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

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First unread post4767 posts
^It looks to me as though they've renumbered every gate in the airport several times. They started out as color coded. (Red 1, Blue 3, that sort of thing.) Actually, that was probably at least the second scheme. And then they were all numbered sequentially from one side of the airport to the other, before they arrived at the present lettered arrangement, which has itself changed at least once. (With gates having been numbered in a circle around the concourse, I think, before they settled on the odd/even street style system.) I can't imagine it'd be that big a deal to insert a few into the sequence if they wanted, even if that meant renumbering thirty odd gates. It's all just signs and paint and a few charts, all of which need to be updated according to a schedule anyway. That said, it makes sense to me that they skipped them for a reason. There's probably something obsolete about the configuration. It's an odd cantilevered spot with an unusual amount of open exposed space below it. And, yes, it'd be a good spot for food or even retail. Which I expect might come before they'd reopen all of D. (But maybe not much more.) I just find it ironic that those might have been Southwest's very first gates in St. Louis. (Among the first, certainly.) I do remember seeing orange planes at that end of creation every now and then when I was out there as a kid. And they always seemed exotic and different. (In a world filled with red and white 727s and DC-9s.)
Many here have suggested that Southwest and Terminal 2 and E Concourse is getting :
"too" crowded and is deterring growth. I disagree completely. YES the terminal and concourse IS crowded and extremely busy but no more than any other concourse and terminal I fly in and out of every week from STL across the country.
T2 is serving well IMO and thankfully Southwests expansion into "D" becoming "E" was done. The new concourse area looks great and I am glad to see the new Publick House and Starbucks.
The MAIN crowded issue is the T2 terminal lower level and amenities for baggage and waiting passengers... but the airport is addressing that. more baggage claims is a must in T2. Expanding the T2 terminal into the area of the west with more area of shops upstairs pre-security and more baggage carousels will be excellent.

I flew Alaska to Seattle this week and now waiting on my Southwest flight home in SEA ... STL T1 is quite nice these days .... but Concourse C was so busy and the restaurants were packed on Friday evening. The airport needs to address that as well. Our waitresses at Mediterranean Restuarant on C Concourse said they are always like this.

I haven't been on Concourse A for years so I am not sure how their crowding is.

side note... on arrival in Seattle Friday evening... the Alaska Concouse N is under under construction and we had to disembark the plane outside with steps into the tarmac .... thought it was 1965. LOL

another side note... we booked 2 flights with WOW so far... One to Iceland for pleasure in Septmeber and then one in June to Frankfort from STL. We did the big seats and meals ...the more expensive options on both and we fly STL to Reykjavik 6.5 hours and immediately onto our Frankfort flight for 3 hours. nice way to go IMO.

Have a great Memorial day all.
matguy70 wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 11:12 am
Many here have suggested that Southwest and Terminal 2 and E Concourse is getting :
"too" crowded and is deterring growth. I disagree completely. YES the terminal and concourse IS crowded and extremely busy but no more than any other concourse and terminal I fly in and out of every week from STL across the country.
T2 is serving well IMO and thankfully Southwests expansion into "D" becoming "E" was done. The new concourse area looks great and I am glad to see the new Publick House and Starbucks.
The MAIN crowded issue is the T2 terminal lower level and amenities for baggage and waiting passengers... but the airport is addressing that. more baggage claims is a must in T2. Expanding the T2 terminal into the area of the west with more area of shops upstairs pre-security and more baggage carousels will be excellent.

I flew Alaska to Seattle this week and now waiting on my Southwest flight home in SEA ... STL T1 is quite nice these days .... but Concourse C was so busy and the restaurants were packed on Friday evening. The airport needs to address that as well. Our waitresses at Mediterranean Restuarant on C Concourse said they are always like this.

I haven't been on Concourse A for years so I am not sure how their crowding is.

side note... on arrival in Seattle Friday evening... the Alaska Concouse N is under under construction and we had to disembark the plane outside with steps into the tarmac .... thought it was 1965. LOL

another side note... we booked 2 flights with WOW so far... One to Iceland for pleasure in Septmeber and then one in June to Frankfort from STL. We did the big seats and meals ...the more expensive options on both and we fly STL to Reykjavik 6.5 hours and immediately onto our Frankfort flight for 3 hours. nice way to go IMO.

Have a great Memorial day all.
How did your Frankfort flight tickets compare in price/time vs US3?
matguy70 wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 11:12 am
Many here have suggested that Southwest and Terminal 2 and E Concourse is getting :
"too" crowded and is deterring growth. I disagree completely. YES the terminal and concourse IS crowded and extremely busy but no more than any other concourse and terminal I fly in and out of every week from STL across the country.
T2 is serving well IMO and thankfully Southwests expansion into "D" becoming "E" was done. The new concourse area looks great and I am glad to see the new Publick House and Starbucks.
The MAIN crowded issue is the T2 terminal lower level and amenities for baggage and waiting passengers... but the airport is addressing that. more baggage claims is a must in T2. Expanding the T2 terminal into the area of the west with more area of shops upstairs pre-security and more baggage carousels will be excellent.
So you are making a distinction between overcrowding in the concourse and overcrowding in the baggage claims areas. I really don't think your far off the focus of the majority of posts. Most say increasing capacity in baggage claim, pre-security, and parking garage space should be major priorities. I think without those improvements the continued expansion of services at T2 could slow down. Saying "more baggage claims is a must" is sort of actually agreeing with some of these sentiments.

The only problem I've ever had at A is pre-security lines on early morning flights. The main terminal has ton of gate capacity but i do wish the concourses were linked together behind security. The main reason is I think It would justify a central retail hub like you see a some other newer airports.
I have no clue how to fix pick up and drop offs in T2 but it's a disaster whenever the flight banks come in. I had to wait a couple lights at T2 to get to T1 a couple weeks ago because busses were blocking the main road while trying to get into T2 when I had the green (the uber driver should have taken the next exit but it still shouldn't be that bad). They need some kind of time traffic control during busy times.
There's just not enough room for a solid fix with the site plan as is. It's packing too many stop lights and turns into a small space. The best plan, in my opinion would be to figure out how to separate the shuttles from the cars to reduce the gridlock a bit and then ideally expand out the entrance to be further to the east so that that awkward light at Air Cargo Drive doesn't throw off timing like it usually does (in my observation).
I think it would help if they moved all passenger pick up to the lane closest to baggage claim and moved all the shuttle pickups (rental cars, parking) to the "island" median. Passenger pickup can back up a lot and then you get people going up top to pickup (when they shouldn't be) and then they clog up drop off.
pat wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 3:33 pm
I think it would help if they moved all passenger pick up to the lane closest to baggage claim and moved all the shuttle pickups (rental cars, parking) to the "island" median. Passenger pickup can back up a lot and then you get people going up top to pickup (when they shouldn't be) and then they clog up drop off.
I agree that there should be a full lane for passenger pickup instead of the half length they have now. I also think they need to police drop off better. I'll see cars just parked there with no one in them and no one is usually up there telling people to move along like they are at pickups. Agree about people going to the wrong spot also. I'll go to drop offs for pickups but only after I know all the departures are gone late (after at least 10 pm).
Does Anyone know how the Wingtips Lounge is doing? I've poked my head in a few times and it never really looks remotely busy inside. I have been holding out hope that it would join the Priority Pass network but now am mulling over a membership through Wingtips. I'd hate to do that though, then have it added to the PP network...
Trip Review: MO>>>> KEF.
I can now say that I have used both the KC Icelandair Service as well as the WOW STL Service.

Top Take Aways from the WOW Service:
1. The leg room in economy was plenty enough for a 6'2" man. Albeit, my row was empty for all of the flight after take off so I just laid out. There were a few empty/almost empty rows. Take into account at least 20 people on my flight where there because their WOW flights to CA had been cancelled. Many other STL round trippers had noted empty rows to lay out in on their flights to KEF.

2. At least 4 passengers on my flight where upgraded to "The Big Seats" after they were placed in economy after purchasing the premium economy equivalent seats. Another group that I met in KEF mentioned their flight from STL has been "canceled" after the group was asked to travel on a different date. These seems like technical difficulties that will get worked out eventually.

3. WOW isn't really worth it if your planning on staying long or traveling for business. The baggage fees really negate the low fares of WOW and the lack of Wifi cancelled out most inflight work. I do understand the purpose of WOW as an airline that helps price consciousness passengers reach destinations and take trips they wouldn't other wise be able to make. It just worries me that the A321 was only sorta full of people who are barely willing to shell out $180 to Europe each way. Not the market that will attract and keep a pricier full service airline like BA. Edit: Maybe the higher end (business) pax just haven't converted yet.

Icelandair MCI Service Takeaways:
1. The planes were packed. I don't think I saw an empty seat. This will probably change as the shine wears off. A WOW inaugural pax I spoke to said that flight was only 80% full. That number seems low, please fill free to correct.

2. The 757 felt less spacious than WOW's A321, but it was more comfortable. WOW's brand new planes felt cheerier.

3. It is very much unfair to compare amenities and such between Icelandair and WOW due to them being in different categories, but Icelandair did have Wifi. At this point, I would expect WOW with their brand new planes to offer some sort of paid wifi service. Even Spirit is offering Wifi now. Icelandair's wifi seemed quite speedy and I was able to get a lot of photos uploaded. WOW not having wifi really was a turn off to taking business trips w/ them over Icelandair. or a legacy

KEF Take Aways:
1. The airport is crowded. The current terminal was designed for ~2million yearly pax, now it does 10-11. I didn't really notice how bad it was until the return flights.
2. The airport is not good for Europe to USA Flights. The USA/Canada portion of the terminal was severely cramped. It appeared to have enough seats for less than maybe 1 767. Instead it was handling multiples 75s,76,sand A321s at once. Some waiting rooms are below ground, the rest are on the ground floor. Either way your going to do a lot of walking up and down stairs and to and from airplanes. I really enjoyed boarding my plane on the remote parking site while the 35mph rain blew me over. I'd recommend flying back a different route if possible. All of the power outlets in the US/Canada Terminal where broken.

Your mileage will obviously vary. My report is made up of what I saw first hand and what fellows passengers reported. Please feel free to ask questions and such. This isn't meant to be biased.
ldai_phs wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:35 pm
It just worries me that the A321 was only sorta full of people who are barely willing to shell out $180 to Europe each way. Not the market that will attract and keep a pricier full service airline like BA.
The KC bias is strong in this review.
addxb2 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:51 pm
ldai_phs wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:35 pm
It just worries me that the A321 was only sorta full of people who are barely willing to shell out $180 to Europe each way. Not the market that will attract and keep a pricier full service airline like BA.
The KC bias is strong in this review.
It is not meant to be biased. The WOW flights did have a number of empty seats and a number of seats on the plane back were filled with people who didn't want to go to STL. It has been said here that STL is a better candidate for the likes of BA due to the business community, but I didn't really see them during my WOW experience. Maybe they just have't converted to WOW due to some of the issues I listed above. Converting them to WOW would help to boost STL in the eyes of other TATL carriers. I want to see STL's service succeed just as much as you do. The more flights to the state overall makes us all better off.
^I don't know that converting the business community to Wow would be necessary to land better traditional transatlantic service. Wow doesn't really offer any advantage save price over what's already there. Both are one stops and the difference between a one stop direct and a single quick connections is . . . trivial. And I believe the majors are all privy to the central booking data, so they can see the O&D even if it isn't a nonstop direct and draw whatever conclusions they will. It might be that Icelandair is offering something slightly more attractive to business. It might be that existing transat service out of St. Louis is already good enough that not many people have been won over by Wow. We have fairly convenient one stops to virtually every major market on the planet. (The few exceptions are places US flag carriers don't operate or places so far away even the leggiest 787 can't make it direct.) I'm not sure MCI is quite so well connected. In fact, I'm pretty sure they're not. So Icelandair might have an easier target there. Lower hanging fruit. We're already better served than quite a lot of places, even with very little "direct" service. Might make us a more difficult sell.
ldai_phs wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:09 pm
addxb2 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:51 pm
ldai_phs wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:35 pm
It just worries me that the A321 was only sorta full of people who are barely willing to shell out $180 to Europe each way. Not the market that will attract and keep a pricier full service airline like BA.
The KC bias is strong in this review.
It is not meant to be biased. The WOW flights did have a number of empty seats and a number of seats on the plane back were filled with people who didn't want to go to STL. It has been said here that STL is a better candidate for the likes of BA due to the business community, but I didn't really see them during my WOW experience. Maybe they just have't converted to WOW due to some of the issues I listed above. Converting them to WOW would help to boost STL in the eyes of other TATL carriers. I want to see STL's service succeed just as much as you do. The more flights to the state overall makes us all better off.
TATL carriers aren't going to base their market expectations off of a low cost flight with a layover in Iceland. They're more likely to base their market expectations on data surrounding layovers in Atlanta in Chicago. Fortune 500 companies aren't choosing low-cost services like WOW unless they're going only to Iceland.
I wrote a whole post saying the same as symphonicpoet.

WOW and BA are not going after the same customers at all.

with that said, I appreciate your thoughts, ldai_phs. very interesting.
soulardx wrote:I wrote a whole post saying the same as symphonicpoet.

WOW and BA are not going after the same customers at all.

with that said, I appreciate your thoughts, ldai_phs. very interesting.
Yes. Very good points. I was thinking that filling seats would look good,but I think you’ll are probably right. Anyways, I have heard there may be some very exciting STL tatl news coming late this summer. I hope to hear what you’ll think of your WOW trips.


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Also, KC does not have as a competition for air demand people who drive to Chicago unlike here. Since here I know more than a few people who drive to O'Hare to catch long haul flights and therefore won't count for demand from here. KC is too far a drive for that. Also in demand from Europe, it could be people visiting here is part of a larger multi state road trip and using Chicago as entry point and drive, and again KC would be less prone to that due to distance from any sizable international gateway.

Also its of note the holiday season schedule release for Southwest is coming tomorrow. So maybe there is some news on that front too.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:36 pm
Wow doesn't really offer any advantage save price over what's already there. Both are one stops and the difference between a one stop direct and a single quick connections is . . . trivial. And I believe the majors are all privy to the central booking data, so they can see the O&D even if it isn't a nonstop direct and draw whatever conclusions they will.
This 100%. I travel to Europe every month for business and there is absolutely no point in taking WOW. I would much rather fly United and connect in ORD/EWR/IAD if I have to connect anyway. I would happily take a direct BA/LH/AF/KL flight out of St. Louis, but do not plan to take WOW except for an Iceland vacation.
I'm kind of halfway contemplating Wow just to show support, but . . . you get no miles for that. And even now, truncated as frequent flyer programs are, that makes a difference.
I've said this before but WOW wouldn't have added a 5th flight for summer if bookings were low. They have said we had the strongest sales of the 4 routes they added at the same time (DTW, CVG, CLE) so I am sure they will do fine. The first inbound had over 100 people on it which shocked me. I had figured it would be far less.

MCI has 3x weekly service on a smaller plane (better product) than our 4x and soon to be 5x a week service. Theirs should be fuller just based on that.

I agree with others that not many business travelers will take WOW so it is mostly leisure. I don't think you can base a whole lot off what WOW does and try to compare it to how a legacy will do. I think WOW is going to pull in travelers who normally wouldn't have been able to afford a family trip to Europe or maybe someone who now can make an extra yearly trip because it is so cheap.

Side story: I was on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit today. The couple in front of me also lived in St. Louis. They were from Amsterdam originally and told the flight attendent they had only planned to live in STL for 3 years and now they are going on 30 years. So that was fun to hear.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:19 pm
I'm kind of halfway contemplating Wow just to show support, but . . . you get no miles for that. And even now, truncated as frequent flyer programs are, that makes a difference.
Ok going to probably try them for an Iceland trip first and see how it goes. It it goes well I might use them for a mainland trip but they would have to be quite a bit cheaper.
^Oh, I can definitely see the draw. But if you've got miles on a legacy it's a harder sell. Even so, I tried Southwest just for sheer giggles. Wasn't even really that much cheaper. (A little, but not hugely.) I very well might try WOW. But I can easily see reasons why you might not. Everything you said seems spot on. No doubt they will do (are doing) fine. And it's neat to see a new carrier. Even if they aren't immediately convenient to me they will surely be useful to others. :) Sorry if I sounded negative.
How did your Frankfort flight tickets compare in price/time vs US3?
I am absolutely happy with Wow. The planes are spacious, new and brilliantly colorful.

We paid for mid June 1200.00 PP R/T STL to Frankfort. We fly and have a 2 hour layover before our FRA flight in KEF. 3 hour layover coming home in KEF. United through ORD was the next cheapest at 2100.00 PP. insane! The 1200.00 PP R/T is for the Big Seats both ways, dinner, preboard, 2 bags and carry on, and cancellation insurance. Not too shabby. When choosing our seats the plane from STL to KEF was more than half full. KEF to STL was at least 90 percent full (luckily we still could get 2 big seats).

Much rather fly 6.5 hours to KEF and have a short layover and a short 3.5 hour flight to FRA then. Doing customs for USA in our own city is nice too. In addition, Iceland is not "out of the way"... if you haven't looked at air routes across the USA to EU ...you fly literally up and over Iceland to enter EU airspace and cities. Why do you think KEF is such a huge international air transfer/connection for so many airlines?
MCI has 3x weekly service on a smaller plane (better product) than our 4x and soon to be 5x a week service. Theirs should be fuller just based on that.
Better product? probably not "better".. comparable if you upgrade on Wow but no wifi in Wow. But newer equipment.

I totally agree with the above 3 flights a week/less service... in addition, KCs Icelandair is seasonal and will end in September. It will begin again next May for same period and has committed to 2 years at this time to KC. It is subsidized by local agreements with "undisclosed amount of stop-loss funding for one year."

STL WOW service is year round with 4 flights a week to become 5 this summer through and of Septmeber. They are flying larger aircraft with more seats with 208 every flight. They committed to STL 2 years year-round service with only a local commitment of partnership in marketing.

There is a big difference with the larger newer aircraft, frequency and year round service commitment than Iceland's in KC at this time. I hope both will succeed.
Someone correct me if my math or sources are wrong...

37 weeks of 4 flights per week. 15 weeks of 5 flights per week. 208 seats per flight.
Wow's 2-year commitment to St. Louis is roughly 92,768 seats.

16 weeks of 3 flights per week. 183 seats per flight.
IA 2-year commitment to Kansas City is roughly 17,568 seats.
addxb2 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 1:23 am
Someone correct me if my math or sources are wrong...

37 weeks of 4 flights per week. 15 weeks of 5 flights per week. 208 seats per flight.
Wow's 2-year commitment to St. Louis is roughly 92,768 seats.

16 weeks of 3 flights per week. 183 seats per flight.
IA 2-year commitment to Kansas City is roughly 17,568 seats.
WOW is 3x a week in winter.