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How often are non-hub cities used to make connecting flights?
This question is somewhat brain teaser, but something worth considering for us frequent travelers who often find ourselves missing connections due to delays, etc. and rerouting to try and beat weather or similar challenges. How often and/or under what circumstances might it make sense to piece two flights together through a non-hub city? For example, a Birmingham, AL or Chattanooga, TN. In most cases, I get the hub and spoke concept, and that it works for a reason, but surely there are scenarios where it might make sense either on the same airline, or hopping airlines, to get from one city to another via an intermediary smaller airport. Any thoughts?
Well most of the time, these small cities only have flights to a major airline’s hub city for onward connections. I think it only makes sense if the price is right. Going thru a major hub gives you more options when there are delays or cancellations. Going thru a smaller city means less available flights if there are irrops. At some point, it may not be worth the cost savings. Furthermore, the smaller cities may be served with smaller regional aircraft which may be uncomfortable.or lacking in storage space.
Welcome [USER=3376]@doubleoJosh[/USER] – depending on your route sometimes you can connect in major cities that aren’t hubs for that airline. I recall one time a friend saved a lot of money flying LAX-DEN-ORD on AA vs. taking a non-stop. Denver is a UA hub but not an AA hub. But David is right that if there had been an IRROPS situation her choices would have been limited though there likely would have been more choices and bigger planes than if she’d connected in a smaller city.