Disappointed about Southwest’s loss?

There was a lot of excitement — some expressed by readers of this blog — about the possibility of the dean of low-cost carriers, Southwest Airlines, buying Frontier and landing in Atlanta for the first time.

Well, that’s not going to happen. Republic Airways won the fight for Frontier in bankruptcy court, AJC reporter Kelly Yamanouchi writes today.

How disappointed are you?

Republic is planning to operate Frontier as a stand-alone carrier. What has been your experience with Frontier in and out of Atlanta?

And have you had experience with Republic? Two of Republic Airways’ other subsidiaries, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America, are regional partners of Delta Air Lines, flying as Delta Connection.

39 comments Add your comment


August 14th, 2009
7:25 am


August 14th, 2009
7:27 am

Very disappointed, Delta has taken for granted it’s loyal customer’s. Snooty customer service agents and workers. They are not the premier airline they think they are. Southwest would have really made them roll up their sleeves up and finally have to work to please their customer base.


August 14th, 2009
7:28 am

Yeah, cause that’s just what America’s busiest airport needs: a cheap(er) carrier to further crowd runways and terminals. Personally, I’ve never flown SW (thank God) and have no interested in doing so. I’m glad they won’t be coming to Atlanta.


August 14th, 2009
7:36 am

Unbelievable!!! How in the world could they have messed this up?! One of the smartest and most efficiently run airlines gets outfoxed by a podunk local player. So no Southwest, No JetBlue and no Virgin air. This just sucks!!!


August 14th, 2009
7:39 am

As someone who moved from ATL to Denver 6 years ago and has flown both airlines, I can honestly say y’all are lucky Southwest isn’t coming. For those who haven’t flown Frontier, it is FAR better than Southwest can ever hope to be; the employees are just as friendly, the service is just as good, and the fares are just as cheap. However, with Frontier you actually get to choose where you want to sit and for $5 can watch Direct TV (which makes the flight go by rather quickly).

For those who don’t know, the reason Frontier went into bankruptcy protection wasn’t because they were losing money–it was because First Data, their credit card processor, all of a sudden changed their agreement and insisted that the airline pay them hundreds of millions of dollars in advance, monies which are normally not paid until the customer has actually flown. Rather than risk Chapter 7 bankruptcy by agreeing to this completely unfair change, they decided to file Chapter 11 so they could continue operating. Thanks in large part to that decision, Frontier has been profitable for almost a year now, something that not even Southwest can claim.

In addition, Southwest is literally losing their shirts in Denver. Even though they have been at DIA for almost 4 years, they have been losing MILLIONS of dollars and have been barely able to gain a double-digit share of passengers. I’ve flown to CA and TX on business multiple times, and nearly every time I’ve flown SW, the flight is half-full or less; conversely, almost every single Frontier flight is booked solid. United, as DIA is a hub, still controls almost half the flights, but Frontier controls 20%. The sheer fact that SW has been unable to take over speaks VOLUMES about how well-regarded Frontier is here. For SW to be unable to dominate a market within 3-4 years is literally unprecedented.

Hopefully Republic uses their resources to sensibly grow Frontier into a legitimate nationwide competitor for Southwest. They’ve already won in Denver.

Jimmy Barron

August 14th, 2009
8:10 am

Thanks for the hype all week, AJC.


August 14th, 2009
8:14 am

Very disappointing news. Who is Republic?

Acworth Don

August 14th, 2009
8:14 am

oooopppppps! Wanted that!


August 14th, 2009
8:38 am

I for one am happy they aren’t coming. I have flown Southwest a few times and I really don’t quite understand what the hype is. You get packed in there like a bunch of sardines and you look around and you just know that everyone on there is a cheap sob. Sorry, that’s just how I feel. Also, think about what this would do to the local economy ATL? If they were to put a major strain on Delta as well as Airtran then I am sure more people would be getting laid off here in the area.


August 14th, 2009
10:11 am

MJ IS CODE NAME FOR Delta executive, Ed Bastian.

Capn Steve

August 14th, 2009
10:20 am

A lucky day. All non-SWA pilots know that Southwest is an accident waiting to happen. They are too focused on speed; taxiing and flying approaches much too fast. Hartsfield is a complex airport requiring patience and attention to detail. Don’t need Southwest cutting me off because they “misunderstood” the clearance.

Captain Jack

August 14th, 2009
10:40 am

All airlines are suffering from cheap fares. Southwest, Airtrain, and Delta all are having to survive a very brutal and tough competitive market while trying to maintain a level of safety that is sufficent. We actually need less competition and higher fares before we end up with a meltdown of the system leading to more accidents. For that reason alone, I for one am glad that Southwest is NOT moving into Atlanta and starting more fare wars. Everyone wants cheap tickets and buys the lowest fare. Then they show up at the airplane and complain about the service. Well, we are all getting what we asked for. Cheap fares and cheap service. Southwest is to thank for many of the problems in the industry. So hopefully they will never come to Atlanta. Go Captain Jack, on dog of a good flyer.


August 14th, 2009
11:21 am

I am disappointed as Delta is TOO EXPENSIVE and Southwest needs to be in Atlanta!!!


August 14th, 2009
11:24 am

That is extremely disappointing. Southwest Airlines rocks!


August 14th, 2009
11:43 am

Without SOUTHWEST here and the added competition it will bring, DELTA will keep raping us jailhouse-style the same way Mike Vick’s fellow inmates shoved him face-down into his pillow and drilled on his bare bottom like a TEXAS OIL WELL!

Captain Jack

August 14th, 2009
2:52 pm

Dear “We Hate DELTA”

I am disappointed in your posting.

Talking about hate and jailhouse rape.

No class, no style.

If you are not satisfied with Delta, I suggest you fly someone else.

I am associated with Airtran Airways and sure do hope that you are not just another Airtran employee with a chip on your shoulder concerning Delta.

Almost every company charges what the market will bare. If I remember correctly, Delta lost over 250 million dollars last quarter. So you may consider their prices too high, but when you are selling your product for less than it cost to deliver, I would say the price was not high enough.

Regardless, try to refrain from posting trash in the future.

Capt. Jack
4 strip old dog.


August 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

Need Southwest here to check the weird/monopolistic pricing by Delta. Has anyone flown scheduled nonstop to Hartford, CT or Portland, OR from ATL? The fares even with 21 day advance is around $1100 to OR and $900 to BDL. I can fly nonstop on Delta to Tel Aviv for a cheaper fare (RT)

Do the math

August 14th, 2009
4:44 pm

Sure you can buy a DL ticket to Hartford for $1100. Or you could make a one hour stop in Cincinnati and do it for around $600. Those are round trip prices too. Of course you could always drive it (32 hours round trip). Figuring in gas at $2.50 a gallon and two $100 hotel stays, that would take you four days and $400. $600 suddenly looks rather reasonable for same day service round trip. Delta has lost money every quarter in recent memory. People with unreasonable expectations are the reason. It cost to fly. If you don’t like it – DRIVE!

Constant Business Flyer

August 14th, 2009
5:52 pm

My long time problem with SWA is they’re responsible for killing some advanced high speed rail projects that were more time and cost efficient city center to city center than airlines, rather than integrating their airborne routes with rail links as “flights”.

Also, opeing up ATL to flying cattle cars will result in lots more unemployment in our region, since the airline industry is the one of the largest employers in the state.

You always get what you pay for. If you need to travel that cheap, take a bus, which is what SWA is.

herb kelleher

August 14th, 2009
6:14 pm

cheap airfare, friendly service, on-time flights. i can see why all you delta fans don’t want to see southwest come to atlanta.


August 14th, 2009
10:01 pm

Once again the Pilot unions ruining it for all other employees. It is time to put a stop to them.


August 15th, 2009
5:27 am

just when we thought someone finally coming to atl with great customer service, trainned personel, and great great service cheaper prices which would drive delta’s ransome prices down,,,,,,southwest loses bid………come on southwest come to atlanta anyhow you will shine where others have failed……….regarding sour grapes transplant from denver, i can tell by your coments you never set foot on a southwest flite your coments on lost of frontier


August 15th, 2009
5:42 am

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August 15th, 2009
5:47 am

now a little research and what do you know delta in bed with republic,,,,,,,now we know who put monies up for republic to beat out southwest,,,,,,,,,,hmmmmm uncle sam should stop this now we in atlanta need southwest to send delta packing would only lose stuck up flite attendants (except the guys they give great service) the service would approve in atlanta there for awhile i was rejoycing new mayor, new counsil, new airlines and now old old old delta stuck our bail out monies to keep prices high in this area


August 15th, 2009
5:58 am

now in reading some of blog…….from delta employees, stockholders, etc “get a life come into the real world we all don’t have a fairy god father in our wallets. i wish i could be in debt or file bankrupcy like delta and the dog killer vick both lied to the public delta has more money in never never land and vick has it at bottom of his…….where his fellow imates did and still do (ones he got out prison with) drill on


August 16th, 2009
3:58 pm

flown southwest…they suck…terrible..


August 16th, 2009
3:59 pm

thank God southwest didn’t get it….they are an accident waiting to happen…don’t put your family on them.


August 16th, 2009
4:01 pm



August 16th, 2009
8:36 pm

you get what you pay for, no doubt about it. the second half of my 25 year career at delta air lines was a roller coaster ride that ended up as a train wreck. the airline industry changed for the worse when the southwest airlines of the world became big time players. when that happened, the delta air lines of the world could no longer compete with the wages and benefits they provided for their employees. i will be the first to admit that delta management made poor decisions on top of poor decisions. and many of the folks making those poor decisions did not have airline experience or come from the airline industry. just another terrible mistake by delta when they stopped promoting from within the company. they ended up with a bunch of yahoo’s who did’nt have a clue and who seemed not to care much about the front line folks. that’s when the ‘family feeling’ and the loyalty went out the window and the customer service was right behind it. the list of all the bad that happened to me and my fellow delta employees the past 15 years is endless. it is all very sad because when i hired on with delta in the early 80’s not only was it the best airline to work for it was also considered one of the very best companies in America to work for. as it is now, i would not recommend the airline industry to ANYBODY!!


August 17th, 2009
8:53 am

Thanks to Republic, Atlanta has been spared the invasion os Southwest, at least for a while. The airline industry is definitely on the verge of a melt down. The glory days of flying are over. Cheap fares are a double edge sword for the customers. Customers like cheap fares but still they complain about the service. The industry as a whole is loosing the best qualified and caring employees from the pilots, mechanics and flight attendants and frontline personnel at the airports to reservationists and bag handlers. Even air traffic controllers and other FAA personnel who are overworked and underpaid. An airline like Southwest will never be able to go across the Atlantic or Pacific or down to South America because they can’t afford the equipment to go there as well as being too cheap to pay the crew a decent salary. Also, Southwest only flies to cities with large population and the small cities that regionals serve are left behind. If the big airlines and their partners go out then service to small cities will definitely be cut with no service at all. It would be tough to imagine Atlanta and the entire Southeast region without Delta and Airtran providing service here. They both bring thousands of jobs to the region, not to mention the money and services that they give to the community’s charities, organizations and other things such at the Atlanta Aquarium, The High Museum of Art, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Alliance Theatre.


August 18th, 2009
12:47 am

Southwest’s service is horrible. No assigned seats, cattle car style loading, and multiple connections just to get anywhere is what you get when you fly SWA. I’m glad Republic won the auction. It wasn’t right what they wanted to do to all of the Frontier pilots anyway.


August 18th, 2009
9:28 am

some of you people, who rip on delta, must work for valujet…sorry, airtran.


August 18th, 2009
9:32 am

don’t come on here and complain. nobody wants to hear it. i fly delta. they still have great folks working there. we all know management screwed them. they have their jobs and careers . sure, some are crap, but when isn’t there crap at any company? show me one and i’ll show you some people who are still crap. point is, this isn’t the place for a bitter pilot to complain…or a bitter mechanic. everyone went through it….it hurt.
i will always fly delta. you are the better airline. period.


August 20th, 2009
3:55 pm

This goes to Do the Math – well smart alec!!
flying is expensive how come Southwest offers it for $230 rt or Delta offer LGA or BOS for $220 rt.

well the point i’m making is monopolistic routing and pricing is not favorable in the long run, the venting here is around the monopolistic pricing, who is complaining about the datewise pricing strategy. At the end of the day, Delta has to offer discount pricing at Hartford for returns to other location via routing them through ATL. It’s more retarded at the end cause they are burning more fuel to transport the same bloke who could have found straight route had it been fair priced.
it costs DL more to route the flight via Cincinnati and I fly for Business but find it difficult to comprehend that just cause the business is coughing up the fare doesn’t entitle you to charge arm and leg for the route. well definitely you need to review your concept of Maths, Economics and Common Logic

Brent Scott

August 22nd, 2009
10:19 am

To bad for Atlanta….. Southwest Airlines is the best airline in the country. It is just another misfortune for Atlanta to establish itself as a WORLD CLASS CITY!

Brent Scott

August 22nd, 2009
10:19 am

To bad for Atlanta….. Southwest Airlines is the best airline in the country. It is just another misfortune for Atlanta to establish itself as a WORLD CLASS CITY!

Brent Scott

August 22nd, 2009
10:23 am

By the way, if Southwest is such a bad airline, then why are they the only airline making money, profits, ad being able to fly into new airports like Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York’s Laguardia, and Boston? They must be doing something right and customers love them. HMMMMMMMMM… I guess those who are complaining about SWA missed something. Keep up the great work SWA.


August 22nd, 2009
12:04 pm

Before I retired I was a Delta Medallion traveler. My company paid premium prices for me to fly Delta. I now find it difficult to use all of my Delta Frequent Flyer miles since I am no longer Medallion because of blackouts and low numbers of seats for incentive travel. So, since I have to personally pay for airfare I drive over to Birmingham and fly SouthWest. They have very cheap webfares and also are one of the few airlines that offer cheap “Senior Fares” that are changable, cancellable, and fully refundable without paying a financial penalty. I say GO SW and enter as many markets as you can to better serve the unpampered traveling public. When you have the choice of paying $600 for a Delta ticket or drive to Birmingham and paying $149 for SW you will make the drive, especially if you take your wife on the trip also. Delta charges what the market will bear. Competition is good for evertone no matter what business you are in. With no competition you get fat, lazy, and complacent.


September 27th, 2009
5:22 pm

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