No question SEA “IS” a Delta hub & #InsideDelta media day in #ATL

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SEA is a hub for delta

There have been a plethora of PR statements from Delta today not least of which is that SEA-HKG is part of the solidifying of the airport as an official Delta HUB airport. Alaska had better just get out of the way as big brother Delta is taking over. Let the speculation of about just how much longer they can hang on begin!

media day at delta from twitter

On to the second big deal about today. Delta is doing a media tour day with a bunch of bloggers including Atlanta’s very own MJ on Travel who is tweeting up #InsideDelta along with the rest of the group. Fun to see the inside workings of Delta. I will be sharing my experience later on when I visit and have dinner with readers in ATL in July (now fully booked up btw).

But back to Seattle. What do you think? Do you think Delta’s plan is to beat up Alaska so much that they just move out of the way or is it a setup for a buy out / merger of the two airlines?- René
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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  1. The answer to your question may be both although I think the possibility of Alaska leaving SEA is remote. Enjoy the tour, and don’t let delta get away with talking-points answers to the great questions you have for them.

  2. @John – I have a long list for July but they tend to give the “official” answers most times and leave it up to us to find the rest out on our own!

  3. Funny, they didn’t invite me to this. 😉

    Not all of these Seatte transpacs will last. But Delta does like to experiment..!

  4. The question may not entirely be Alaska Air. A Seattle hub will have an advantage to the Pacific Rim for Delta as it competes against United’s hub in San Francisco. A Seattle hub will provide shorter flights to Japan, China, and Hong Kong compared to flights from San Francisco. This may mean cheaper flights from the west coast to Asia.

    I wonder if this will result in fewer direct flights from Detroit to the Pacific Rim?

  5. If this is not already on your agenda, please tell delta that calling a program devaluation an enhancement merely adds insult to the injury. No matter how much lipstick they try to put on the pig, it is still a pig. And the talking point answers they give on Taking Off are just a waste of our time and an insult to our intelligence. End of sermon 🙂

  6. It’s comical that people think Delta will drive Alaska into the ground. I have no doubt that this will hurt Alaska, but it isn’t like it will force them into bankruptcy or Delta’s arms as some have speculated.

  7. Please let us know IMMEDIATELY if they announce any enhancements to their safety and maintenance program, I am flying to Europe Weds. and I need to know if I should switch my flight to another airline! 😉

  8. Delta does not have a strong North-South network on the West coast. Each trip on their page goes through Salt Lake City, versus Seattle.
    I think Delta has a lot of routes needing establishment before they can truly threaten Alaska Airlines in the West.

  9. Meanwhile Alaska shares are hitting all-time highs. Investors aren’t too worried. The push from Delta won’t be easy, but this is a resilient and growing company.

  10. Do you really think the United States Justice Department will allow Delta to acquire Alaska Airlines? I kind of doubt it! I think it’s more likely that Alaska will start more routes competing with Delta. Just my opinion.

  11. Win, lose, or draw in Seattle Delta has a management team that will be studied in business schools for a long time. A huge market share shift in NYC, buying an oil refinery, a flight cancellation rate five times lower than your competitors while flying older planes…and now…moving their Asian gateway from Narita to Seattle.

    I am not so sure that all the very public messaging Delta is doing is aimed at Alaska as I think the two airlines can coexist successfully in Seattle.

    I do think Delta sees Seattle as a real prize…good local market and the shortest flying distances to most of Asia. I think their very overt messaging has been directed as much to other airlines. American needs an Asian gateway as much as Delta and I think Delta rejoiced when American said LAX would be theirs. American drew the “short straw” as far as Asian gateways. I think, too, that their messaging is aimed at other airlines contemplating direct Seattle service. They now know there will be dominant international carrier there.

    If anyone can pull this off it is Delta but it won’t be easy as Alaska has a lot of goodwill and a frequent flyer program that actually engenders loyalty. This is fun to watch!

  12. DL’s hubbing of SEA is at the expense of NRT, DTW and a lesser degree MSP. LAX for Asia a struggle — AA’s market share at LAX not big enough, UA’s SFO untouchable, SEA has growing O&D market too.

  13. I think it is a buyout / merger. Rough ’em up. Then absorb. Northwest Orient, fwiw, used to have a really strong base there at one point.


  14. SEATAC is a very different airport in terms of just the uniqueness of it all with Alaska as sort of the renegade airline that really serves the Pacific Northwest better than any other airline really has (this includes the big 4 airlines). In fact there is a reason why Delta and American partner with Alaska Airlines is for that specific reason. I don’t think Alaska is going to be going away for anytime soon. What this does is to set up their ever expanding international base which SEATAC (although they have some Trans-Pacific flights) doesn’t really have enough to serve the region and that is where Delta is going to fill the void.

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