United Airlines Threatens To Abandon JFK

United Airlines Threatens To Abandon JFK

50

United Airlines management is threatening to abandon JFK, unless the airline is granted permanent slots at the airport.

United returned to JFK in 2021

In the spring of 2021, United Airlines returned to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), after cutting service back in 2015. United pulled out of JFK at the time so that it could instead focus on its hub at Newark Airport (EWR), as the airline believed it could get most passengers to travel out of EWR instead of JFK.

That didn’t work out, with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby indicating that United pulling out of JFK was one of the carrier’s biggest mistakes. Clearly United just wasn’t capturing the New York market in the same way flying just out of EWR, and not out of JFK.

As of now, United flies from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), but we haven’t seen any growth beyond that. JFK is one of the few slot restricted airports in the United States, meaning that airlines can’t just fly there without being granted slots.

United’s return to JFK was well-timed, as some extra temporary slots were available at the airport around the start of the pandemic, given the sharp drop we saw in demand. With demand recovering, things aren’t look so good anymore…

United Airlines returned to JFK in 2021

Why United is threatening to pull out of JFK

This week United Airlines management sent a memo to employees, suggesting that the airline might pull out of JFK as of late October 2022. Here’s how the letter describes the problem:

For more than a year, we’ve pursued additional slots through the FAA and the industry market at JFK (New York-Kennedy) so that we can grow to be more competitive.

The reason is simple: without permanent slots, we can’t serve JFK effectively compared to the larger schedules and more attractive flight times flown by our competitors. For example, JetBlue currently flies to Los Angeles six times more often from JFK than United does and American flies there more than four times as frequently.

If you recall, United had an opportunity during COVID to gain access to some temporary slot times at JFK held by other airlines. Now that customer demand has surged back, the operators of these slots are resuming their use at the start of the winer season and beyond.

That’s why ever since we started flying our JFK routes in February 2021, our goal has been growth. During that time, we’ve made repeated requests to the FAA for permanent slots while also pursuing commercial agreements to acquire slots from other airlines — all in an effort to be more competitive at JFK.

Unfortunately, we have not been successful in gaining additional permanent slots.

United Airlines is urging the FAA to increase capacity at JFK, arguing that JFK hasn’t increased hourly slots since 2008, even though airport infrastructure has improved significantly. The memo argues that it’s in the best interest of the public for the FAA to permanently increase slots at JFK, and award some of those to United.

The memo finishes with the following, explaining that United will leave JFK if additional slots aren’t granted to the airline:

If our latest request is approved and the FAA can offer United an interim multi-season allocation, we are prepared to expand and provide consumers a more competitive JFK offering.

But if we are not able to get additional allocations for multiple seasons, we will need to suspend service at JFK, effective at the end of October. That would obviously be a tough and frustrating step to take and one that we have worked really hard to prevent.

United argues it can’t compete with airlines like JetBlue

My take on United’s JFK problems

Is competition good for consumers? Absolutely. In general I’m all for allowing new entrants into markets, so that the existing players have to work a bit harder.

However, United’s stance here seems self-serving, and even a bit ironic:

  • United Airlines voluntarily left JFK in 2015 (and this involved a slot swap with Delta, so United benefited from this), then regretted the situation, and is now playing the victim card; why should United be granted permanent slots at JFK, rather than an airline that never had the opportunity to fly there?
  • JFK is currently undergoing a major redevelopment project, so this might not be the time to expand capacity at the airport, even if the runways are able to handle it
  • When United returned to JFK, the airline knew it was only getting temporary slots, so it seems a bit unrealistic that the airline thought it would easily be able to acquire permanent slots
  • United is taking an all-or-nothing approach here, and wants a multi-season slot allocation, or else the airline will leave the airport
  • United’s argument in favor of expanding JFK slots is exactly the opposite of the argument it makes about not expanding EWR slots; ultra low cost carriers have requested more slots at EWR, and United has repeatedly argued that the airport is already too congested, and allocating more slots to ultra low cost carriers would be bad for consumers

I’d say the one thing potentially working in United’s favor here is that the Northeast Alliance between American and JetBlue is being challenged by the Department of Justice (DOJ). It’s possible that American or JetBlue may have to give up some slots, though I’m not sure those would go to United.

JFK is a slot restricted airport

Bottom line

United Airlines is threatening to stop flying to JFK as of late October 2022, unless the airline is granted permanent slots at the airport. United just returned to JFK in 2021, after leaving the airport in 2015.

While I can appreciate that United only wants to keep investing in flying to the airport if it knows the flights will stick around, this still seems one-sided. It’s also ironic, as United’s argument for expanding JFK slots is exactly the opposite of the carrier’s argument for not expanding EWR slots.

Now, the big question is whether United actually pulls out of JFK without permanent slots, or if this is just a threat.

What do you make of United’s request to expand at JFK?

Conversations (50)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Tony Guest

    Don't let the door hit you on the way back out.

  2. Jordan Gold

    Scott Kirby was the main reason why UA left JFK. While at AA he pushed UA out.

    He knew what was at stake, and at the time wanted the spoils for AA. He thought he would one day become CEO of AA.

    The moment he landed at UA, he saw their hole in the NYC piece of the pie. He knew it well.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The irony is that UA's decision to leave helped Delta which is now the largest airline in the NYC area by number of flights and not American.

      When you try to orchestrate someone else's failure, it almost always backfired.

      Too bad Kirby couldn't get the promotion at American that he really wanted.

  3. Robert Fahr Guest

    United made their bed at Newark, now go lie in it (hopefully it is lie flat).

  4. Brian Gasser Guest

    As a NYer, not a significant loss if UAL leaves JFK. They fly two routes that are already competitively flown by JBLU, DAL, and AAL. If UAL was using the temporary slots to serve a city that was being underserved, that would be a different story. Time for UAL to take its things and head back across the river.

  5. Rob Guest

    When I read United pulled out Of
    JFK some year back I was shocked at the news and thought WTF? I always flew lax to Kennedy and always preferred that over flights to Newark. It was an absolute blunder To do that but United did it voluntarily. I’m
    1k on United and don’t want them
    To pull out or Kennedy but the choice to do so a few years back and give up their coveted slots was their own stupid choice.

  6. iamhere Guest

    United has always tried to focus on their hub at EWR and that never worked well for passengers in the New York area. Most would say the price has to be much cheaper or would compare it more heavily as the time and cost to get to EWR. Further, JetBlue and American being together they should be forced to give up some of their spaces.

  7. Derrick Hampton Guest

    Let United leave, there's plenty of carriers to replace 'em.

    This is the problem with commerce today, "large" corporations pushing their weight around "dictating terms" as to how they're going to do business; and when they do, "its always bad for the consumer"!

    Same as it ever was: United [like "all" businesses], is looking out for United!

  8. Tim Dunn Diamond

    The difference which alot of people are missing is that United voluntarily chose to leave JFK which was and is still slot controlled while every other airline that flies to JFK also flies to Newark and in most cases also LGA.
    UA made a very poor decision to give up its presence at a single airport in the largest market while none of its competitors were going to do the same.
    UA is...

    The difference which alot of people are missing is that United voluntarily chose to leave JFK which was and is still slot controlled while every other airline that flies to JFK also flies to Newark and in most cases also LGA.
    UA made a very poor decision to give up its presence at a single airport in the largest market while none of its competitors were going to do the same.
    UA is just now realizing that the decision was a mistake; the fact that it was made by a different management team at UA is immaterial. Companies consistently have to live with the consequences of previous management teams.

  9. Nate nate Guest

    If UA flies to JFK, it should at least use Terminal 1 to co-locate with LH/Swiss/Austrian, Turkish and TAP

  10. Hobbs Guest

    Are you telling me that flying into New Jersey is an inconvenience to the millions of travelers that live east of the Hudson River? How can this be, with NJ Transit operating 21 hours a day? Airport shuttles from Port Authority operating 16 hours a day? Bridge and tunnel tolls? I guess this is why I’m not a CEO.

    1. Vincent Yee Guest

      I use Access A Ride New York Paratransit which is a transportation service for the handicapped. They only service La Guardia and JFK, not Newark. United should have thought about the handicapped before pulling out and reducing flights.

    2. snic Diamond

      Getting to EWR is a HUGE pain in the butt if you live in Westchester, Connecticut or Long Island. JFK isn't exactly easy to get to, but it's closer than EWR for sure.

  11. KSO Guest

    Although it turns out eliminating JFK transcontinental flights was a New York market mistake, there was sound reasoning behind it. Newark is a giant international hub for UA, inherited from Continental and a major driver of the merger. For years I complained about flying business class from Europe and then being forced to sit in domestic first class or even economy the remainder of the journey to LAX because the only transcontinental flights from Newark...

    Although it turns out eliminating JFK transcontinental flights was a New York market mistake, there was sound reasoning behind it. Newark is a giant international hub for UA, inherited from Continental and a major driver of the merger. For years I complained about flying business class from Europe and then being forced to sit in domestic first class or even economy the remainder of the journey to LAX because the only transcontinental flights from Newark were operated using 737s without enough domestic first class seats and NO business class seats. Moving the Premium Service (PS) 757s from JFK to EWR meant business class passengers could continue to LAX (and SFO) in business class seats - a giant improvement - and only fair to passengers paying such high fares.

    I'm a United Premier customer so it's always better for me to have more UA airport choices. I flew UA to JFK in May and it was a much better experience than the return flight from Newark, where we waited on the tarmac over an hour to take off and I almost missed my connection at LAX. So clearly I would benefit from permanent UA slots at JFK, but only if awarded fairly and by following the rules, not as the response to a threat.

  12. Tomas Guest

    Alaska Airlines is seeking more spots at JFK. I'm sure they'd gladly swoop up United's (same terminal too).

    The real question is, why doesn't United do a better job marketing EWR as a gateway to the New York area from the west coast? Here in California most people probably do not know that that EWR is about the same travel time, if not quicker than JFK to Manhattan.

    1. KSO Guest

      Agreed. Here's the original press release that says just that: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-airlines-strengthens-new-yorknew-jersey-hub-with-move-of-ps-transcontinental-service-to-newark-300099949.html

  13. Brian Tobin Guest

    JFK is a lousy airport with bad traffic to/from Manhattan. EWR is much better.

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      JFK and EWR are both well served by commuter rail into Manhattan, in both cases train will get you into the city faster on average than an Uber/Lyft and cost a tiny fraction of ride sharing apps

  14. Jonathan Guest

    UA leaving JFK? Feel free to do that UA. American, Delta and JetBlue all serve those markets anyway.

  15. Robert Guest

    That UA ever thought leaving JFK was a good idea is completely laughable. And now that they realize JFK is important they can't get back in. Crying foul by the FAA is a last ditch effort to get measurable skin back in the game. Sorry UA, you're going to lose this one.

    1. KSO Guest

      UA had sound reasoning (see my comment), but they failed to consider the preferences of the local New York market and that's what's hurting them now. Here's the original press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-airlines-strengthens-new-yorknew-jersey-hub-with-move-of-ps-transcontinental-service-to-newark-300099949.html

  16. RF Guest

    Make it tied to expanding EWR slots. More competition in both airports will be better for flyers.

    1. Brian Gasser Guest

      I disagree. Unless you have perfect weather, JFK/LGA/EWR are prone to delays that mess the rest of the domestic market. The NYC area airports don't have the resilience/capacity to handle adverse weather affects without melting down.

  17. Donna Diamond

    To believe that EWR would be preferable to JFK, was laughable. Anyone who has any serious experience using both hubs would never select EWR over JFK.

    1. Jason Guest

      My cousin lives on the upper east side in nyc. She's global services on United and goes to Newark for most of her flying. When she goes to Chicago or Denver she'll go to LaGuardia. She way prefers the terminals at Newark and likes being global services, so she does that. She has "serious experience" using both having lived in NYC her whole life, and chooses EWR. Dont make such ridiulous claims.

    2. Donna Diamond

      @Jason - One woman’s ceiling is another’s floor right? Great for your sister! I also lived in NJ and flew in and out of EWR for years, flew the old Continental airlines, and connected there in recent years on UA after the merger. I stand by my statement. And seriously, LaGuardia better than JFK???!!! Now that’s truly ridiculous.

    3. snic Diamond

      "LaGuardia better than JFK???!!! Now that’s truly ridiculous."
      HAHAHA, clearly you haven't flown out of the renovated LGA terminals. The new terminal B is beautiful, functional, spacious, and classy. It puts *every* other NY airport to shame, and actually most others in the US, too.

    4. Brian Tobin Guest

      Not at all true.

    5. Phillip Gold

      What makes JFK that much more attractive?

    6. Tj Guest

      For those of us that live in Brooklyn and Queens (population of over 5 million) JFK is way more attractive.

    7. shza Member

      I routinely choose EWR over JFK. 99/100 times, it’s a quicker commute in/out of Manhattan. If you live in or are going to Queens or outer Brooklyn, it may be the other way around, but for most travelers visiting or returning to most parts of Manhattan, EWR is the better choice (though I’ll grant you that the runway/tarmac situation there has been a disaster this summer).

    8. Nate nate Guest

      I live in Manhattan on the east side and also prefer EWR to JFK. I find the train to EWR from Penn Station to be quicker, and its a cheap cab ride for me to get to Penn Station. Jason's cousin has it right. I also prefer United over Delta because MP miles have utility opposed to SkyPesos.

      Donna definitely doesn't know what she is talking about if she doesn't know that LGA has been...

      I live in Manhattan on the east side and also prefer EWR to JFK. I find the train to EWR from Penn Station to be quicker, and its a cheap cab ride for me to get to Penn Station. Jason's cousin has it right. I also prefer United over Delta because MP miles have utility opposed to SkyPesos.

      Donna definitely doesn't know what she is talking about if she doesn't know that LGA has been renovated and is much better than JFK. In fact, JFK is just starting a renovation, and getting in/out of an airport under construction is a pain.

    9. Brian Gasser Guest

      Except UA was not starting from a blank slate. As was stated in other comments, it picked up Continental's EWR hub during the merger. Continental and United never had the scale at JFK or LGA that AA had.

  18. Barry Guest

    United and Emirates just announced a strategic partnership and....oops, we at United really need those JFK slots back to make it work

    Maybe they should put up or shut up. The other majors paid - and will continue to pay - how much to upgrade their terminals over the last decade or so? Let's see United put some skin in the game.

  19. Golfingboy Guest

    I find the timing very interesting. I am 99% confident the DOT won’t have any issues letting UA keep its current temporary slots at least through May 2023 as we enter the shoulder season, but UA is threatening to exit in October when air travel demand in the US craters. Also it’s widely expected they JetBlue will be forced to divest slots at JFK and UA will be a very strong candidate to make their...

    I find the timing very interesting. I am 99% confident the DOT won’t have any issues letting UA keep its current temporary slots at least through May 2023 as we enter the shoulder season, but UA is threatening to exit in October when air travel demand in the US craters. Also it’s widely expected they JetBlue will be forced to divest slots at JFK and UA will be a very strong candidate to make their current slots permanent and acquire more so they can offer a more robust schedule.

    Methinks advance bookings are not good and UA would rather tell their business accounts that the DOT is the reason they can no longer operate at JFK. They have cut a bit of capacity at JFK already switching from 767s to 757s.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      yes, UA us trying to get its foot in the door in the event that AA/B6 are forced to divest more slots but that misses the point. There is not a single route that UA flies or has proposed flying that DL and/or B6 and/or AA do not already fly from JFK. Add in that UA is not a lower priced competitor than DL or B6
      There is nothing competitively gained by giving UA...

      yes, UA us trying to get its foot in the door in the event that AA/B6 are forced to divest more slots but that misses the point. There is not a single route that UA flies or has proposed flying that DL and/or B6 and/or AA do not already fly from JFK. Add in that UA is not a lower priced competitor than DL or B6
      There is nothing competitively gained by giving UA more access to JFK and yet UA thinks it should be given more JFK access even though it made the decision to leave and then mismanaged its own EWR operation so the government was forced to remove slot controls.
      If there is a need for JFK to gain more access, then either the number of slots should be raised and normal slot acquisition rules should apply or slot controls should be removed which will certainly result in DL adding more flights.
      There is no reason why UA should be given special access to JFK given its own history, its lack of management of its EWR slots, and its decision to leave JFK which has remained slot controlled.

      If UA is too small at JFK to be competitive - and they do not have a competitive schedule given the multiple widebodies/day that DL operates plus what AA and B6 operate, then UA simply needs to leave.

      And UA's request may portend that the government will require concessions from AA/B6 which is perhaps an even bigger story. Let's not forget that the whole AA/B6 northeast alliance is the result of AA's own underutilization of its LGA and JFK slots. The DOT told AA to come up with a mechanism to use those slots better, AA came up with the deal with B6, and the DOJ says it has multiple uncompetitive elements.

      One resolultion of the NEA might be for AA to be forced to abandon slots it cannot use rather or lease them to any carrier rather than pass them back and forth to B6. If UA is willing to bid on leases from B6 if no lower cost carrier is interested, then they can pay to get back into JFK. But Delta might also choose to bid and there is no reason why the higher bid should not win

  20. Tim Dunn Diamond

    let's not forget that Scott Kirby was the architect on the USAirways side of the Delta/Washington National - USAirways/New York LaGuardia slot deal which, by the time it was all finished ended up giving Delta 1/4 of the slots at LGA for $60 million.

    United also entered into a slot deal (not under Kirby) with Delta when it left JFK to swap some of DL's Newark slots for an equal number of UA slots at...

    let's not forget that Scott Kirby was the architect on the USAirways side of the Delta/Washington National - USAirways/New York LaGuardia slot deal which, by the time it was all finished ended up giving Delta 1/4 of the slots at LGA for $60 million.

    United also entered into a slot deal (not under Kirby) with Delta when it left JFK to swap some of DL's Newark slots for an equal number of UA slots at JFK. The DOJ blocked the transfer of more slots to UA at EWR - because UA was still slot controlled and had the highest percentage of slots at any airport. DL ended up with UAs portion of slots at JFK.
    Then the FAA found that UA did not adequately use its slots at Newark so removed slot controls, allowing low cost carriers to come into EWR, further harming the operation, so UA is now forced to pull down its own EWR flights in order to imprve the operation at EWR which has the worst on-time of any major airport.

    So, no, Mr. Kirby, you and United have made multiple bad strategic decisions regarding slots while other airlines have figured out how to play within the rules. There are consequences for such bad choices.

    1. Will Guest

      That DCA/LGA slot swap was low-key one of the biggest airline business mistakes in years. I'm surprised that the US Airways people behind it still have jobs.

      I'm sure Delta still celebrates the competition's stupidity to this day.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Doug Parker is now retired and Scott Kirby has gone from USAirways to American and now CEO of United.
      Is the problem not abundantly clear?

      And the DCA/LGA slot swap was not just one of the biggest blunders in airline history but it has to rank as one of the top 100 dumbest deals in corporate America.

    3. LEo Diamond

      Don't know American aviation, why is this stupid?

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      LEo,
      Delta had far fewer DCA slots to offer in trade than USAirways had of LGA slots; By nature of the market, LGA slots should be worth more but DL got a trade that gave them about 2.5 LGA slots for every 1 DCA slot it gave up.
      Then, US already had more than 50% of DCA slots so the DOJ required AA/US to not gain any more slots when it acquired AA...

      LEo,
      Delta had far fewer DCA slots to offer in trade than USAirways had of LGA slots; By nature of the market, LGA slots should be worth more but DL got a trade that gave them about 2.5 LGA slots for every 1 DCA slot it gave up.
      Then, US already had more than 50% of DCA slots so the DOJ required AA/US to not gain any more slots when it acquired AA - which had about the number of slots at DCA that DL gave up. So, the AA/US merger either gave up the slots that DL swapped with US or AA/US was required to divest all of the AA slots because US had already acquired the maximum amount of slots the DOJ would allow.

      Not only did DL get a much better deal in terms of the number of slots but net-net, AA/US gained nothing by the time of the AA merger while DL ended up with a total of 45% of LGA slots (DL had about 20% of LGA's slots pre-deal and gained another 25% in the deal)

  21. sxc7885 Member

    Bye Felicia..Don’t let the jetway bridge hit you on the way out

  22. DWT Guest

    Plus, if AA/B6 is forced to divest slots, I’d think the government would prefer they go to a new (ie low cost) entrant.

    1. Neil Postlethwaite Guest

      Yup. I’m sure Norse or Play would love it.

  23. Sharon Guest

    When does United’s lease on slots at JFK with Delta end?

    While I understand United’s argument, chances are they want further slots from JFK, but they could increase capacity on their LGA routes through up-gauging.

    They are flying lots of Houston/Chicago service with a319’s. Switch to 737-900’s and they can probably make up a lot of additional capacity

    1. Robert Guest

      It's not about capacity it's about the airport.

  24. loungeaccess Guest

    United's decision, under Smisek, to leave JFK was absurd. They had enough slots to operate a competitive schedule then, even with an uncompetitive product that today, is virtually unchanged. The regulators can't just snap their hands and create space for UA where it does not exist. United has no lounge at JFK, no great prospects for a temporary home while new facilities are being built out over several years, and the schedule it runs just...

    United's decision, under Smisek, to leave JFK was absurd. They had enough slots to operate a competitive schedule then, even with an uncompetitive product that today, is virtually unchanged. The regulators can't just snap their hands and create space for UA where it does not exist. United has no lounge at JFK, no great prospects for a temporary home while new facilities are being built out over several years, and the schedule it runs just can't compete with DL, B6, and AA.

  25. David Guest

    HI Ben - another point is that UA voluntarily gave up the slots to Delta, and obtained slots from DL at EWR. So it's not like they didn't get something in return back in 2015

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      actually, the EWR half of the slot swap was blocked by the DOJ because UA already had such a high percentage of EWR slots so DL did not give up any slots at EWR.
      and then the FAA removed slot controls at EWR because UA wasn't using the slots it had.
      So UA gave DL slots at JFK without getting anything in return... which is eerily similar to what happened at DCA in...

      actually, the EWR half of the slot swap was blocked by the DOJ because UA already had such a high percentage of EWR slots so DL did not give up any slots at EWR.
      and then the FAA removed slot controls at EWR because UA wasn't using the slots it had.
      So UA gave DL slots at JFK without getting anything in return... which is eerily similar to what happened at DCA in the DL/USAirways slot swap. Scott Kirby wasn't at UA at the time of the UA slot screwup but he will always have to live with the memory of what happened in the DL/US slot swap.
      The bottom line, though, is that DL managed to snatch candy from babies (slots in this case) from both US and UA.
      If DL comes talking to you about a slot swap, run. Hard and fast.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Will Guest

That DCA/LGA slot swap was low-key one of the biggest airline business mistakes in years. I'm surprised that the US Airways people behind it still have jobs. I'm sure Delta still celebrates the competition's stupidity to this day.

4
RF Guest

Make it tied to expanding EWR slots. More competition in both airports will be better for flyers.

3
Tim Dunn Diamond

yes, UA us trying to get its foot in the door in the event that AA/B6 are forced to divest more slots but that misses the point. There is not a single route that UA flies or has proposed flying that DL and/or B6 and/or AA do not already fly from JFK. Add in that UA is not a lower priced competitor than DL or B6 There is nothing competitively gained by giving UA more access to JFK and yet UA thinks it should be given more JFK access even though it made the decision to leave and then mismanaged its own EWR operation so the government was forced to remove slot controls. If there is a need for JFK to gain more access, then either the number of slots should be raised and normal slot acquisition rules should apply or slot controls should be removed which will certainly result in DL adding more flights. There is no reason why UA should be given special access to JFK given its own history, its lack of management of its EWR slots, and its decision to leave JFK which has remained slot controlled. If UA is too small at JFK to be competitive - and they do not have a competitive schedule given the multiple widebodies/day that DL operates plus what AA and B6 operate, then UA simply needs to leave. And UA's request may portend that the government will require concessions from AA/B6 which is perhaps an even bigger story. Let's not forget that the whole AA/B6 northeast alliance is the result of AA's own underutilization of its LGA and JFK slots. The DOT told AA to come up with a mechanism to use those slots better, AA came up with the deal with B6, and the DOJ says it has multiple uncompetitive elements. One resolultion of the NEA might be for AA to be forced to abandon slots it cannot use rather or lease them to any carrier rather than pass them back and forth to B6. If UA is willing to bid on leases from B6 if no lower cost carrier is interested, then they can pay to get back into JFK. But Delta might also choose to bid and there is no reason why the higher bid should not win

3
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT