Delta Doubles Down On Flights From Austin To Nowhere: The Strategy Behind Half-Empty Planes

Delta Air Lines went big into Austin once American Airlines pulled back flights. Delta did not expect these flights to sell well. They don’t seem to be selling well. And Delta does not much care. They’re going even deeper because this is about long run strategy, and not these specific flights.

Austin is a unique market,

  • passenger traffic has been growing quickly, year-after-year among the fastest in the United States
  • airline capacity has grown at an even faster clip

Barbara Jordan Terminal, Austin

So why get into the market? The airport is full and likely will remain full for the rest of the decade and even beyond. There aren’t available gates at the airport.

  • As part of planned expansion, they’re even getting rid of the low cost ‘South Terminal’ and will need to accommodate Frontier and Allegiant in the main terminal.
  • They’re building 3 new gates, to deliver in 2026 (hopefully), but that just makes it possible to take 3 gates offline for construction of a connector to a new midfield concourse expected to open in the next decade.

Delta Sky Club Austin

Delta Sky Club Austin

It will be the 2030s before we see midfield concourse gates and greater capacity in Austin. Until then Delta has pretty clearly squatted on some gates by running flights they don’t expect to make money on. And they’ve done it in a low cost way: SkyWest regional jet flying within Texas to Midland and McAllen. It won’t cost them that much, so they won’t lose that much, but they position themselves in the airport and block growth by other carriers.

While it seemed obvious that entering the Austin – Midland market where Southwest already flew Boeing 737s wasn’t actually a priority in itself for Delta, as if to underscore just how little Delta cared about the market they didn’t even tell Midland’s airport they were doing it until 48 hours before announcing it, let alone discussing any of the logistics like ticket counter space.

Delta Air Lines Gate Austin

Now they’re growing their ‘we don’t actually care’ Austin presence even more: daily SkyWest regional jet Austin – Harlingen service starting in October. Southwest already offers twice peak-daily 737 service on the route.

To be sure, Delta may hope that this route isn’t a complete bomb. They currently offer seasonal Minneapolis service out of Harlingen, so this isn’t the same as opening a new station where you haven’t even spoken to the airport in years. But not having to open a station is another way to save on cost and limit downside – all while holding onto scarce gates at the airport in case you have a real use for them later.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What you’re missing here is that they’re reducing some of their Midland Odessa service and having one Harlingen and one Midland flight instead of just two Midland flights.
    And I’ve seen the load factor information. It’s not as empty as you’d think. I dont have fare information, but the loads arent actually bad.

  2. I’m from McAllen. The Delta flights I’ve been has always been full, if not oversold. Some got a nice bump compensation for it. These aren’t empty flights thot-thinker

  3. Every airline has some level of strategic and developmental flying. Despite being the largest airline airline across the Atlantic and Pacific, UA makes far less per seat mile than DL. Apparently being big is strategic for them. AA doesn’t make money flying the Atlantic or Pacific at all.
    and then you have the low cost and ultra low cost sector which doesn’t make money at all right now.

    Everyone points out DL’s “hole” by not having a hub in Texas.

    DL is clearly trying to add a few dots to its route map and it actually does compete fairly well against WN. Much of the intra-Texas routes that AA and UA fly to smaller cities are on RJs and have little local traffic from those hubs.

    and the inaction of AUS to see demand coming and figure out how to expand the airport is going to push fares up.
    Austin is now becoming one of the top metro areas FROM WHICH people are moving; the luster around the metro is falling which means that those people who are there will enjoy higher qualities of life but at a higher cost of living.

    DL is just positioning itself to have a large share of the AUS market and it might end up being the largest legacy carrier there.

  4. @ Tim — Yeah, and they are leaving for good reason — idiot politicians, unbearably hot weather, inadequate infrastructure, and absurd prices for ugly housing. Austin WAS a cool city 25 years ago.

  5. Delta has stumbled in Texas for decades, like a drunk hanging onto the nearest lamp post.

  6. All this money-losing maneuvering of metal, but at the same time Virgin Atlantic kills the only non-stop code share to LHR. That was the ultimate UR sweet-spot, and it costs me.

    At this point I am sunk-cost DL, Team Sky Peso, but the lack of non-stops to LHR or HND kind of sucks. AA and UA suck more, and the single AUS-LHR flight on BA is not going to sway me since it won’t reward my servitude.

    So until things change (will they?) I gotta AUS -> ATL, JFK, MSP, LAX, SEA, DTW, or SLC to reach LHR or HND if I want to use or earn MQDs, upgrades or pesos.

  7. Gary: article about a new AUs-HRL route

    Timmy: I don’t understand DOT geographic revenue reporting, at all, but I’m going to prove I don’t by talking about United vs delta across the oceans to make delta look good even though nothing in the article is about that

    There’s a reason you’re writing in the comments, Timmy, not making money for yourself

  8. oh, I make money, max.

    You prove that you can’t accept reality so invent your own and trash anyone that tells the truth that you don’t want to hear.

    Lemme guess. You can’t stand to see that AA and UA both lose money at certain times of the year flying the Pacific when DL makes money – cuz that is what those 3 airlines reported to the DOT.

    But you can’t explain why DL made $3 billion more in profits than AA in 2023 or $2 billion more than UA so you cling to the notion that the numbers are all wrong. Or that numbers don’t matter at all.
    AA and UA employees that get profit sharing know the numbers are real.
    AA and UA stockholders that have seen DL outperform their stock for a company that is worth more than AA or UA know better.

    DL is investing in growing its presence in Texas using RJs while AA and UA fling widebodies around the globe and lose money.

    The difference is pretty clear to anyone that can objectively look at reality

  9. @ Max — You forget, Tim Dunn cares about nothing but money. He stands for everything that is wrong with America.

  10. Wow, tim
    8 paragraph response in less than five minutes
    You really are in your basement alone today. Big flex on your “I make money” lol

    DOT reporting by geographic region only tells you that delta is more profitable overall which is true

    There’s zero standard for how to report revenue by region between carriers so while I know that conflicts with your life’s work in exalting delta, it’s just a fact

    Go outside or something, bud

    But your normal attempt to change the conversation to something not even brought up by me is always amusing to see. It’s your telltale sign when you know you’re wrong and can’t back it up

    You’re welcome to talk about delta’s overall profitability vs United and aa
    Not what I brought up but it’s your normal attempt to change the topic when you’re wrong. you really need a life but I have one and not getting drawn into your normal lame attempts to change the subject

  11. DL doesn’t offer AUS service to Harlingen though, they fly 33 miles west to McAllen. True Harlingen has had nonstop WN service to AUS for years, but I fear some cannibalization here.

    The main issue is the Rio Grande Valley despite having around 1.5 million people, growing, and a fairly sizable economy is divided into a three market region with respect to commercial air service. Regions across the country of similar size have far better service to multiple hubs versus the RGV which mainly has flights to Dallas and Houston.

  12. It’s called ‘doing business”. It is not necessarily a fair sport. Although, ALL the data say that Delta Airlines is the better of the three, some people like to argue endlessly that it is not.

  13. When talking about Austin and people leaving they conveniently leave out that 2 of the top 3 fastest growing cities in the U.S. are Austin metro suburb cities. The Austin metro is booming with no end in sight. Austin is no different than countless large cities throughout the U.S.

    AUS is building a temporary hold room facility on the east side of the maintenance ramp for bussing operations that will have six hardstand gates. This will allow any airline the option to increase service until the new concourse comes on-line. Also hardstand op’s, up to five stands, can be implemented on the east side of the ramp as well. This is the main reason AUS is implementing a virtual ramp control program which will start by the end of this month.

  14. I have flown the Delta route between Midland and Austin a few times now and the load factor is consistently at least 70%. I am also intimately familiar withMidland airport,, they were more then happy to have Delta move back in on sutch short notice, as thier offices and ticket counter had sat empty since they originally vacated from thier DFW hub days, (thier was probably only minor frustration as they had turned it into a employee gym so equipment had to be moved) I don’t know how much in depth research you did for this article but based off my first hand, witness experience it’s one big NOTHING BURGER.

  15. T
    yes, it is business. It is what you do when you have profits and value that is much larger than your competitors. You invest in your business.
    Delta just happens to take much smaller risks and has a lower threshold for losses than its peers; that is why it keeps growing but also manages to generate the highest profits.

    At some point, performance on DL’s new RJ routes will become public. They added a couple small Texas cities that weren’t part of their network but also added some stuff like BNA that are likely doing quite well. They outlasted AA on CVG but now have Sun Country and Allegiant in that market. DL does quite well competing against other carriers because they pick their battles carefully.

    As for data, an SEC filed income statement shows the bottom line profitability of the publicly traded US airlines – which is all of them. DOT profitability by region data tells how that breaks down by region and that is as far as public profitability goes. MAX loves to tell us that DOT profitability data by region is all wrong but he is wrong in that there is an industry standard for prorating revenue – that is why interlining is possible. And he and others repeatedly cannot explain where AA and UA are LESS profitable than DL and why AA and UA haven’t fixed. The pie is still the same size even if you accept the argument that carriers can allocate profits differently for different regions; if MAX or anyone else wants to tell us that the profitability data for transatlantic and transpacific flights are wrong, then he needs to tell us where to take profits from in order to make AA and UA’s TPAC systems more profitable.
    At the core, MAX and others simply can’t admit that DL is more profitable not just as a whole but in very distinct parts of its network – and it is because of DL strategies that are not like AA or UA’s.

    We don’t get profitability for individual cities or routes but we do know that every business makes more money on some lines of business than others. Many businesses choose to lose money in some markets for the greater good.

    If DL can manage to secure a few more gates at AUS by playing around with an RJ or 2’s worth of flight time per day, it seems not only like a pretty good investment at a pretty low cost but also far less than what AA and UA spend on ” strategic flying” that never seems to boost their profits.

  16. Hee hee…y’all are getting OWNED by my daddy! He’s never wrong when it comes to the greatest thing to happen in the history of the world: Delta!

  17. Would Delta needs is a home in the middle of the country. They’ve got Minneapolis and Detroit but nothing to cover the Southwest and lower Midwest. Maybe with the new airport that could be Kansas City. Austin not bad either

  18. At the end of the day, this is still an inefficient way to run, just like in the days of covid, when planes flee virtually empty just to keep the gates and slots at various airports.
    One would think you could just not fly with the understanding of the current environment, but no, we have to fly empty airplanes and waste all that fuel and create all that pollution.

  19. I was going to comment on the state of Austin-Bergstrom but @Tim Dunn prevented that.

    Lets look at the facts:
    – UA has a lower casm than DL
    – UAs upgauging, and DL already did that, will push that casm down even further
    – DL has a casm closer to AA than UA
    – Wall Street has been so impressed by UA/UAL that their stock price jumped by $10 overnight.
    – UAL/DAL Q1 results this year were neck and neck.
    – Austin has some of the most garbage fares in the country, and DL isn’t immune
    – Even with all the growth in Texas, Austin as a city will still end up being far smaller than the other two metros/hubs here

    And it is a **little** ironic to say that AA/UA fans can’t admit they lose money in European winter, all while refusing to admit that DL is losing money in Austin.

  20. A220,
    RASM -CASM – profit/ASM. if UAL had advantage in either dept., it would show up on the bottom line – but it doesn’t.
    UAL made $2 billion less than DAL in 2023 or about 55% of the profit DAL earned.
    UAL is worth just over half of DAL in market cap.
    DAL is also upgauging and has been for years.

    AUS is still a growth market and DAL passed UAL years ago.
    There are plenty of markets w/ “trash fares” and yet UAL said that part of its strategy to fill all of the seats on these new narrowbodies it is going to put in service – as soon as Boeing can deliver them since UAL managed to find just 3 dozen additional A321NEOs over 2 years – is to sell more basic economy – which sounds a whole lot like trash traffic to me.

    Many airlines don’t provide capacity data anymore but Airlines for America just provided data that shows that Delta is adding the most capacity among US airlines in the 4th quarter.
    And Delta will almost certainly end up as the most profitable as well.

    UAL is dealing w/ the economic failure of NRT and GUM as hubs and is carrying lots of dead wood across the Pacific.
    American is ticking off millions of corporate passengers.
    Delta is playing around w/ a few RJs worth of flying in Austin and likely still carrying decent loads per Jason even if the yields might not be great.

    I see nothing that says that the status quo of the industry with Delta in the lead position, United acting like it is on par w/ Delta but really is closer to American than Delta, and America and Southwest rounding out the back of the pack followed by the rest – with Alaska better off that the other small fries.

  21. I’m surprised Delta didn’t pick up some of the AUS routes that AA had been flying. Surely there are viable routes among those that would do better than these are.

  22. @Tim Dunn there was no luster in Austin. People moved there because it was cheaper than other more expensive areas. Now that costs have gone up, and people have to go back into the office, nobody wants to stay for lower Texas wages, high costs, and bad weather.

    The other part that people also forget is that the people who move to Texas often don’t do so because they like it, they do so because it’s cheap and they’re unable to make it in a more expensive metro. These folks don’t have money to spend on discretionary travel. If they did, they wouldn’t have moved in the first place. American realized quickly that chasing population rather than chasing travlers was a money losing idea. As Gary points, out Austin’s seats have increased more than demand. Not sure I understand Gary’s assessment of Delta’s strategy here. If the airport is expanding, there will be more gates available in a few years. The idea is that having those gates now vs several years down the road is the winning bet so as to develop the market and cater to whom? Passengers who failed in high cost metros and don’t have money to travel anyway? It doesn’t add up. As has been pointed out in the comments, AUS fares are often low. Not sure what they’re trying to gain here. This isn’t LAX or EWR where they expect to be gate and/or slot contstrained in perpetuity. New gates are coming, albeit in a few years.

  23. first of all, let’s deal w facts and not the statements that many make that are not backed up by facts.
    The DOT publishes data on domestic airfares at US cities; in the fourth quarter of 2023, the domestic average was $384 and AUS was at $378.
    When you look at markets that had higher average fares, you see large legacy carrier hubs; to no surprise, they do a good job of pricing their hub markets. DFW and IAH both have higher average fares than AUS.
    And when you look at the markets that are below, you see nearly every major Florida city except for JAX and you see every WN “hub”. Guess who is the largest airline at AUS? yep, WN. And AUS’s average fares are still higher than all of WN’s “hub” markets including DAL and HOU.
    In other words, the legacy carriers get higher average fares from AUS just as they do from other markets.
    The notion that there are not good fares to be had in AUS come from people that don’t want to admit that AA didn’t execute well a decent opportunity to build AUS. But they have said the same thing about the markets from JFK and LAX that AA has walked away from.

    And then we have the question of what load factors DL has actually gotten on its AUS RJ flights. Given that Gary lives in AUS, you would think the least he could do during one of his visits to AUS to count people getting on or off DL’s intrastate TX flights. Or just wait for data that shows how well or poorly DL is doing before making statements about low load factors.

    and jeff,
    you sound like a California elite since a large number of people that fled CA ended up in AUS.
    People go where it makes economic sense to do so around the world. There is no reason to stay in any city if it costs you money and you can live your life just as well elsewhere.
    Until AUS has gates for expansion, what is available will result in higher fares for the airlines that have access to them
    If DL is capable of adding flights that fill out its network and not lose money in the process – despite what some people assert, there is no public data about profitability by city for any airline – then DL wins at someone else’s expense.

    And, again, let’s remember that AA and UA do lose money on either their transpacific or transatlantic networks while DL makes money.
    A few RJs, even if DL does lose money, is nothing in comparison and there is a real good chance that DL isn’t losing money

  24. Nice to see ‘other’ people arguing, and the petulance not directed at me. I have to take up for Tim here. He seems to give a basis for his points, far more so than others. His initial points seemed cogent, prefacing them with an example of strategy (that completely went over some people’s heads). He referenced my first thought in reading the article, that of hub potential, but didn’t exound on it. It was a bit confusing for him in one sentence to reference growing ‘demand’ in the city and in the next state that Austin is losing population. Nevertheless, most of it was at least sound reasoning.
    Back to the hub point; haven’t read all the comments, most just seem to be snarking, so don’t know if it has been expounded upon. It makes sense that Delta would be seeking a Mid-West hub point once again. Its former DFW hub was a victim of financial troubles (stemming from legacy airline days and deregulation). It has since relied upon SLC and MSP (via Western and Northwest mergers) to catch westbound traffic west of Atlanta. Those two are not poised well to compete with AA, UA and WN, Frontier as well, for a large swath that includes the second most populous state in the country.
    Looking at AUS, the airport itself is positioned to expand well for a hub operation, by adding a parallel concourse with an underground connection, like at ATL, with which Delta is quite familiar.

  25. Aldin,
    thanks for your comments.
    The City of Austin proper is growing at a slower rate and Travis County is seeing more people move out than move in. But as noted, the metro area is still growing – just not as fast as it once did.

    And DL closed its hub at DFW and moved the assets to NYC, where it displaced AA as the largest carrier, and ATL – which is still the world’s largest hub – because DL was in the #2 position at DFW behind AA.
    AA is in the same place at ORD and doing poorly.
    Two legacy carriers have never survived at the same size at any US hub airport.

    DL does have a disadvantage in Texas – just as AA has on the west coast and in the mountain states and UA has in the SE.
    DL is the only one of the 3 that has built a new hub post deregulation – DL has actually built two – BOS and SEA.

    AUS is nowhere near a hub for DL but they are slowly adding a few flights to new markets while increasing capacity to its hubs – all of which it serves from AUS except for LGA which is outside the LGA perimeter.
    There aren’t gates to build a full hub but DL can incrementally grow and is doing so.

    Unlike what some believe, DL is very likely profitable at AUS because of its other routes and so it can invest in low-risk growth by adding cities in Texas it does not serve.

    Adding HRL to MFE and MAF makes sense.
    Maybe LBB will follow.

  26. @Tim Dunn, I literally pointed out that UA has a lower casm than DL. You’re the guy who constantly tells us to check the companys numbers right?

    Delta can’t upgauge much more. They’re already mostly done. UA still has a long way to go, yet they already have a lower casm than DL. You tell me who has a better eye on costs.

    You can’t criticise United for its diversification strategy when Delta… is also doing it. If you actually bothered to read any of their PowerPoints or such they always have a slide or two on this.

    UAs problem is they punch below their weight domestically anyway. The sooner they get all those Boeing planes the better.

    Oh yeah and AA has ticked off, not ticking off customers. They already started to reverse their silly changes to sales and distribution.

    Austin is unprofitable for Delta. High casm regionals + low fares + meh load factors + lack of brand relevance in the market means DL is unprofitable here. It’s okay to admit this

  27. @Tim Dunn the WN comparison is interesting because WN has the second highest RASM, right behind Delta. If WN is pulling in poor fares from AUS, when normally WN does pretty well, then it would go to show that AUS fares can be mediocre. Obviously that’s dependent on market, but when the biggest carrier at AUS who is usually #2 can’t pull off good fares, that’s telling you something right there.

    As for AA at AUS, I’m not sure they executed poorly. Much of their second round expansion was dropped before it even flew. They were chasing cities people fled to (e.g., AUS-SMF) which as I mentioned earlier wasn’t chasing the money, it was chasing refugees from expensive cities — i.e., people who aren’t good with their money and were forced to leave.

    I think you may be misunderstanding the challenges of people who do make moves to lower cost areas. They’re not rushing to some exciting new place they perceive as feature rich, they’re walking away from friends and family and taking their kids out of school after having tried to make it and failing. You have to be a bit savvy when the costs are against you, and if you can’t figure it out, going somewhere cheaper is often a last resort.

  28. I’m a little surprised that DL chose to compete directly against WN at HRL rather than bracket HRL by serving AUS to both MFE (McAllen) and BRO (Brownsville).

  29. A220,
    you truly aren’t smart enough to compare RASM and CASM and see that there is wider gap in RASM? THAT is why UA doesn’t generate the profits DL does.

    You live in a world that doesn’t exist and hope will. Football games are played because the prognosticators are often wrong.
    When UA generates profits on par w/ DL or better, let’s talk.

    Feel free to provide facts and data to prove DL is unprofitable in AUS.
    They operate a handful of RJs.
    You are just full of sour grapes because DL managed to pass up UA in AUS – and all of these dreams you and others have of DL’s vulnerability and UA’s success just aren’t bearing fruit.

    yes, AA screwed up the execution of their AUS strategy. First, they, not DL, built their expansion around RJs which was against union contracts.
    Yields by carrier at each market can be calculated – I just don’t have that data. I am not saying that WN doesn’t make money; I am saying they pull in low fares which is what pulls down the average for all airlines in AUS and nationwide. AUS is very likely profitable not just for WN but for DL and AA – outside of their big expansion – and for UA.

    I don’t live in Texas but people came from California to my neighborhood because of a lower cost of living AND for greater freedom; one family moved here during the pandemic because the dad could be with his wife during the birth of their first child and at that time that was not possible in CA.
    Money is part of it but I have talked to plenty of people that sold their homes in CA and moved east with enough money to start over.
    At some point, the same dynamic plays out in AUS.
    And the major city in the metro area where I live is seeing the same thing on a smaller scale as AUS; people move out of high cost of living big cities to suburbs. When the suburbs become more expensive than other metro areas, people move again.
    It’s really not that complicated esp. when so many people work hybrid or can go into the office on a less than daily basis.

  30. Why wouldn’t Delta make a hub out of Austin? It’s a larger population size than a few of their other hubs. They used to hub at Dallas-Fort Worth with AA, but now could have a large southwest city where AA and UA are not likely to increase their flight levels for fear of cannibalizing their own flights at DFW and IAH. Is it only the limited terminal space that would hold them back?

  31. Tim Dunn- the blabbermouth of this site and the coward on sites that have called him out.

    About time Gary exposed him too.

  32. Anyone else notice the irony that:
    * At 4:37 p.m., Tim Dunn writes “let’s deal w facts and not the statements that many make that are not backed up by facts.”
    * At 5:46 p.m., Tim “Double Standard” Dunn writes “DL is very likely profitable at AUS” despite offering absolutely no facts to back it up.
    * Then A220 makes the argument that DL probably is losing money in Austin.
    * Then, at 6:40 p.m., Tim tells A220 that he isn’t very smart and challenges him to provide facts.

    I can’t believe the irony. A first year high school debater would absolutely wipe the floor with this guy.

  33. @Jim It’s easy for Tim to debate. Any good data/facts for Delta – repeat in any situation no matter how irrelevant. And bad facts for Delta – refer back to Delta being the most profitable airline and therefore part of their genius master plan.

    Truly, even ChatGPT 1.0 has more complex decision logic.

  34. Lets not forget most of the airlines were bailed out with the CARES act in 2020. If not for the bailout money, Delta, United, American and others would have had to layoff several people and downsize dramatically. You know, like how a capitalist economy is supposed to work rather then being held afloat by the government.

    I like the back and fourth people have here. Northwest and Delta merged in 2008. That wasn’t that long ago in the snapshot of time imo. Smisek decimated United strategically and culturally. The story for UAL is in the early innings of what Delta has become from post merger. I worry for American and it’s product.
    Out of the big 3, they appear to have the most demoralised workforce.

  35. jim,
    the irony is that YOU call someone out for playing on multiple sites while you do the same thing.
    I said DL is “likely” making money at AUS – but also said that about AA, UA, and WN.
    220 said DL is “losing money” not probably but affirmatively.
    You and your ilk manipulate statements because what you really can’t stand to see is the affirmative facts on a verifiable large scale that AA and UA lose money on large parts of their international networks at times of the year when DL can make money AND DL has figured out how to make AUS work and grow when AA and UA can’t.
    The real issue is that you are incapable of accepting basic facts because it would mean the “other team” is doing what yours can’t.

    DL closed its DFW hub in 2004 and moved those assets to NYC and ATL, is now the largest airline in NYC, has added BOS as a hub, and is the largest international airline on the east coast – severely throwing a kink in UA’s claims to dominance of the international market.

    Arguing that DL loses money because they operate a handful of RJs when UA and AA have hundreds more RJs across their network is the height of hypocrisy. A220 touts the upgauging that UA is doing – even though UA showed them how to do it over a decade ago.

    and let’s not forget that UA dumped all kinds of capacity into the Pacific because it couldn’t make it work over the Atlantic; Scott Kirby himself said that UA’s TATL performance last year – and, no duh, DOT data shows they earned half the profit of DL even though UA flew more capacity. But MAX will tell us the data is wrong.

    DL is doing just fine in AUS and around the country and around the globe. DL isn’ t dumping capacity into any market. They do slowly develop key markets and recognize the value of building a larger presence in Texas even though DL is still the #2 airline at DFW and DAL and HOU.

    DL gets higher fares than the industry in AUS and across its network.

    Even if DL was losing money on its new RJ services from AUS, they are playing w/ a couple RJs while AA and UA play w/ dozens of excess widebodies flying across both oceans.

    You can’t admit that, once again, DL has outsmarted AA and UA at the games EACH set out to play.

  36. @ Tim Dunn. I’m not seeing where you get your “facts” to support your claim that while Austin is still growing (yes at a much slower pace than the last four years) but that Travis County is LOSING population. Census statistics, and road traffic, would indicate otherwise.

  37. For the first time in 20 years, more people are leaving Travis County than moving in. Historical county-to-county migration data shows people are leaving Travis County for neighboring areas. Between July 2022 and July 2023, roughly 2,500 more people moved out of Travis County than moved in.Mar 19, 2024

  38. Tim, I love the irony that you are encouraging people to use facts here, then say “the irony is that YOU call someone out for playing on multiple sites while you do the same thing.” I didn’t call you out for writing on other sites. Another commenter mentioned other sites, but it wasn’t me. I just pointed out that you called for people to use facts, then inserted an opinion that you didn’t back up, then called someone else out for doing the same thing when they contradicted you.

    Also, nice work using the term “ilk” to refer to me when you went on some tangent about American and United making or losing money on international flying, which I didn’t even mention. You really put me in my place using that loaded term to refer to an argument that I wasn’t even making. That hurt so badly that I’m thinking about staying off the internet for a few days, or maybe even forever. I hope you know that you really got me with that one — so many tears right now.

    However, since you mentioned it, I did have come dialog with you over on Cranky Flier. Anyone who wants to see how poorly you understand the basic finance concepts that you write so much about should check out the comment string in Cranky’s 6/13 post about Southwest.

    Tim Bingo: Juvenile insult — check. Going off on a tangent — check. Misstating facts — check. Biased writing regarding Delta — check. Failure to disclose conflicts — check. Writing thousands of words of comment barf — check.

  39. jim,
    first, in case you haven’t figured it out, airline-related social media is not some amorphous megasite on which you or others can participate.
    If you don’t like what is posted on other sites, post replies there.
    You clearly have some severe beef that goes well beyond this article or any other single site or article – and you make that clear in your response here which doesn’t look much different than what you posted elsewhere. Take YOUR childish need for revenge and taking someone else down elsewhere – like to a boxing ring.

    and the very reason I butted heads w you elsewhere and hear is because you LOVE to manipulate what is said and to throw your weight behind anyone that thinks they can “take me out”
    You have a problem, son. Deal w/ it.

    A220, just like you, cherrypicks facts and then throws a fit when someone notices.
    Of course UA has a lower CASM – its longer stage length should result in a lower CASM
    But UA also has a lower RASM and the difference between the two is precisely why UA’s profits are considerably smaller than DL’s despite the fact that UA’s fans and its executive leaders love to align themselves with DL when UA”s profits last year were closer to AA’s than DL. Fact.

    UA was mismanaged for years so it isn’t a surprise that someone that is on their 4th airline should be able to fix many of UA’s problems, esp. since he was the cause of many of AA and US’ problems.

    Kirby thinks he can fix everything that was wrong in a couple of years and that he won’t lose anything while he thinks he will take whatever he wants or UA needs from DL.
    DL never said it was walking away from the Pacific. They are restructuring and they are doing it profitably.
    UA held onto tons of old airplanes and have thrown them around the globe – all while underperforming DL’s international operations.
    If UA is as smart as it thinks it is, its results will prove it.

    UA’s inability to grow its domestic system cost it its position in AUS years ago. DL already bypassed UA in AUS and DL is giving up nothing to UA domestically.

    and, yes, SQ, AA is in much worse shape and the airline industry did get alot of government aid – but a pretty small fraction of all that was handed out in the US economy and to other companies.
    The most successful airlines have figured out how to adapt to the realities of the marketplace post-covid including high labor costs; it isn’t a surprise that DL has led the industry in raising employee costs and still manages to post the best profits – because DL generates the revenue premium that A220 doesn’t want to talk about.

    DL has simply outsmarted AA and UA for decades and that is nowhere near likely to change including in AUS.

  40. Tim, you are correct that I have a beef. You write about topics (law, finance) that you have no apparent expertise in (refer to my comments on Cranky’s 6/13 Southwest post, calling you out for incorrect statements on stock buybacks and special dividends, which you gave up trying to rebut). You make inaccurate statements, potentially costing less experienced investors money. And your Delta bias makes your writing basically worthless. If you would focus on what you MIGHT have some expertise in (it’s tough to say because you write so much BS, but I have a sense that you have a decent understanding of airline operations, performance metrics and fleets) and call balls and strikes (no, Delta isn’t perfect, and I’ve been a platinum for many years), you might have some influence.

    Regarding your attempt at condescension (calling me “son”) and your pathetic suggestion that I take up boxing — do you really think that any of this helping you win the argument? I’ll add condescension to my Tim Bingo list, though. Condescension. Delta fanboyism. Misstating others’ arguments. Adding irrelevent details. Comment barf. Talking beyond your expertise. Juvenile insults. Failure to disclose conflicts. You’ve been at this long enough that we recognize your plays.

    You said I cherry-picked facts. Here are the facts that I, in your words, “cherry-pick”ed. At 4:37 p.m. yesterday, you encouraged folks to stick to facts. At 5:46 p.m., you said that you thought Delta was profitable in Austin, offering no facts to back that up. You still haven’t, despite thousands of words of comment barf including coming back to American and United’s international profitability (on a post about Delta in Austin) multiple times.

  41. yes, son, you have a problem.
    You are hellbent on squashing anybody that utters an opinion that isn’t your own.
    Adults are capable of debating facts and opinions w/o resorting to the need to get rid of people.
    The sooner you realize it, the sooner you can get help.

    and the sooner you can recognize that A220 made a list of statements of fact, not opinions. I said “likely.” If you are incapable of telling the difference, you should stay off the internet.
    But since you are hellbent on taking out people that don’t agree w/ you, of course you are incapable of reading what is written.

    A220 wants to believe that DL can’t make money in AUS because AA had to pull down its schedule and UA got bypassed by DL.

    You side w/ dumb statements, you get lumped in w/ dumb.

  42. Tim, you condescended to me twice, you lumped me in with “dumb,” you suggested I need help, you suggested I take up boxing, and you told me I should stay off the internet — while never contradicting my original point. Enough said.

  43. I most certainly did contradict your statement. You were too hellbent on eliminating me that you missed it. Just like you did elsewhere
    A220 stated as fact that Delta loses money in Austin. I said it is likely they make money along w all the big 4.
    If you can’t tell the difference between those two statements and see I am not biased for anyone by saying all 4 likely make money in Austin then you should stay off the internet.

  44. The McAllen service definitely isn’t worthless. Planes are regularly filling up and hasn’t even been available two months yet. If heading to Austin previously, I’d usually just drive from McAllen because after going through the hassle of getting to Harlingen and the Southwest flight often not even operating on time, didn’t feel worth it. Not to mention, with Delta expanding service in general from Austin, it’s becoming a decent connection spot and alternative to American and United for business travelers. Great work around for us when bad weather has DFW or IAH severely impacted.

  45. Imagine simping this hard for a billion dollar company that gouges you on fares, regularly devalues your loyalty points and wouldn’t give a flip if you never flew them again

  46. Tim, can you please tell us if you were fired. Some allege that and you never really answered.

  47. I have never been fired from anything. And it doesn’t even make sense that someone would be fired and then be the chief shill for the company they were supposedly fired from.

    Given how much fiction is thrown around aviation social media, it is not surprise the fiction on being fired lives on

    The real fiction comes from the posts of A220 above that asserts his opinions and wishes and facts.
    And the evidence that he reacts to my factual comments about American and United is that he makes very rational comments elsewhere on other topics. He like many go nuts when I criticize their first love

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