare to Midway, and DFW to DAL is qualitatively different, because the cities are qualitatively different.

Posted by: Josh | May 5, 2006 3:53:03 PM

Did you notice that despite a smaller population, that ATL has the largest ariport in the country? That's because they take full advantage of the hub/spoke system. Focusing your assets on one airport is better for the region..you can get multiple airlines (LCC and Legacy) and end up with more service to more places. Or you can end up with two competing airports and have less service for the region.

Posted by: DFW | May 5, 2006 4:35:54 PM

Perhaps AA is looking into the Gary IN airport. That's a huge untapped market that is far enough away from Midway and O'Hare that people in that area would be willing to fly a connecting flight via DFW or St. Louis than taking the extra time to get to O'Hare or Midway for a non-stop flight. Plus the number of flights out of Midway that AA had probably didn't make sense for them anymore.

Posted by: Paul | May 11, 2006 11:51:41 AM

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