- Point-to-point transit
Point-to-point transit refers to a transportation system where a plane, bus or train travels directly to a destination, rather than going through a central hub. This differs from the spoke-hub distribution paradigm in which the transportation goes to a central location where passengers change to another train, bus or plane to reach their destination.
In the airline industry, Southwest Airlines in the United States is a primary example of an airline that uses the point-to-point transit model. Currently, Southwest Airlines actually uses a hybrid system, flying point-to-point routes, but also connecting passengers through several smaller hubs at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Las Vegas McCarran, Dallas Love, Houston Hobby, Chicago Midway, Baltimore/Washington, Kansas City, and a few others. It is doubtful if there is any true point-to-point airline, as most have at least a "homebase" airport where most flights originate or depart, which becomes a de facto hub, whether that is the intention or not. The United States airline industry was point-to-point until deregulation in the late 1960s/early 1970s when they switched to the hub concept.
- The advantage of a point-to-point system is that it may minimize connections and travel time, but only if the airline serves the destination via the origination point.
- With no need to satisfy connections, flights in a point-to-point system generally have no interdependency on other flights, apart from the operational constraints of the airline e.g the number of aircraft and crew that are rostered to be in precise locations to satisfy the timetable. Overall, this therefore minimises the risk of a "domino effect" whereby one delay can multiply into other delays elsewhere in the network, therefore a point-to-point system is less prone to delays.
- Baggage does not need to be transferred by the airline from one aircraft to another, instead passing this responsibility to the passenger who has to check-in a second time if he or she wishes to connect with another flight. Thus there is less risk of baggage going missing, sustaining damage, or being loaded onto the wrong aircraft.
If a city pair is not served, passengers are out of luck, as there is no way to get to a destination using that airline's route network. Secondly, the frequency of flights may be reduced because a point-to-point system requires a large number of combinatorics, as the number of city pairs is increased by many magnitudes.
Point-to-point routes by major hub carriers
Some heavily hub-oriented carriers operate a limited number of point-to-point routes that do not connect with either a hub or focus city. This is notable because they are exceptions to the route structure and network.
- Alaska Airlines operates San Jose/Kahului, San Jose/Kona, Oakland/Kahului, Oakland/Kona, Sacramento/Kahului
- American Airlines operates Raleigh-Durham/London, Boston/London, San Juan/Caracas, San Juan/Hartford, Boston/Paris, Boston/St. Thomas
- Continental Airlines operates Los Angeles/Honolulu, Seattle-Tacoma/Anchorage, New York-LaGuardia/Aruba, Orange County/Honolulu, Los Angeles/Leon, Orange County/Kahului, Chicago (O'Hare)/Fort Lauderdale, Chicago (O'Hare)/Denver, Denver/Seattle-Tacoma. Denver/Phoenix, Chicago (O'Hare)/Anchorage, San Francisco/Anchorage, San Francisco/Denver, San Francisco/Chicago (O'Hare), Guadalajara/Los Angeles, Guadalajara/San Francisco, Las Vegas/Denver, San Francisco/Las Vegas, San Francisco/Boston, Chicago (O'Hare)/Pittsburgh, Anchorage/Seattle-Tacoma, Chicago (O'Hare)/West Palm Beach, Denver/Fort Lauderdale, Denver/Anchorage, Cancun/Austin, Cancun/Raleigh-Durham, Cancun/San Antonio, Washington-Dulles/Paris, Washington-Dulles/Amsterdam, San Francisco/Hilo, Hong Kong/Ho Chi Ming City, Hong Kong/Tokyo-Narita, Hong Kong/Singapore, Chicago (O'Hare)/Orlando, Chicago (O'Hare)/Orange County
- Delta Air Lines operates Los Angeles/Honolulu, San Francisco/Honolulu, Orlando/Cancun, Orlando/Hartford, Orlando/Boston, Honolulu/Osaka, Honolulu/Seattle, Nagoya/Saipan, Miami/London, New York-LaGuardia/Fort Myers, New York-LaGuardia/Bermuda, New York-LaGuardia/New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia/Tampa, Los Angeles/Sydney, Seattle/Osaka, Seattle/Beijing, Cancun/Hartford, Washington (Reagan)/Miami, Washington (Reagan)/Orlando, Nagoya/Manila, Philadelphia/Los Angeles, Miami/Los Angeles, Cancun/Washington-Dulles, Cancun/Nashville, Cancun/Columbus, Cancun/Indianapolis, Cancun/Los Angeles, Cancun/Raleigh-Durham, Cancun/Milwaukee, Cancun/San Antonio, Cancun/Tampa, Osaka/Guam, Nagoya/Guam
- JetBlue Airways Burbank/Las Vegas
- United Airlines operates Bahrain/Kuwait, Newark/Brussels, Newark/Zurich, Houston-Intercontinental/Lima, Newark/St. Maarten, Guam/Honolulu
- US Airways operates Las Vegas/Dallas, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, Las Vegas/San Francisco, Las Vegas/Fresno
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