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MMMondayMemo: What is an Airline Hub?
Each Monday Miles has decided to drop a tip, hint, tutorial, trick that maybe you’ve missed or haven’t heard before. If you’re an expert in this field, some of these may be things you already know, but there are a lot of beginners out there who are just getting their feet wet. Last week we talked about Positioning to Hubs so that your odds of landing that KILLER BUSINESS CLASS flight increases, but Miles realized that we may need to describe Airlines hubs too. So what is an airline hub?
As defined by Wikipedia:
Airline hubs or hub airports are used by one or more airliners to concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations at a given airport. They serve as transfer (or stop-over) points to get passengers to their final destination.[a][b] It is part of the hub-and-spoke system. An airline operates flights from several non-hub (spoke) cities to the hub airport, and passengers traveling between spoke cities need to connect through the hub.
Simply put, the term Hub comes from a wheel’s Hub and Spoke setup
Airlines use this model to create more efficiency and consistency while broadening the map of service for an airline. You could also call this Usage and Load. It started happening after the airlines deregulated. Know who experimented first?
Examples of Hubs? Here’s a map from Google that shows some
Did you know that Delta was the first American airline to experiment with hubs? It was Atlanta – which has been the busiest airport by passenger traffic since 2000.
You can often find International planes positioning between Hubs. This creates a great opportunity to fly an incredible Business Class product for the price of coach. I did this from Chicago to LA last fall ( Two American Hubs).
Because Hubs have a large amount of traffic they create better opportunities for award redemption. We spoke of using a positioning flight to accomplish this last week. We positioned to Boston to redeem Alaska Miles for flight to Beijing on Cathay Pacific where my mom got a birthday cake. She was sort of surprised 😉
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