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William P. Hobby Airport


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All the network airlines including in Europe have the biggest threat from Emirates, Qatar, and Ethiad Airlines.  Their government pays for their fuel, which give them an advantage.  Delta last year spent 8 billion dollars on fuel, their highest cost.  Lufthansa Airlines is protesting Emirates wants more slots at the new Berlin Airport because they will not give LH more slots at Dubai.  WN does not even compare to these airlines in the middle east.  That is a whole different page they are still considered the cattle car.  You can find more information on flyertalk.com if you are a frequent flyer.    

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All the network airlines including in Europe have the biggest threat from Emirates, Qatar, and Ethiad Airlines. Their government pays for their fuel, which give them an advantage. Delta last year spent 8 billion dollars on fuel, their highest cost. Lufthansa Airlines is protesting Emirates wants more slots at the new Berlin Airport because they will not give LH more slots at Dubai. WN does not even compare to these airlines in the middle east. That is a whole different page they are still considered the cattle car. You can find more information on flyertalk.com if you are a frequent flyer.
I'm guessing you we're trying to make an example here with UA/WN? I guess one thing I could take from this is that Hobby would be somewhat safe from a situation like EY/EK/QR taking the wind out HOU's international sails.
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  • 3 months later...

Just got this press release in the e-mail:


 

Hobby Airport is Now Even Closer to International Service
 
Houston Mayor Annise Parker joined representatives from Southwest Airlines for a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, celebrating the beginning of construction on a new $156 million  international terminal at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). 
 
Once completed, the five-gate facility will accommodate regional international flights for Southwest Airlines, with service reaching destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and the northern cities of South America. 
 
Mayor Paker, as well as local and state dignitaries, joined Southwest Airlines employees in the brief ceremony before work immediately began. 
 
“Establishing international air service at William P. Hobby Airport will benefit Houston passengers in a variety of different ways, including increasing competition, boosting the local economy and strengthening the ties that already exist with our friends in Latin America,” says Mayor Parker. “And perhaps the best news of all, it comes at no expense to the Houston taxpayer.” 
 
The terminal project, fully funded by Southwest Airlines, includes a new five-gate international terminal, expansion of the existing security checkpoint, and upgrades to the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter area. 
 
“With this new international terminal, we are not only literally breaking ground at Hobby Airport, we are charting new territory for our company and for low cost and high value air travel,” said Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines. “This will be Southwest’s first international terminal in our 43-year history and we look forward to bringing lower fares and more international flights to a city that could benefit from increased competition.” 
 
A 2012 study commissioned by the Houston Airport System indicates that the new terminal will generate more than 10,000 jobs across the Greater Houston metropolitan area and will provide an economic impact of $1.6 billion. The study estimates that the terminal will bring in an additional 1 million passengers per year at Hobby Airport.
 
In support of the project, and in anticipation of the expected increase in passenger traffic, the Houston Airport System will be making significant investments of its own, constructing a new multi-level parking garage and making improvements to the existing roadway system. 
 
“The partnership that exists between Southwest Airlines and the city of Houston dates back to the earliest days of the company,” says Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “It’s a partnership that was nurtured by both sides in the second half of the 20th century and now it’s poised to produce a great many benefits to our mutual customers in the 21st century.” 
 
Please visit fly2houston.com and HOUHobby.com for the latest project information. 
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Just posted the groundbreaking press release in the Going Up section: http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/28865-international-terminal-at-hobby-airport-now-under-construction/

 

As for Southwest, I flew it last week for the first time in about seven years.  I avoided Southwest because of the whole notion of it being a "cattle car" and all the other negative things.  But you know what?  With all the cutbacks at every other domestic airline, Southwest is no longer "roughing it." 

 

I've been a loyal AA and UA flyer for decades, but they're scaled back so much that they're now worse than Southwest has ever been.  Things I got on Southwest that I would't get on AA or UA:

- Free beverages

- Cheerful flight staff

- Nice leather seats

- Free wifi

- TWO checked bags for free (Add $150 per person per trip for the same thing on AA or UA)

And the boarding process on Southwest?  No big deal.  Not any less a cattle call than United calling "Group 1" and everyone rushes the podium, regardless of their group, and all the overhead bin storage has already been given to the 16 other groups that were called before the so-called "Group 1."

I paid $12.50 to Southwest to be in the first 30 people on board.  Certainly worth it.  American offered me the same opportunity when I tried to book tickets there, but instead of asking $12.50, it wanted $72.00!!!  

Plus, AA had 3 non-stop flights per day to my destination.  UA had 2.  Southwest has NINE.

And when I tried to book on AA, they pulled a bait-and-switch.  Told me the ticket price was around $250 per person round trip.  Until yo get to the part where you select your seat -- then it's an extra $75 PER PERSON PER SEGMENT if two people want to sit together.  That was the straw that broke this camel's back and I looked at Southwest.  

By the time I factored in AA and UA's seat fees and luggage fees, they were $400 more than Southwest.

I'm still not a total convert to Southwest, primarily because I have a brazillion miles accumulated on AA and UA.  But for future flights, I will absolutely consider WN for my needs, where I never would before.

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It could change.  JetBlue is offering flat bed seats from JFK to SFO and LAX.  One paid first class passenger pays for 6 in the back.  If Southwest wants to compete they have to offer more perks than being a cattle plane.

 

I'm pretty sure Southwest is competing just fine... they've had 40 straight years of profitability. More than most other airlines can say.

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I am delighted that this is happening.  At the same time that I feel that joy, I still have the expectation that Houston will continue to be punished by that petulant giant that absorbed our "hometown airline".

 

I do like SW, but I don't think a few cheaper flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Venezuela would offset the benefits that would have been accrued to Houston, if it had continued as the HQ for a major international airline.  

 

Perhaps it's in vain, but I hope that United's management will eventually take the high road and recognize that Houston can be an important part of their global strategy.  (I don't see any sign yet that our punishment phase is over.) While I like SW, I don't think they will ever offer benefits on that scale.

 

Someone please convince me (with real evidence) that the future won't mandate flying thru Dallas, LA, SF, Chicago, Atlanta, or NY to go anywhere international, at least other than a few places like London.

Edited by ArchFan
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Houston is a huge international gateway! 40 million people a year is no small feat, united is pissed not stupid. I have no worries for Houston in terms of flying. We are becoming a larger and more attractive city, tourist and business alike, faster than any city I can think of.

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Thanks, HB.  You're right, our international traffic is doing well, with special thanks to Latin America.  However, I also think it would be good not to be complacent about the strides we've made -- the competition is pretty stiff.

 

I find United's apparent attitude to be bizarre, really.  But then, earlier in life I imagined that large corporations were run by rational people, not people governed by emotions (like the rest of us!).  

 

It's easy to say (as some have here) that if they don't serve us, someone else will.  To me, that is a maybe-yes/maybe-no proposition.  But, if their management continued as in the recent past, I would also say scr-- them.  

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Unfortunately I don't think the HQ would have stayed in Houston regardless of the Hobby situation. United was staying in Chicago because of the tax breaks and other perks that they were offered by Chicago/Illinois. I've heard Obama played a big part in it, but I don't have any actual proof of that. And as far as international goes, while United seems to have frozen on growth in Houston since the merger (domestic as well actually), other airlines seem happy to pick up the slack with Turkish and Air China being the big ones recently. Hopefully more new airlines expand to IAH soon.

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Yeah, I am hoping for the best case on those things too, asubrt!  I do want to buy the explanation that our city officials were got off guard by the competition for the HQ that happened while the transition here was taking place.  I don't wanna automatically blame Parker, since it was early in her tenure ... but, the idea does resonate with me that she wasn't yet paying attention to how important this was to Houston.

 

Hopefully, Houston will continue to get attention from foreign-flag carriers in countries Houston does business with, despite the lack of awareness from US-based airlines.

 

Edited by ArchFan
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I hope they will add more gates later.  No first class, no lounge and old planes will no work for me.  Low fares?  We shall see, WN is not a low fare airline anymore.  When will they get 787, 777, 767, 757?  

 

Why would they order (mostly) wide-body planes? And for reference, their average fleet age is lower than that of UA. (11 vs. 13.5). http://swamedia.com/channels/Corporate-Fact-Sheet/pages/corporate-fact-sheet and http://aerotransport.org/php/go.php?query=operator&qstring=United+Airlines&where=91636&luck=

Edited by urban909
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I understood what you meant.  I think the Continental executives who made the merger decision(s) were/are a bunch of morons.

 

Agreed

Off the topic. Southwest is building 5 GATES! For international travel. I just check the fare from Chicago to Cancun swa.com and AirTran website came up. They were higher then United, plus they charge you $10 to get a seat assignment. What is going on?

 

That's just a start. They want to hurt United's business in Latin America. AirTran sucks I took it to Bermuda. What a hassle.

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Onboard amenities

Complimentary amenity kit featuring premium skincare products

Complimentary duvet and pillow for use during your flight

180-degree lie-flat seats on all 747 and 757 aircraft and on select 767 and 777 aircraft. United is expanding lie-flat seats to trans-oceanic aircraft by the beginning of 2013.

Illuminated seat controls for easy adjustment in a darkened cabin

Select 767 and 777 aircraft feature reclining seats with up to 55 inches between the back of one seat and the front edge of the next

Meals and beverages

Pre-departure beverage service

Hot towel service

Printed menu

Meal selections featuring appetizer, salad and choice of entrée, including local cuisine where available

Dessert selections including signature desserts, fresh fruit, fresh cheeses, port and after-dinner liqueurs

Mid-flight snack service on longer flights

Light meal served prior to arrival

A variety of beverages, including cocktails, beer, international wines and freshly brewed coffee

Traditional Japanese meals served on flights between the U.S. and Japan

View additional information on meals and beverages

Entertainment

More than 150 hours of on-demand programming with a 15.4-inch video monitor on all 747 and 757 aircraft and on select 767 and 777 aircraft

Individual in-armrest entertainment system on select 767 and 777 aircraft with up to nine video channels, up to 19 channels of audio programming and moving map display

Laptop power source and ergonomic tray table to comfortably accommodate laptop computers (adapter required on select 767 and 777 aircraft)

USB port for charging mobile phones, digital cameras and other electronic devices on board all 747 and 757 aircraft and select 767 and 777 aircraft

Noise-reducing headsets

Complimentary newspapers

Complimentary copy of Hemispheres magazine

Duty-free shopping onboard

Airport arrival and departure

Premier Access check-in, baggage handling, boarding, deplaning and security lanes (where available)

Access to United Arrivals Lounge in select locations, offering showers, breakfast and business services

Access to United ClubSM and Star Alliance® member lounges

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You are really, really, really lame.

 

Have fun on your make believe trip to Amsterdam. With the way you communicate, I assume you are a 13 year old waiting to hit puberty.

 

I don't think it's a make believe trip. He's probably going, although it's on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004.

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My wife and I got caught in the evacuation at Jacksonville airport earlier this week. We were to get on a 7:00pm flight to Hobby. That was about the time everyone was cleared from the building.

Not knowing the details of the situation in the airport or when it would be resolved I waited until we were told absolutely that no flights would be leaving Jacksonville that evening. That was about 10:00pm. I then called Southwest. The person who took the call knew immediately I had a "special situation" and forwarded me right then to a supervisor.

He was most courteous, informed, and helpful. My wife and I were on the same flight but had booked separately since our schedules at the time we made our reservations were still uncertain. Within minutes I had changed both our reservations to a flight that left JAX at 6:35 the next morning. Of course the whole mess was not SWA's fault but they did make those last minute changes for free and with absolutely no hassle.

I don't know the magnitude of Southwest's losses from the incident but I do know they bought themselves megabucks in goodwill from me.(I had to pay for an overnight stay at a hotel and an extra day at the parking garage near Hobby myself but who would reimburse me for that? TSA? the jackass who caused the whole incident? - unfortunately neither.)

I'm delighted that SWA will have international service soon. About this time last year I flew to Costa Rica on American Airlines. Everything went well but my expectation of some inconvenience was fairly high due to my limited past experience with that airline.

The biggest inconvenience I had last year was having to fly from Houston to Miami then to Costa Rica (out of IAH no less - bummer since I live in the Clear Lake area and, thus much closer to Hobby). Leaving from Hobby to destinations around the Caribbean will be much welcomed.

Edited by Specwriter
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My wife and I got caught in the evacuation at Jacksonville airport earlier this week. We were to get on a 7:00pm flight to Hobby. That was about the time everyone was cleared from the building.

Not knowing the details of the situation in the airport or when it would be resolved I waited until we were told absolutely that no flights would be leaving Jacksonville that evening. That was about 10:00pm. I then called Southwest. The person who took the call knew immediately I had a "special situation" and forwarded me right then to a supervisor.

He was most courteous, informed, and helpful. My wife and I were on the same flight but had booked separately since our schedules at the time we made our reservations were still uncertain. Within minutes I had changed both our reservations to a flight that left JAX at 6:35 the next morning. Of course the whole mess was not SWA's fault but they did make those last minute changes for free and with absolutely no hassle.

I don't know the magnitude of Southwest's losses from the incident but I do know they bought themselves megabucks in goodwill from me.(I had to pay for an overnight stay at a hotel and an extra day at the parking garage near Hobby myself but who would reimburse me for that? TSA? the jackass who caused the whole incident? - unfortunately neither.)

I'm delighted that SWA will have international service soon. About this time last year I flew to Costa Rica on American Airlines. Everything went well but my expectation of some inconvenience was fairly high due to my limited past experience with that airline.

The biggest inconvenience I had last year was having to fly from Houston to Miami then to Costa Rica (out of IAH no less - bummer since I live in the Clear Lake area and, thus much closer to Hobby). Leaving from Hobby to destinations around the Caribbean will be much welcomed.

 

Southwest does have great customer service. However they just announced a devaluation of points.

 

Why didn't you fly straight to Costa Rica on United?

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I'm on the first 777 with satellite Wi-Fi on my way from AMS long flight. We left at 1015 and should arrive at 130 pm. I'm in first class and the service has been great leaving IAH last week and right now. I was talking to passengers on the plane and 10 are going to Lima, Peru and 4 to Liberia, Costa Rica. So WN knows there is money in these markets. I do not think a 737 will make it to Lima. But they can fly to Costa Rica. This is so great, no other carrier has over the water Wi-Fi. Here comes jet lag.

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Southwest does have great customer service. However they just announced a devaluation of points.

 

Why didn't you fly straight to Costa Rica on United?

LOL "devaluation?" Are you basing that on the article headline you read? With atleast 3000 points depending on fare/notice you can buy a one way ticket. You can't get anything on united other than stupid magazine subscriptions with anything less than 50+k points.

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LOL "devaluation?" Are you basing that on the article headline you read? With atleast 3000 points depending on fare/notice you can buy a one way ticket. You can't get anything on united other than stupid magazine subscriptions with anything less than 50+k points.

 

Points are being devalued by 16.67% in a few months. No surprise though, all frequent flier programs have gotten worse as time goes by.

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If you had the Chase Explorer card it releases the SaverPass awards for less miles. You also get Premier benefits. It will be very interesting when WN flies from Hobby. By then if the merger goes through with US Airways and American Airlines. They will have 80 percent of the traffic. The new American, United, Delta, Southwest. So why should they lower fares? They don't have to.

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  • 4 months later...

Outstanding aerial pix. Lone Star Mike. Not only did I get jazzed by what HTown has become, I can see so much potential by what DT can achieve, if the development gods are willing and I live long enough to see it. ;) in addition to the commercial and residential highrises, I would love to see a couple more parks and urban gathering places. Little by little, the parking lots are disappearing.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • The title was changed to 2

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