Is Usairways really as bad as everyone thinks


im 15 now and have flown them for a good 7 or so years and probally havn’t had 25 flights delayed out of god knows how many…i think their service is fine…their getting better…all the congestion is in phl the other clt and pit are fine? i think they are better than everyone in all the forums think. Deltas just as worse at Atlanta…at least on ontime departures


I have never flown US but I can tell you being heavily concentrated on the east coast is not good. That is one of the biggest headaches in air travel. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are the worst service wise, but are bad in the areas that passengers get the most mad about.

And even though NWA is said to be amongst the worst in the industry, I like that they really get the basics down. They have the best hubs that are rarely delayed (DTW, MSP, MEM), great on-time performance and one of the best in baggage lost per 1000. It is one reason I fly them a lot. I get there on time with my luggage. They really are the only airline to not have a bad hub in terms of on-time performance.
Airlines bad hubs
US: whole east coast.

Because of heavily concentrated amounts of flights at hubs, there generally is a correlation between hubs and the overall airline’s performance.

My big airlines rating:
1 UA
2 CO
3 NW
4 DL
5 AA

But really, they are all about the same so it doesn’t really matter to me a whole lot.


You’re neglecting the biggest or 2nd biggest (depending on how you rate them) airline: SWA. It has a good on-time record and I think one of the reasons for that it is less hubs than any other airline. As of today (and since they began) they have exactly 0 (zero) hubs.


You must not fly SWA too often. Have you looked at their route map lately???

Try going places of any distance east of the Mississippi without going through Chicago Midway, or Baltimore. Not going to happen too quickly.

They are slowly discontinuing the long non stops, as I used to have non stop on weekends from KJAN to KBWI. I now have to go through Midway on weekends. Weekdays, they reduced the amount of nonstops and added a stop over at Midway.

They used to have non stops from BWI to San Fran. That was discontinued and now you have to go through Midway.

BWI and Midway have entire concourses for SWA which sure simulates a hub to me. Looks no different then NWA being routed to Detroit, with continuing service elsewhere.

The absolute only difference between SWA and other airlines is that you don’t have to get off the plane to continue on a different city. Other then that the routing is not much different then other airlines, they route through the major cities just like American, NWA and so on.

BWI takes pride on building an entire concourse for SWA. I believe the same for Midway. … ef=wwf_fgn and set it on non stop and you will clearly see their “informal hubs”



I flout SWA’s 94% market share at my local airport (with its own proudly SWA-only concourse) and fly US Airways quite often. This means I almost always have to fly through PHL and very rarely on aircraft actually operated by US Airways itself. That being said, I haven’t had any experiences that aren’t typical for any airline, and with the exception of some mechanical problems with Colgan Air Beechcrafts flying between ISP and BOS (a wheel fell off during takeoff a few weeks ago), Philadelphia weather has been the only cause of whatever problems I may have had. As jgona stated, US has most of its hubs and focus cities in the Northeast and most of those (namely LGA, BOS, and PHL) are chronically congested, which leads to low on-time percentages.

The only difference I have seen between US and other carriers I have flown recently is that:

  1. They serve drinks in cups about twice as large as other airlines
  2. The only in-flight entertainment consists Cranium trivia questions on the TV screens

I used to fly on NWA planes through DTW and MEM quite frequently and also remember them as having few problems and very few delays, but if you have a lot of land available on which to build an airport, you can buld to handle the traffic. About 90% of BOS was built on former tidal mudflats, and when I arrive at LGA, it looks as if the plane is landing on a pier. Neither have a lot of room to expand.


yeah iv flown southwest once…where i live its more covient to fly Usairways or Delta or Airtran…those are the only 4 iv every flown currently operating


…CLT is a nice airport and flights are on time


This has been discussed before.

All you need to do is go to, click on investor relations, and read through the first few pages of the annual report. Southwest says they do NOT have hubs. Due to the number of flights they have in many cities, there are naturally many connecting possibilities. These cities are not hubs, though.

Yes, I have flown Southwest quite often. While it is true they have eliminated the transcontinental nonstops, they have increased nonstop flights between other cities that are more in line with their medium haul plans.


Definition of hub
Hub is a place of convergence where data arrives from one or more directions and is forwarded out in one or more other directions.

Just because Southwest doesn’t call them hubs in a formal sense doesn’t mean those cities are not hubs.

If it talks, walks and squawks a hub, it’s a hub no matter what SWA beats to what drum.

After all, it’s not like I have a choice of another city to get from JAN to BWI



A true airline hub is an airport where you get a whole mess of flights in AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME and then they all leave AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME. There is not a single airport where Southwest does this.

Let’s take the example Redneck Airlines (don’t look it up - it don’t exist). It has an airport that we shall call, oh, I don’t know, JAN. Redneck has 2 dozen flights arriving at JAN between 0800 and 0830. Nothing leaves the airport for a while. Then, beginning at 0930, you have a dozen flights leaving within 30 minutes of each. This also means each aircraft acts like a big paperweight for up to 2 hours. This is a true airline hub.

Now, let’s take Southwest at JAN (again, don’t you go lookin’ this up know because I’m using made up but based on real situation). It, too, has a dozen flights arriving at JAN between 0800 and 0830. But you know what them folks done did at SWA’s headquarters? They said, and I’m not making this up, they said “why should the planes stay on the ground fer so long like them folks at Redneck do? Let’s get them off the ground in 25 minutes - maybe 30 sometimes - after they arrive at that thar JAN airport. Fer shure we may not have everybody being able to connect to any of a dozen different flights but that’s okay because we ain’t no hub-and-spoke airline.”

In short, “if it talks, walks and squawks a hub, it’s a hub no matter what SWA beats to what drum” just ain’t true. A network airline, such as Southwest, allows you to have connection at just about any city in the network while hub-and-spoke (imagine a wagon wheel) only allows connections at hub airports.


Good point. I however have never flown them or US Airways so its hard for me to judge an airline I have never flown. :open_mouth:


theres a good example of that at Albany(alb)…they have 2 gates and like 20 flights per day.


While the above does not have anything to do with a definition of a hub, I decided to entertain myself by trying to give you a little credit and peruse around to see if I can find any substance to the above and I cannot.

I checked Delta out of ATL, Northwest out of Detroit, and American Airlines out of DFW. All airlines have a morning and evening push for business travelers, and it sure looked like a regular in and out through all the airlines and airports I perused. It’s just one big mess from sun up to sundown NOT all coming in one or two hours for the morning and then the same for the evening…

I’d say the above what you quoted is a Dami definition of a hub, and not the true definition of a hub as I posted earlier. Do you have anything to back up what you say? Flight schedules back my paragraph up, just looking at times and volume.

And again, the above is simply not true. See below for why.

Tell this to the Manchester and Albany folks. Most of their flights on the SWA network go through BWI or Midway. Guess they live on the wrong side of the wagon wheel. The SWA link I provided earlier supports this statement. Your statement above just doesn’t make it. They can’t go from home to Texas without going through Chicago or Baltimore. Manchester only has a whopping 8 or 9 direct flights which take you to guess what, the major hubs of SWA.

Guess where you are going should you want to visit mom and pop in Oklohoma City and you live in Omaha Nebraska? You will be routed through BWI. You are talking 1000’s of miles out of the way!

Let me roll on. The big city of Detroit to Jackson. Take one guess where you are going to be routed through??? Gee Baltimore or Chicago. All of this is backed up on SWA’s route map. BWI and MDW for anything east of the Rocky Mountains are going to be focus points for satellite airports

If you depart Little Rock or Nashville. Again, play with the route map and you will clearly see that if you want to go from Little Rock to Columus Ohio, you are going to get routed through Chicago Midway.

I could go on and on but I’d suspect that most people will get my point that…

You can’t go system wide as you say above unless you are fortunate enough to live in Baltimore, Houston, Chicago, or Las Vegas, which gee looks like a hub based on the real definition of a hub. Anything outside these four cities, and you pretty much in most cases be visiting one these four cities. Albeit it may be from seat 23A on the layover, but you will be hubbed in and hubbed out accordingly in the true definition of a hub as I posted earlier.

All of this is based on a link I provided from the SWA website. I’d love to see you provide me somthing that supports your statement, as right now, your opinion is factually incorrect based on all my references I am providing.

BTW, I used the airlines own websites for my analysis in whether there was any credence to your definiton of a hub and I figure I didn’t need to repost all those links.

Remember, a hub has nothing to do with volume, only routing by it’s definition I provided!!!



Allen, how did you figure out that you’d have to go through BWI to get from OMA to OKC? You obviously looked only at the route map and not the actual schedules for Southwest. If you did, you would have seen that Southwest doesn’t offer ANY service between OKC and OMA.

The only flights Southwest offers for sell on its scheduled services are those shown in the schedule.

Let’s take a look at your examples of specific city pairs:
(These are from a January 2008 schedule)
OKC to OMA: No direct, nonstop, or connecting flights offered. That includes NO CONNECTIONS through BWI.

DTW to JAN: Connections are offered through MDW and HOU. Neither are that far out of the way.

LIT to CMH: Connections through MDW and STl - neither of which are that much out of the way

I’ll grant you that Southwest has hub-like airports but it does NOT have hubs.


You are right, and I knew this. You buy a one way ticket to BWI and then buy a one way ticket from BWI to OMA. That is the beauty of SWA, utilizing their one way tickets at a reasonable price. The only think you cannot do is check your baggage from OMA to OKC, you have to check it to BWI, pick up your baggage and recheck it on to OKC. Perfectly legal in the SWA system. … ht=pit+bwi to refresh your memory.

And again you speak without any knowledge or you don’t fly SWA enough. SWA does offer one way tickets. See above.

See above.

I said MDW (Chicago) for both in my original post and my point has nothing to do with distance or volume. **My point was you can’t go point A to point B system wide as you said in your original post. ** You have to go through MDW or some hub city (by the Webster definition).

Finally, I get a reference out of you. While it’s marginal at best, since Wikipedia references can be changed by a person not knowledgeable about airline ops at least you produced something.

I don’t know airline ops myself, but I do know what a hub means and that SWA route map sure looks no different then any other airline with the spokes and wheels.



I’m going to write this sloooowly so maybe you can understand me.

I didn’t even bring up anything about one way tickets. I KNOW that Southwest’s lowest fares are available for one way purchases. As one who has flown Southwest over 100 times in the past few years, I know how they operate.

When you go online with Southwest, you can only buy tickets between city pairs that they allow you to buy. Now, if you want to do something stupid like buy a OMA to OKC ticket, you will need to do this in two transactions because Southwest doesn’t have an option to buy a ticket between these two cities. You will need to buy a OMA to another city (not necessarily BWI) then from that city to OKC.

From Business Dictionary: of its scheduled flights originate from or terminate at.**most ** (emphasis mine)

From How Stuff Works (see article, below is only an excerpt):
Not all airlines use the hub-and-spoke approach. For example, Southwest Airlines is one of the exceptions to the hub-and-spoke network system. It uses the old-fashioned point-to-point system, hauling people short distances with few connecting flights. However, Southwest offers very few non-stop flights on longer routes. At the end of 2000, Southwest served approximately 306 one-way, non-stop city pairs. It’s point-to-point system provides a more direct route than a hub-and-spoke airline can offer.

Disenchanted Dictionary: [Hub-and-spoke system
Feeding smaller capacity flights into a central hub somewhere, where passengers can be decanted into larger aircraft that then flown to their final destination.

Invented by American Airlines and adopted by other major carriers (such as United Airlines and Delta), this system is cheaper to run than direct city-to-city flights because you need fewer aircraft.

However, it has disadvantages, too. The first is that the hub cities (such as Chicago, Atlanta and St. Louis.) get terribly overcrowded from the sheer volume of traffic, meaning delays.

The other problem is also related to traffic, but caused by airline scheduling practices. A large number of flights (say around 40) will be scheduled to depart at a very popular time (such as 8am for business travellers). This sells more seats, but the airport can really only clear about 8 flights for takeoff within 40 minutes of that departure time. The delays this causes are called "push-back time" by the airlines, and blamed on Traffic Control.](


Are you arguing just to be arguing? You don’t believe me when I say Southwest doesn’t have hubs. You don’t believe Southwest when they - who should know whether they hub - says they don’t hub. So, I must conclude that you are just arguing because you have nothing better to do.

Southwest Airlines Co. (“Southwest”) is a major domestic airline that provides primarily shorthaul, high-frequency, point-to-point, low-fare service.



Nope, you said

(my emphasis above)

And I said

My point was you can’t go point A to point B system wide as you said in your original post.

Your opinion is factually wrong. This is my whole point of even addressing you. Their route map proves that, and I gave you destinations to prove that.



Rather than just strongly held opinion based on no factual information, I thought it would be useful to actually have a few facts injected into the discussion. From Southwest’s own reports:

  • “Southwest focuses principally on point-to-point, rather than hub-and-spoke, service”. Note the use of the word ‘principally’, which means chiefly or mainly, but does not mean exclusively. So even Southwest recognizes that there is some amount of hubness in their route structure.

  • 21% of Southwest passengers make a plane change to get to their final destination, which is the type of routing that Allen mentioned.

  • Using Dami’s definition of hub (Strategically located airport or city where a carrier’s major facilities and operations are housed), you would have to call Dallas Love field a hub as their corporate headquarters, maintenance and high frequency of flights (30 daily between Dallas and Houston alone) are all located there.


Take a look at your precious map again. Of course if you’re flying from ALB you will more than likely connect in either MDW or BWI because, outside of Florida and the far west, those are the only 2 cities Southwest flies to. Similar situation for MHT, with the addition of PHL.

Look, this is getting nowhere. Southwest says they aren’t a hub-and-spoke airline, I say they aren’t, the majority of the world with an IQ greater than their shoe size says they aren’t. I really think you are either just wanting to bash me or, more likely, just want to argue about something you claim you know but really don’t.


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: