St. Louis Lambert Int. Airport [airline/hub/operations/info]

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post3908 posts
jshank83 wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:37 am
imperialmog wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:22 am
With D I wonder if all the gates would be reused anyway due to either need for shops and restaurants where there isn't space otherwise or gates that can't accommodate 737 sized aircraft.
I was looking at old satellite imagery and comparing the markings for the current southwest planes and trying to figure out how they got all those planes into D when it was running. I guess I didn't think about them using some smaller planes on that concourse. It is sometimes tough to tell what is what in those old pics. Looking back now it looks like there were a lot of MD-8x's (or something smaller with the engines on the back). I am guessing you could fit more of those in. Using some of those extra gates for restuarants would be a good idea I never thought about. It isn't like they will need them all anyways.

The two I would like to see JetBlue add are Boston (because Southwest's prices are crazy) and JFK because we don't have it. I also wondered if Southwest upgauging Boston was to try to keep them out as well. DL has built up Boston more lately also. I was wondering if a smaller jet there for them would maybe be an option. We'll see I guess.
Here is a pic of C/D in it's prime. Looks like a lot of MD-variants along D.

Image
kinger wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:18 pm
Here is a pic of C/D in it's prime. Looks like a lot of MD-variants along D.
This is the photo I looked at. It looks like 737 is about 10 feet wider than a MD-8x so I can see why less would fit.

I still had 3d buildings turned on so that is why a couple of those jetways look funny.

Image
symphonicpoet wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:57 am
But please, for heaven's sake, keep it all connected airside. Geeze? How difficult is that?
This is why my biggest wish for Lambert is to move the security checks for A B and C up to the top level. That way the lower level of the main terminal can serve as a connector between them all. The way i envision it they would build an addition at the departure level on the west end of the main terminal which would handle all security checks in the main terminal.the lower concourse could be considered secure and would allow for connection through there between A and the other concourses.

My second biggest wish is for a consolidated rental car facility with its own metro link stop.

These two features are part of what makes me as a traveler really like Phoenix Sky-harbor compared to a lot of other airports I've passed through.

I think terminal expansions are a little lower on my list at least until D is full again but A could be extended similar to how C was extended at one point.
Funny - I see one lonely Southwest plane in that photo and now it is a sea of Red/Yellow/Blue out there.
Image
Looking to the west down Concourse D (new E) it is a lot further than you think. The moving walkways will help.
STLEnginerd wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:02 pm
This is why my biggest wish for Lambert is to move the security checks for A B and C up to the top level.
That would be a logisitical nightmare.

The entire lower level cannot be made airside -- baggage claim, where passengers can access items legal in checked bags but not legal for carry on, would be airside.

If the airside area was restricted to the corridor which runs from A to C, you'd still have 4 or 5 exits from the secured area based on how it is laid out today.

Not to mention that there really isn't space on the upper level for a consolidated security checkpoint.

Greg
gregl wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:01 pm
STLEnginerd wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:02 pm
This is why my biggest wish for Lambert is to move the security checks for A B and C up to the top level.
That would be a logisitical nightmare.

The entire lower level cannot be made airside -- baggage claim, where passengers can access items legal in checked bags but not legal for carry on, would be airside.

If the airside area was restricted to the corridor which runs from A to C, you'd still have 4 or 5 exits from the secured area based on how it is laid out today.

Not to mention that there really isn't space on the upper level for a consolidated security checkpoint.

Greg
First I thought it kind of obvious baggage claim couldn't be airside. It's hard to fully layout an idea in a forum post as I am sure you know but I thought that didn't need spelled out.

Regarding the five exits you pointed out I would think that could be reduced to maybe 2. It's a detail that would have to be worked out.

I did specify an addition would probably be required to accommodate a new security checking area. My think was to the west side of the main terminal.

I am truly unfamiliar with what other systems would have to move to accommodate the idea but I am certain they are manageable. Baggage handling, hvac etc. there might not be a ROI case for it but to me it's how the airport should work especially if we ever have a shot at being a major hub again.
^I don't think we have a shot of being a major hub again. I don't know who would come in with any kind of idea for a hub. Places are being de-hubbed. No city our size in the middle of the country is going to become a hub anytime soon. If you want to call us a Southwest Hub then that's fine but they have room to expand. It will be a long time before we get anywhere close to 2000 numbers. I think if the people running the airport know better than to spend a bunch of money preparing for hub status again. At least I hope they do.

I do think in theory you could separate off the some of the lower level hallway as a secure area and connect everything but I don't see the point at this time. No one is probably connecting between those two concourses except maybe a few cape air/air choice one people and half the time they are going to have to go back through security anyways. So spending the money just on that doesn't make sense.
I think the 2000 numbers is too much apples and oranges to how travel is now. Mainly due to TSA along with higher speed limits on highways a lot of short flights don't have the demand since you could be faster just driving it. For most of the TWA hub note that max speed limit was only 65 and a good portion of the time it was 55, combined with some highways weren't built as they are now. I picture a lot of those numbers and local demand was for short distance travel that has in large part replaced with car travel now. (or train in some cases) More relevant to note that at this point most non short haul domestic routes from those days have been restored with only a few exceptions (and some of those there is service in the same market).

Do wonder if looking out in the future that for this part of the country Southwest will continue growing here more and using it as a connecting point mainly due to both lack of better options and would have to compete with hubs in the same market? Since they can't grow too much more at Midway due to congestion in runways and only real way is have more local traffic and push connections elsewhere, and Dallas Love they are gate capped as a function of removing the Wright Amendment (also banned from flying internationally there). So here seems to be best shot if they want to grow in size network wise for the middle of the country due to those issues. Though how much they could grow while only having 737s is another story.
I was reading on airliners.net that in terms of a Europe flight, STL is not taking the 'buying' approach. Apparently, the airport authority and the local leaders that went to London last year tried to sell an STL route as a full-service route. STL also allegedly has pitched the LHR route to several domestic carriers as well. I feel that progress is being made, which is good.
Chalupas54 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:26 am
I was reading on airliners.net that in terms of a Europe flight, STL is not taking the 'buying' approach. Apparently, the airport authority and the local leaders that went to London last year tried to sell an STL route as a full-service route. STL also allegedly has pitched the LHR route to several domestic carriers as well. I feel that progress is being made, which is good.
What thread on there did were you reading? I have been on that site for a little while also.

Full service would be nice. I just really don't want it to be WOW. Having a layover in Iceland isn't any better than having one state side. They don't fly very many places you can't already fly with one layover. It would be cheaper but I would rather have an option that will give better connections once you get over there. My fiancee flies to southern France for work sometimes and I am sure she would like only having one layover instead of two.
jshank83 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:37 am
Chalupas54 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:26 am
I was reading on airliners.net that in terms of a Europe flight, STL is not taking the 'buying' approach. Apparently, the airport authority and the local leaders that went to London last year tried to sell an STL route as a full-service route. STL also allegedly has pitched the LHR route to several domestic carriers as well. I feel that progress is being made, which is good.
What thread on there did were you reading? I have been on that site for a little while also.
Unfortunately, I clicked out and do not remember the thread title. I did peruse the BNA threads also. They seem fairly confident that they will get the route next, however, I do not believe any TN or BNA officials have personally met with BA route planning yet. They also currently do not have any gate areas that can handle an aircraft larger than an A321.
Chalupas54 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:43 am


Unfortunately, I clicked out and do not remember the thread title. I did peruse the BNA threads also. They seem fairly confident that they will get the route next, however, I do not believe any TN or BNA officials have personally met with BA route planning yet. They also currently do not have any gate areas that can handle an aircraft larger than an A321.
I did see they are hurridly doing a temporary remodel of their international arrivals area to try to get someone in there. We will see what happens. I would think some airline could do service that splits days between us if they wanted to. 2x or 3x a week each.
* interesting on there in the thread you started about St. Louis nobody mentioned that one meeting airport officials and Slay had with BA officials which is a notable step and could involve incentives. Also some of the recent renovations seems to possibly have this in mind, even the current one as a way to free up the arrival gates. Just picture local officials weren't focused as much on this until last year and instead more on filling the domestic holes after hub closure that were seen as important. Also the startup community may be playing into this too.

Also on that thread there you noted it seems the STL-PDX route by both Alaska and Southwest has done well in filling those up. Very good considering nobody served it daily 2 years ago to now 2 airlines doing so. Either real glaring hole or nice demand stimulation, that and both airlines have connection opportunities on one end that can fill them up too.
^ I would agree that they surely were focusing on filling domestic holes first, which I think they have done a good job on. I can't think of any cities we don't have service to that I really think we need it to at the moment. I would like to see other airlines start service to some we already have or more frequency, but at least you can get to them all without a stop somehow. I would think now they are pushing Southwest to add flights to Mexico/Carribean, besides looking for the flight to Europe. Hopefully more news comes out on those soon.

I do find it interesting they aren't taking the buying approach to Europe, assuming that is true. Hopefully, that is a good sign. As much as I want a flight there, I wouldn't want them to do something that ends up being a bad business move.
What is the "buying approach?"
moorlander wrote:What is the "buying approach?"
What I understood from the post is the "buying approach" is when a city (New Orleans) offers an ungodly amount of subsidies to the airline, typically only for seasonal service, which usually turns out to not be profitable for either. I am really angry I can't find the thread. Basically St Louis is trying to market itself without subsidies and is primarily trying to get daily service instead of a seasonal service.


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No city our size in the middle of the country is going to become a hub anytime soon.
In today's national airline industry, there will be NO new "hubs" domestically in reality. The airlines we have left are set in their hubs and only closing others. It cost them a fortune to establish new hub airports. That is why SWA is financially sound and smart - they take the point to point routing instead. Ultimately they have had to begin some "hubs" they call "focus cities". Call it what you want, but they have had to create more of the traditional hub/spoke approach for many of their routes - i/e smaller SWA markets will fly only into their "focus city" to connect to other mainline routes from there - happens all the time here in STL... a SWA "hub", I mean "focus city".

[quote}airliners.net[/quote]

One of the worse misinformed and hearsay sites on the internet for airport/airline news. Horrible.
matguy70 wrote:
[quote}airliners.net
One of the worse misinformed and hearsay sites on the internet for airport/airline news. Horrible.[/quote]

I don't think that's true. Many posters there are very informed persons with access to great insight.


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jshank83 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:27 am
^ I would agree that they surely were focusing on filling domestic holes first, which I think they have done a good job on. I can't think of any cities we don't have service to that I really think we need it to at the moment. I would like to see other airlines start service to some we already have or more frequency, but at least you can get to them all without a stop somehow. I would think now they are pushing Southwest to add flights to Mexico/Carribean, besides looking for the flight to Europe. Hopefully more news comes out on those soon.
Agree on domestic side except for the one hole that seems to allude STL is a direct JFK flight. Which seems odd to me and my business travels. I figured that Delta by now would give it a try as means to give business flyers an alternative to Atlanta on or a few more options on international flights as well it probably add/or pickup a few flyers with international code share partners. Delta built up quite a bit of capacity with new Terminal 4 while keeping Terminal 2. In meantime, NY announced another $10 billion dollar investment. If not Delta, it seems like a no brainer for JetBlue to give it a try.

In same thought, I think STL would rather have a direct European flight to a hub on the other side of the pond if it wish a choice between JKF or European hub like Heathrow (where approvals for another runway were finally given if not mistaken)
dredger wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:55 pm
Agree on domestic side except for the one hole that seems to allude STL is a direct JFK flight.
Agree on JFK (at least for connections) but we have flights to the other two airports so if you are just going to NYC then it is filled.
So I have been going back and reading through old posts. I started about the time AA offically closed the hub and I am to when the Tornado hit in 2011 so far.

There was a ton of Delta talk. Some hub talk that obviously never happened. They were the official airline of the Rams/Cardinals and added destinations (DCA and Raleigh). Someone said they were going to put in a skyclub (could have been a rumor though). Maybe I will get to it as I keep reading but what had led to them drawing back down in destinations after that? Southwest pushing them out? Delta is my favorite airline to fly so I wish they would add more service. It is too bad that all didn't work out. Does anyone have any background on from around that time to now?
jshank83 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:15 pm
There was a ton of Delta talk. Some hub talk that obviously never happened. They were the official airline of the Rams/Cardinals and added destinations (DCA and Raleigh). Someone said they were going to put in a skyclub (could have been a rumor though). Maybe I will get to it as I keep reading but what had led to them drawing back down in destinations after that?
Pure guess but the merger with northwest probably made expanding hub operations in St. Louis harder. Even though St. Louis seems like it should be more attractive for a Midwest hub from a geographical proximity argument. I'm sure the NW merger brought a lot of legacy infrastructure with it (aircraft maintenance, gates, landing slots, and employees) that they probably decided it didn't make sense to rebuild it somewhere else.
STLEnginerd wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:42 pm
jshank83 wrote:
Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:15 pm
There was a ton of Delta talk. Some hub talk that obviously never happened. They were the official airline of the Rams/Cardinals and added destinations (DCA and Raleigh). Someone said they were going to put in a skyclub (could have been a rumor though). Maybe I will get to it as I keep reading but what had led to them drawing back down in destinations after that?
Pure guess but the merger with northwest probably made expanding hub operations in St. Louis harder.
The talkJshank mentioned were YEARS after the Northwest merger completed.
Yea, this was more like right before American and US Air merged and during the Southwest/Air Tran merger time, 2010-12ish. I am up to Sep 2013 now. Memphis was dehubbed somewhere in the last couple pages. Just got through some big arguments over Delta vs AA in STL and how much people like/hate MD-8x. That was entertaining. Lots talk about tearing down D for a rental car structure, so that hasn't changed in 4+ years. How much traffic STL will get with Southwest/Air Tran de subbing Atlanta. Austin just announced its BA flight to London, so people are arguing about Austin vs STL. It is interesting to read all the speculation back then and see what has panned out now.