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Delta’s Plan for NYC Dominance

by on December 21, 2011 · 7 comments

in Delta

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Delta is currently making an aggressive push to expand even more in the New York City market, including an extensive JFK renovation and a new expansion at LaGuardia.

The LaGuardia expansion was made possible due to a slot swap with US Airways which will increase Delta’s presence at LaGuardia by 60% and will give US Airways more space at Washington Reagan. This could be a game-changer for many NYC flyers, who value the proximity of LaGuardia to the city. In the past LaGuardia has been a smattering of American, Delta, US Airways and a mix of others like Air Canada and Jetblue – but now Delta will dominate.

If you’ve been reading my Maximizing Elite Status series, you know that I’ve been in a quandary lately about which airline to go for top-tier elite status on next year. Now that I’m based mostly in Miami, I’ve been thinking about switching to American Airlines Executive Platinum (and should get a big boost thanks to the EQM’s from the Oneworld Megado and AA’s Double EQM promo for January). But this news has me re-thinking that Delta will be the right choice since I spend lots of time between NYC and Miami.

Fight to the Death!

Basically, Delta made the announcement that it’s going to create a new domestic hub at LGA and increase its number of daily flights to a total of 264 to over 60 cities by next summer. That number added to the 400 daily flights it operates out of JFK and EWR combined would make it the most active airline in the area. The move puts Delta in direct competition for dominance with United at Newark, who is currently in the process of merging with Continental.

My Thoughts

While a bigger route network means more opportunities to earn (and redeem) miles, it also means more elite passengers and harder upgrades. Additionally, I think a major concern is that as Delta increases market share fares will rise due to less competition.

Only time will tell, but I do think it’s a great time to be a NYC based Delta flyer – if only for the nicer facilities that will be built over the next couple of years.

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  • Carl

    I’m not sure that DL is using the word hub in the traditional sense when it describes LGA as a hub. A hub would mean lots of connecting passengers. But DL will keep the shuttle operation at the Marine Air Terminal and will even be split between their current LGA terminal (D) and a portion of the US Air terminal (C). LGA’s flight delay history makes it a pretty questionable connecting hub anyway. And DL has cut feed from many possible connecting points like ALB, BDL, PVD, Ithaca. DL’s plan looks more like an O/D plan to capture traffic originating or destined for NYC. In that context being split between LGA & JFK is also more acceptable, as that isn’t an easy connection, either.

  • PJ

    4500 Avios get you from DCA to NYC how’s about detla ?

  • MJLouise

    Is this going to expand options for people from small markets to NYC? For instance there are currently no non-stops from ICT to NYC area.

  • MJLouise

    No luck for ICT but here is listing for other areas:
    http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=18&item=162

  • Carberrie

    Delta still won’t let their top tiers upgrade internationally without purchasing a ticket that costs at least twice as much… That answers my question regarding whether to switch over to Delta. HELLZ NO! :)

  • Anonymous

    Does this also mean US Airways is expanding flights at DCA? Or, are they just going to stop dropping people on the tarmac?

  • Pingback: Delta Increases Flights from New York City to the Caribbean, Bermuda and Florida | The Points Guy()

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