Hello BATs! We’ve been on the road and in the skies over the last week, so we’ll spend this week catching up on Bay Area Traveler news! Here goes:
DELTA-UNITED CATFIGHT BENEFITS BAY AREA. TravelSkills Readers (BATs!) are benefitting big time from the Delta vs United cat fight over West Coast airports in the Bay Area, Seattle and Los Angeles.
As we’ve reported, Delta has bulked up on flights between San Francisco/San Jose and Los Angeles. Delta says it will add six new Embraer 175 nonstops between SFO and its rapidly expanding Seattle hub starting next March.
In a move that reminds me of how airlines behaved in the 1990s, United reacted by announcing new flights into Delta hubs like Atlanta, Seattle and Minneapolis.
Starting April 1, United says it will use 737-800s to revive its nonstop service on SFO-ATL, a market already well served well by Delta, Southwest and AirTran.
United also said that it would remove those dreadful CRJ’s on SFO-SEA and convert the route to all-mainline flights —with a whopping 11 flights per day in each direction, which will increase its seat capacity on the route by 50% by next April. United also sports a very nice new 6,100 square-foot United Club at SEA-TAC Concourse A. Have you visited yet?
Alaska Air also competes in this market, and is not sitting idly by… it will add three more nonstops on the route, too, for a total of 11 daily.
With Delta, United, Virgin America and Alaska competing on this route, fares are already low, and should remain low for a while. According to the Centre for Aviation, Alaska currently has a 40% share between Seattle and San Francisco, followed by United at 37% and Virgin America at 23%.
UNITED’S CONVENIENT SFO-ATL SKEDS. United’s new San Francisco-Atlanta flights using Boeing 737-800s are timed to please business travelers. Starting April 1, they will depart SFO at 8:30 am and 4 pm and arriving at 4:07 pm and 11:37 pm. Returns from ATL depart at 7 am and 4:55 pm and arrive at 9:16 am and 7:11 pm.
DOUBLE MILES. In the latest tit-for-tat, Delta announced this week that it would offer double SkyMiles from now through October 2014 (a full year!) on its SFO-Seattle flights. (You must register and book by Dec 31 2013) While United has not yet matched this offer… stay tuned… I would not be surprised if it does as this catfight continues….
NEW SKY CLUB? We’ve also hear rumors from Delta insiders (currently unconfirmed) that a new Sky Club is in the works at Delta’s Terminal 1, Boarding Area C…The current Sky Club is inconveniently located outside the security screening area. The new club will reportedly replace a luggage store near gate C41.