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Direct Flights to anywhere

fmb007xx
New Arrival

I've been a SW member for many years now, and am a frequent flyer (2 x a month recently).

 

But I've noticed that "supply and demand" is causing the vanishing of direct flights. 


For example Dallas (DAL) to Milwaukee (MKE) used to be at least one direct flight a day (usually the early am one).  Now, every flight makes inconvenient stops in either Kansas City (not a nice airport) or St. Louis. These stops make you get off the plane, SPRINT to the next gate, maaaaybe get to use the restoom, pray your checked luggage made it too, re-board (but since this is a 'layover' or 'connecting flight' you'll effectively lose your boarding status since the plane will be mostly full from prior passengers), and then finally fly out and land at your desitnation, 1 to 3 hours longer than is should have taken.

 

I love SW, really, I do. But not having direct flights is making me question my loyalty.  SW doesn't do anything special for my family that mandates loyalty like a family member would, but I wish it would.

 

We all know that the reason for cancelling sooooo many direct flights is money.   "supply and demand" like Lindsey, and employee posted in another post:

 

"There are a lot of things that go into schedule planning, but ultimately supply and demand are a big part of the equation - I'm sorry your nonstop flight between GRR and MCO went away for the time being. It's a difficult decision to make significant changes to a market's flight schedule, as we know that no matter which routes we alter, some Customers may be inconvenienced. I hope you'll take heart in knowing that we are constantly reevaluating our flight schedules, and hope we can still meet your travel needs. 

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community"

 

But like DAL to MKE (where every flight I ever took was 100% booked) and many other Direct Flights, the "Supply and Demand" factor is that having a connecting flight allows them to hustle more people on a per share $EPS basis at the cost of customer satisfaction.

 

Even though I'm only a few K miles from Companion Pass, I'm pretty sure I should start flying American or Unitied (ug, hate these airlines) but they get me to my destination HOURS earlier on what should be a hop skip and a jump.  But for some reason, EPS is ranking higher than our satisfaction, and our long term happiness with SW as a company could be at risk.

 

Sorry SW, but until more direct flights are available, I won't be stopping over in KC and STL anymore.

 

 

 

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Direct Flights to anywhere

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@fmb007xx wrote:

I've been a SW member for many years now, and am a frequent flyer (2 x a month recently).

 

But I've noticed that "supply and demand" is causing the vanishing of direct flights. 


For example Dallas (DAL) to Milwaukee (MKE) used to be at least one direct flight a day (usually the early am one).  Now, every flight makes inconvenient stops in either Kansas City (not a nice airport) or St. Louis. .....

 

 

 

But like DAL to MKE (where every flight I ever took was 100% booked) and many other Direct Flights, the "Supply and Demand" factor is that having a connecting flight allows them to hustle more people on a per share $EPS basis at the cost of customer satisfaction.

 

 

Sorry SW, but until more direct flights are available, I won't be stopping over in KC and STL anymore.

 

 

 


In your post you mentioned one key thing that explains a lot: DAL.

 

I'm absolutely sure Southwest would want to add two whole handfuls of flight to a bunch of places -- but can't. There's a piece of federal legislation the limits the size of Love Field to 20 gates -- with no hope of expansion. So Southwest is limited to about 191 flights a day starting 2019 (it's flying about 180 now) out of the 18 gates it controls. The legislation even prevents Southwest from flying from DFW or McKinney by requiring Southwest to give up a Love Field gate for evey other gate it uses in the metroplex. The gate swap restiction expires in 2024, but the 20 gate limit does not.

 

So, you can help Southwest do what you want them to do. Get hold of your US Senator & Congressman and complain about the Love Field situation. Tell them you want them to suppiort legislstion to change it. 

 

It just might do a bit of good.

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Re: Direct Flights to anywhere

fmb007xx
New Arrival

The legislation you mention for DAL was changed recently, and lifted from what I remember.  They were flying direct to MKE all of last year.  

 

https://www.southwest.com/flight/routemap_dyn.html

 

Even the site map says DAL to MKE is a direct flight.  Last year I also flew direct to SJD. No longer an option.

 

DFW, the AA hub, is a joke compared to Love Field. I'd rather go to the DMV than DFW!  But the legislation I believe was imposed to help DFW flourish. It's full now, been runing for years, and I THINK the legislation was lifted.

 

Maybe instead of calling our Reps, who are currently managing a media storm (this is the new norm sadly) we could just ask POTUS for an Exec. Order.  

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Re: Direct Flights to anywhere

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@fmb007xx wrote:

The legislation you mention for DAL was changed recently, and lifted from what I remember.  They were flying direct to MKE all of last year.  

 

https://www.southwest.com/flight/routemap_dyn.html

 

Even the site map says DAL to MKE is a direct flight.  Last year I also flew direct to SJD. No longer an option.

 

DFW, the AA hub, is a joke compared to Love Field. I'd rather go to the DMV than DFW!  But the legislation I believe was imposed to help DFW flourish. It's full now, been runing for years, and I THINK the legislation was lifted.

 

Maybe instead of calling our Reps, who are currently managing a media storm (this is the new norm sadly) we could just ask POTUS for an Exec. Order.  


Actually I think the last date the legislation changed was 2006 or 2008.  Before that date the only places you could fly from DAL were states that geographically touch the state of Texas plus Kansas, Missouri and Alabama, and the latter states were only possible because their US Senators inserted that possibility into other pieces of federal legislation. You couldn't even legally  connect in those places to other places. The change allowed connections, but the limit of where the outbound flight landed went unchanged until 2014 -- when nonstop flights out of DAL to anywhere in the lower 48 were alloweed.

 

I'd be willing to bet Southwest would love to nonstop DAL to MKE, and have more than one nonstop o BOS etc, etc, etc. It just does not have the gate space to do so. That then forces Southwest to determine which routes provide the best returns. After all Southwest is accountable to it's stockholders. That situation apparently leaves a DAL/MKE (and lots of others, too) out of the picture for now.

 

Trump signing an executive order wouldn't do the job. The DAL restrictions are enshrined in federal legislation, and a president alone cannot undo that.  

Re: Direct Flights to anywhere

CareforNOLA
Active Member

Yes, the Wright Amendment is gone now.  Things are finally right with Love Field. (Former DFW resident)

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Re: Direct Flights to anywhere

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

Supply, demand....and federal regulation in the case of Love Field!

 

That's quite a mixed-bag - on the one hand limiting the gates is a downside and props up the interest of DFW and Fort Worth. I don't think they need the support these days, that airport is pretty well established now and the capacity needed for the metroplex may eventually require more gates at Love Field.

 

But on the other hand, if the gates are limited to 20 and you control 18 of them, that's a pretty good deal for having the easier access airport in Dallas for making day trips.

 

To the OP  - at least Kansas City knows they need a new airport and are working on development now. St. Louis...well, not my favorite place for a layover. 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Direct Flights to anywhere

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

I experienced similar frustration when SW axed the Nashville to Greenville, SC, direct flights. Like you said, they were always full, so it confused me.

 

I honestly believe that there are so many more factors than I cam evem wrap my mind around. For example, fees and taxes impact the profitability of routes in various ways. Furthermore, all companies have a strategy, and maybe the desired growth didn't include Greenville, in my case. Finally, every flyer's situation is very diffetent. Because I am in Nashville, SW IS usually our only direct option. Unless you are going to Houston, ATL, CLT, NYC, etc, you have to go SW to go direct. Dallas is quite a different story, of course.

 

I encourage you to provide your feedback directly to SW. And maybe we will get our directs back sometime in the future!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.