Wednesday, January 29, 2014
MUST READ!!! KANSAS CITY AIRPORT INSIDER: STOP THIS HUB NONSENSE!!!
TKC Note: A really great, well-written and insightful bit of writing that FACT CHECKS the Kansas City single-terminal cheerleaders. Check it . . .
Please stop 'hub' nonsense - celebrate our 21st century flow through design
Please stop this hub nonsense about KCI. Here is but one of many articles explaining how cities less than 5 million only make the most vulnerable hubs.
Brookings: Another Funeral for the Midsize Airline Hub
We do not have the population of Chicago or Dallas-Ft. Worth, the low-cost take-off and landing altitude of Denver or the magnet attractions of a Las Vegas or Orlando (I note that you did not mention Disney World).
You also do not mention the billions of dollars in public contracts administered out of Austin nor that city’s and Nashville’s vibrant music scenes. Please do not try to compare our jazz heritage and 18th & Vine with these other venues.
We are fortunate that SWA has a hub here. That is due to a number of factors. First, it really exploded during the internet bubble when airline volume reached all-time highs. At this time, SWA had no presence in Denver. It does now. Please note the decline on SWA non-stop direct flights since its entry into the Denver hub.
Southwest was also the first airline to form a true hybrid of hub-and-spoke and point-to-point route structures. Kansas City fits into this structure. But, it means proportionally fewer thru passengers need to change planes while at the airport. Most just stay onboard. No secure mega mall required.
Please also look at Kansas City history. BRANIFF!!!! Flash forward to Vantage. Also review the evolution of Midwest. Why do you avoid such obvious historical examples? Maybe this would stop business men who should know better from demanding more non-stop service that can only be justified by higher passenger volume.
KCI is not perfect. It was built in an era of trust when security was not so necessary. Whatever happens, this issue must be better addressed. Simultaneously, ever newer, more compact and more effective security hardware must be considered. You consistently fail to report on security options. You also fail to point out single terminal disasters such as John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA.
KCI was also built for a smaller population base when automobile volume was not as high. But, the parking complaints border on the absurd. Have these whiners ever tried to park at DFW or O’Hare or LAX? Please note that all of these airports (with much more expensive real estate) offer cell phone parking lots where you can wait without charge until your arriving passenger calls you for pickup. Fire the KCI airport management for blocking this no-brainer amenity.
Also, please tell the Sprint executives that smart phones now have apps to tell you if your flight is on time. You can then better schedule your arrival to the airport to minimize wait time before your flight’s departure. Perhaps Sprint coverage is so bad or the employees are so poorly trained or just generally incompetent that they are unaware of this technology? Maybe Sprint folks just prefer to get there needlessly early so that they can grouse about the amenities while wearing down their batteries? Oh, and there is internet check in now. Maybe we should tell them about it.
How can Marcusse keep his job? A major CEO of a corporation that needs a home for thousands of high paying jobs flies into town and the president of the development council does not meet him with a limo to whisk him away to one of our many world class restaurants? Marcusse then uses the tired NSA tactic of saying, “There are many examples proving my point but I can’t tell you about them.” No responsible journalist should print such statements.
And, please, stop with the Terminal A stories. You may as well be talking about crummy stage coach service. Ancient history.
What does KCI have going for it. It is much more a ‘flow thru’ versus a warehouse facility. 21st Century logistics recognizes that the key to an efficient operation is to keep thing flowing as quickly as possible. A big screen TV makes no money sitting in a warehouse – get it to the showroom floor ASAP where someone will buy it. Or, sell it on Amazon and go even faster from factory to home user. Passengers want to be treated the same way. They want to get from point A to point B. They do not want to spend excess time in an intermediate warehouse to enjoy overpriced food and shopping. KCI can be improved by increasing this ‘velocity’. For example, speed up baggage handling. Here’s an idea: somehow check in bags on the shuttle bus from the parking lot? Possible? Why not explore this versus ‘hub’ fantasies?
Can we increase more international flights? If a carrier employed the Boeing Dreamliner, it could offer non-stops to Europe and Asia. Are there enough passengers to support such a service? You won’t find out looking at ‘peer’ airports. (Study of ‘peer airports’ = Mommy, Billy and Johnny have one. Why can’t I have one too?) You need to study local conditions. Otherwise, the consulting contract is a complete waste of money unless you are only interested in justifying a conclusion that you have already made for a problem you have not properly defined.
You can do good work. Please do so now.