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

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First unread post4846 posts
ldai_phs wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:29 pm
. Recently, I had heard that they were more strongly leaning towards KC.

That's it, everyone! STL is dead! Let's all move to Kansas City!
Given this is a ST LOUIS forum, if anyone from ST LOUIS would like to post about this with a ST LOUIS centric opinion, I am welcome to hear it.
I tried to post edits to my original comment but they refused to update.

Just chill dude. I didn’t really say STL was dead. I was just saying that I had heard other airlines were talking to STL(good thing) but were potentially less interested than they had been. Seems like a relevant piece of information to post. I would think another failure to get BA would make this other airline a lot more interested in STL. Edit: that last line sounds a bit rough. No offense was meant.

I then offered up some interesting points from other cities that may help to explain what’s going on with the FIS expansion at STL.

I am of the belief that outside comments,examples, viewpoints are a very important. Please feel free to go to NextKC or KCRAG and post your info,thoughts,opinions. I’d love to see your outsider input.


ldai_phs wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:54 pm
Please feel free to go to NextKC or KCRAG and post your info,thoughts,opinions. I’d love to see your outsider input.
I REALLY don't want to make this a STL vs KC thing because it is gets old and I have no clue why either cares about the other so much, but I have one comment.

I and others on here have tried to join KCRAG to try to, in my case, discuss KC things. None of us ever get approved. I tried making a username a year ago and it never got approved, I tried again about 9 months ago and again never go approved. So, although I would love to go on there to chat KC, for some reason whoever approves people doesn't want people from this forum on there. Which is disappointing. I don't really care what city it is, I like to chat about airport stuff and other things. If you know who does the approving, maybe persuade them to let some of us on there.

Okay that is all I have to say about that.

Moving on..

I am holding out my opinions on everything until we see what gets announced next month. If it is BA (or another major) then great, no harm no foul. Good for PIT and good for us. If it is Norwegian or someone lesser I will be a little disappointed and have questions, but I still will be fine with it. Anything is better than nothing. If we get to the end of August and nothing is announced, THEN I will be ticked off.

Assuming all the August talk is true, that means a deal was probably signed months ago, so whoever STL is talking to now would be about the next thing not the one that is being announced in the next few weeks.

In regards to the FIS, this airport never does anything proactively. They didn't renovate gates for Southwest until Southwest asked for them (twice), they didn't fix the gas lines until they were seeping gas in the ground, and they didn't start renovating C gates until they had Sun Country (and possibly the next announcement) signed. So, I don't think there is any way they are proactively looking to add a new customs area unless something is coming (ie announced in August).
I, too, have not been approved for KCrag. Been waiting since June this time around.

As for PIT and BA:

"The airport authority will pay the carrier a $3 million with money from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, split $1.5 million a year for two years. It is the largest incentive the airport has ever given."

https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/13 ... ng-april-2

Let's also keep these boards, which normally are, smart conversation.
This "hearsay" crap is just that. "I am hearing", "I've heard", "my sources", blah blah blah.
MEAN NOTHING.

If you want to site a source or a personal meeting with a source ..then site it. If you want to hypothesize or post an educational guess or suggestion... then do it. But to say "I heard twenty new airlines will start service to ABC and they are leaning towards XYZ" That just doesn't cut it.
I echo jshank in that I sense that Lambert is doing all the work in C for a very good reason. We'll just have to wait and see if the August rumors have any merit to them. I still feel as though St. Louis is a more attractive draw for European services than many give it credit for.

I think more long-term that the airport is wanting to move all non-Southwest international flights over to C and just let Southwest do whatever they want with D and E. It would allow them to more fully utilize C and possibly help alleviate a bit of the congestion over in T2 before they finally expand the security and/or baggage areas.

EDIT: Not really relevant to the current discussion but very interesting nonetheless: I came across these three historical terminal layouts over the course of doing research for the airport's Wiki page. 1975 is particularly interesting as it was before the concourses were rebuilt and so shows the original layout. I had no idea that the concourses were previously called by color, with A being 'Blue', B being 'Red', and C being 'Green'. What also intrigued me was that there are two distinct Blue concourses, with there having been a concourse south of the current A concourse. Fascinating stuff.
1975
1986
1991
matguy70 wrote:I, too, have not been approved for KCrag. Been waiting since June this time around.

As for PIT and BA:

"The airport authority will pay the carrier a $3 million with money from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, split $1.5 million a year for two years. It is the largest incentive the airport has ever given."

https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/13 ... ng-april-2

Let's also keep these boards, which normally are, smart conversation.
This "hearsay" crap is just that. "I am hearing", "I've heard", "my sources", blah blah blah.
MEAN NOTHING.

If you want to site a source or a personal meeting with a source ..then site it. If you want to hypothesize or post an educational guess or suggestion... then do it. But to say "I heard twenty new airlines will start service to ABC and they are leaning towards XYZ" That just doesn't cut it.
On the topic of making a KCRAG account.... everyone who creates an account has to email the admins to get your account approved.

On the topic of “hearsay”.... Everything that I said comes from personal meetings.


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Trololzilla wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:39 am

EDIT: Not really relevant to the current discussion but very interesting nonetheless: I came across these three historical terminal layouts over the course of doing research for the airport's Wiki page. 1975 is particularly interesting as it was before the concourses were rebuilt and so shows the original layout. I had no idea that the concourses were previously called by color, with A being 'Blue', B being 'Red', and C being 'Green'. What also intrigued me was that there are two distinct Blue concourses, with there having been a concourse south of the current A concourse. Fascinating stuff.
1975
1986
1991
Thanks for posting these! The 1975 post lines up well with my childhood memories. I fondly remember sitting in the main terminal cocktail lounge with my parents waiting for one or both of them to fly to California to visit my grandmother. I always thought that there was an outdoor observation area near B and this confirms it. The views from there were great, and I still think about the brightly colored Braniff jets I saw over the years.

Nerdy but fond memory: on one occasion while we waited (in the concourse!) for my mother to arrive back from San Diego, a pilot approached my father asking if my brother and I were his. He then proceeded to give the two of us a tour of the American 707 jet cockpit, allowing both of us to take the pilot’s seat, push alarm buttons, etc. We were then given wing pins to commemorate our little tour. I was probably about 7 or 8 but this only fueled my fascination with commercial aviation.

Jeff
ldai_phs wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:21 am

On the topic of making a KCRAG account.... everyone who creates an account has to email the admins to get your account approved.
So I found this after digging. They should have it easier to find but here for all of you that have been trying to register.

So, here's the deal. If you want to join the discussion, and are one of the tiny percentage of a percent of a percent of the registrants that is a person in or interested in Kansas City, then send me an email at [email protected]..... I have three rules for these registrations.

1) Use complete polite English sentences with proper punctuation and spelling. You would not believe how much of a giveaway it is when a spammer writes me to get activated. It's like when the estranged prince of Nigeria needs me to hold onto 13 "millions" dollars for him.
2) The email's subject MUST be "Please activate my kcrag forum account."
3) Your forum username MUST be in the email's body. This really should be obvious, but people still somehow expect me to be clairvoyant enough to figure out their usernames from various inconclusive clues.

Follow these simple instructions, and you will be joining us in the discussion

Okay, now back to airport talk.. for real this time..
Interview with Jeff Lea (with audio)

https://www.missourinet.com/2018/07/26/ ... ere-audio/

34 straight months of growth.

“They’ve (Southwest) strategically been moving some of their flights out of (Chicago) Midway and into St. Louis so that the connecting traffic is not having to go through their Chicago airport but rather through St. Louis,” says Lea.

Lea also tells Missourinet about 4,000 people have traveled from Lambert to Iceland on WOW air, since the international service began in May.

He says in the actual interview that it is over 4,000. This was through 6 weeks, so pretty good. If June was 100% full it would have been around 4k so Just guessing it has to be in the 80s% for loads.

Also, says they have a few more flights to add to their schedule. Not sure if that means the ones already announced or more after that.
Someone forgot some numbers so this is updated

Up 8% in June
6.2% on the year.

Halfway thru on pace for 15.6 million which would be highest since 2003.

https://www.flystl.com/uploads/document ... -26-18.pdf
https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/tr ... for-united

I had noticed some of their planes in storage disappearing so this explains it. Trans states is going to do more United flying. Good for Trans States... but I really hope that doesn't mean more 145s for us...
From the Eno Center for Transportation
A study on Airport Privatization. St. Louis is discussed at page 16 & 17. Overall the paper seems to be anti-privatization. I've only read the STL section so far, it's pretty neutral there.

Webpage: https://www.enotrans.org/etl-material/d ... ed-states/
Direct link to the paper: https://www.enotrans.org/wp-content/upl ... pdf?x43122
Republic Airways nearing a deal for Trans States.

https://theaircurrent.com/airlines/repu ... ns-states/

Not sure what, if anything, this might mean for STL.
^ It's been mentioned (on Airliners.net, so take it how you will) that GoJet airlines might be a candidate for shuttering, as the CRJ-700s are candidates for retirement from regional services. Dunno if that would actually affect any actual flying numbers to Lambert, aside from GoJet leaving the list of the top 5 air carriers at Lambert by passengers carried on the BTS website (why it lacks United on that list puzzles me).
I'll be curious to see what they keep here and move out. I figure they will still base 145s here, which means we will see plenty of those. If they for some reason move everything out then maybe we will see less of those, which wouldn't hurt my feelings any.

I also find it interesting Republic who just went through bankruptcy a year or two ago now is buying someone as big as Trans States. It sounds like they have the backing of some big airlines but still seems weird.
The airport twitter tweeted out photos of a Qatar A340 on the ground here. I can't find any record of it on flightaware. Anyone know why it is here?
As pointed out on A.net, Qatar Airways' write-up on St. Louis as a destination is actually quite well put together. Could be that the AA/Oneworld connection is the main reason it's on their site.

I have to concur with the conclusion that it must be one of the governmental Qatari flights, probably to visit Boeing.
Man, PIT is getting everything these days, it seems. China Eastern just announced seasonal charters between PIT and Shanghai, with the hope of turning those flights into a year-round route.

Also of interest: Aer Lingus is supposedly narrowing down their next NA destinations list to two or three candidates, which seems to include PIT (geez) and Montreal. No indication as to who that potential third candidate is, but it's implied it's possibly a midwestern city, so... us? IND or one of the Ohio airports maybe?

All the money PIT is throwing at international flights has got to be adding up at this point though, right?
Trololzilla wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:58 am
Man, PIT is getting everything these days, it seems. China Eastern just announced seasonal charters between PIT and Shanghai, with the hope of turning those flights into a year-round route.

Also of interest: Aer Lingus is supposedly narrowing down their next NA destinations list to two or three candidates, which seems to include PIT (geez) and Montreal. No indication as to who that potential third candidate is, but it's implied it's possibly a midwestern city, so... us? IND or one of the Ohio airports maybe?

All the money PIT is throwing at international flights has got to be adding up at this point though, right?
PIT is paying 900K for 2 Eastern China flights. If they want to throw that much money at something just so they can say they have a flight to China... more power to them. It is a long way to go from 2 flights a year to a year round flight.

I am curious to see who gets the Ireland flights. I would love one for us just because I like going to Ireland but I am not sure I want it at the expense of London (if it is an either or). I would be a little surprised if PIT got it also but who knows. I am still surprised they have focused so much on Europe and not on the west coast. The only year round flight they have to LA is Spirit. I would think incentive money could be better used (and more traveled) to west coast cities, but I guess that is why I don't run an airport.
A bunch of Volaris flights are available on their website to STL connecting via CUN on F9 for fair prices. Pretty cool!


Now we have Apple chartering the plane, Funjet selling tickets on the chartered section, and Frontier + Volaris selling tickets and connections on the remaining portion, not something you see everyday
I find these developments out of PIT...interesting.

AFAIK, the Pittsburgh metro is shrinking and is not seeing economic growth.

Also, as jshank pointed out, they have really poor west coast offerings.
Chalupas54 wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:23 pm
I find these developments out of PIT...interesting.

AFAIK, the Pittsburgh metro is shrinking and is not seeing economic growth.

Also, as jshank pointed out, they have really poor west coast offerings.
Bitter much?

PIT actually has a fair amount in common with STL (similar size MSAs, both have city occupational earnings taxes, similar composition of local economies)

What’s different about PIT is there is a much more collaborative regional focused government that has worked well with the hand they’ve been dealt rather than reminisce about how a century ago they were the fifth largest city in the country.

Yes, STL has WUSTL and SLU but PIT has PITT and Carnegie Melon whose campuses are adjacent and work collaboratively on things like public safety and other student services. SLU obviously isn’t quite in the same league but point is the regional leadership isn’t so provincial and closed minded.

Not sure where or why you believe some major announcement is imminent, there’s been a flurry of announcements for next (north) summer already including BA LHR-PIT, UA IAD-TLV, several DL transatlantic network realignments, NZ AKL-ORD among others.

Absent a revenue guarantee or incentive there’s no reason a carrier like BA would dedicate a $100 million LHR slot pair and ~$150 million capital asset to serve what would be initially, at best, a marginal market. Seriously how do you expect them to fill the premium cabin with fare paying passengers (not awards, upgrades or non-revs)?
^I am pretty sure it is a given any announcement would include incentives. No one is arguing that. Every TATL announcement to a mid sized/marginal market does. That is what makes them happen (ie PIT giving 3 million for BA, Nashville giving 1.5-2 mil to BA, and IND giving 5 mil to Delta). If STL ponies up the money, then they will get service, it is as simple as that.

I can't imagine STL would have any more trouble filling up a premium cabin than other markets the same size would.
jshank83 wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:29 pm
^I am pretty sure it is a given any announcement would include incentives. No one is arguing that. Every TATL announcement to a mid sized/marginal market does. That is what makes them happen (ie PIT giving 3 million for BA, Nashville giving 1.5-2 mil to BA, and IND giving 5 mil to Delta). If STL ponies up the money, then they will get service, it is as simple as that.

I can't imagine STL would have any more trouble filling up a premium cabin than other markets the same size would.
And regional “leadership” hasn’t been willing/able to do so yet keep insisting the merits are there for more air service (like Francis Slay’s comical blog post in 2009 when the final ax was swung on the AA hub-http://archive.mayorslay.com/from-fgs/s ... ut-flights) as if he knows better than career long airline network planners.

Again I hate to be a downer, I’m trying to be real here but the local population in STL with the financial means to support such service is generally content going to Naples, FL and Lake of the Ozarks not London and Santorini. And the few people that have both the means and desire to travel abroad in a premium cabin are already doing so with an intermediate stop.

Yes some here will say STL has both Saks Fifth Avenue & Neiman Marcus in addition to both a ~300 room Ritz-Carlton AND Four Seasons none of which either PIT or BNA have, but again that infrastructure has been in place for over a quarter century when the region was more relevant on a national level (a decade in the case of the FS but with significant abatements and subsides from the City of St. Louis). Those remain in place as they have established clientele (that by and large are aging) but it’s not like they’d decide to open an incremental property or store in the STL market were they not already in place.