Andy33 wrote:You could also add that the Heathrow Express model works so well for London that it will disappear in the next few years. Heathrow Express provides dedicated trains shuttling up and down on a relatively low frequency and using a "Central London" terminus in a district relatively few people want to go to, so they need to use other trains, buses or taxis at the city end instead of at the airport end, and it provides it at a ludicrously high fare. Being replaced by Crossrail, running in new tunnels right across Central London from one side to the other, and stopping in key areas, on a higher frequency, and at fares that tie into the citywide ticketing system.
Of course, bizarrely, the Crossrail/Elizabeth Line won't stop at Terminal 5, despite that being the operational nexus for LHR's largest carrier and the airport's busiest terminal!
commavia wrote:I didn't read Kirby's comments as implying that United's managers were "unaware" of the impact of exiting JFK - I took his comments as essentially akin to, "it was a judgement call whether this was the right move, and I think their judgement was wrong." I'm sure Kirby knows full well that - as said - United's managers were obviously "aware" of the impact on at least some corporate accounts that had - historically - demonstrated a preference for using JFK. Similarly, the whole suggestion about this decision having been driven by a is a creation of A.net - again, not, from my reading, Kirby.
Yes, I agree that the concept of the "this is how we did things at Continental" mentality seems to go hand-in-glove with the cries of "Bring the tulip back!" Fact is that some of the most-derided route decisions post-merger (like moving ATL-EWR/IAH to all 50-seat RJs) were partly driven by pmUA's domestic network being starved for mainline aircraft as a result of parking all the pmUA 737s over a short span.
I think the idea of the judgment call in dropping the JFK transcons being wrong or right really turns on the level of commitment to the LAX hub at UA. And it's not clear to me that UA would have continued to retain those LAX corporate accounts as AA & DL both improved their own offerings from LAX and strengthened their partner networks. AA & BA offer superior schedule choice to LHR and DL has managed to become the best-regarded US3 carrier in terms of product. Obviously there's inertia in the big corporate accounts so they don't move on a dime; it takes dropping a key route like JFK-LAX to make those customers switch. But I still think Kirby gives too short shrift to the improvement to the EWR transcons and international network effects as a result of shifting p.s. (which should be rebranded to Polaris in front) to EWR.