US cuts all PIT-Florida flights

burghlaw1

Member
May 13, 2003
76
0
With the older and least fuel efficient airplanes being retired, schedule adjustments will be made systemwide, a lot of which won't make sense. It's not just PIT's schedule.
But while we're on the subject, a Chaimans Preferred member was telling me what a ghost town PIT has become and he summed it all up with the statement "I'll never figure out why Allegheny County chased you guys out of town, that airport deserves to die"

Of course, I'm paraphrasing since I can't remember his exact words but reflects the sentiments of many other PIT business travellers

Where does the misconception come from that Allegheny County chased US out of town? The state and county were negotiating rental reductions and incentive packages with US in 2003. Once oil prices began to rise, SW announced it was landing in PHL, and Dave Segal stated, 'They're coming to kill us," US stopped negotiating and later that same year, filed for bankruptcy again. So even if one were to assume that Allegheny County could have gotten US to sign new leases, why would anyone think that they wouldn't have broken them again in a second bankruptcy. The fact is that US had many less plane to support three hubs, and it took out the one that, for a variety of reasons, had the highest cost structure. That Allegheny County "chased" US out of town is simply not true.
 

BoeingBoy

Veteran
Nov 9, 2003
16,512
5,865
Bob,

I think what you've got there is something repeated enough that it's become an upban myth.

The timeline goes like this:

During BK1 US assured Allegheny County (the airport operating authority, or AOA) that it would not reject the PIT leases.

21 minutes before exiting BK1, US filed a motion to abrogate all the PIT terminal leases. Note that technically Bronner had no say at that point since he didn't hold the majority vote or position as chairman of the BOD till after BK1 exit (although he well could have influenced the decision by virtue of the money he was about to invest in US).

Negotiations over reducing fees, which under the master lease agreement the AOA could not do unless it applied the same reduction to all carriers operating as signatories to that master agreement, continued through the remainder of 2003. During this time US paid 20% extra for the terminal space as required of non-signatories by the master lease agreement.

In early 2004, agreement was reached whereby US would become a signatory lessor of 10 gates plus associated terminal space (ticket counter, baggage handling, ramp, crew room, etc) and a non-signatory user of the other gates/associated terminal space (paying that 20% surcharge). So a lease agreement was reached, not walked away from by Allegheny county while Bronner controlled US via his voting majority.

What US did was a "last strike of the bottom of the ninth inning" rejection of the leases despite assurances otherwise. Of course, since that lease agreement was reached, US has periodically stopped being a non-signatory user of most/all of the other gates, plus leaving the AOA hanging on the 10 signatory gates/terminal space by postponing the abrogate/confirm decision on the leases till after exiting BK2.

Jim
 

BoeingBoy

Veteran
Nov 9, 2003
16,512
5,865
Ah yes, the study.....

As I recall, it was basically a list of who would pay more so US could pay less plus some new revenue sources that weren't even available at the time (like a share of Allegheny County's gambling revenue when the gambling wasn't even approved till 2005/2006).

Jim
 

ClueByFour

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,566
37
www.usaviation.com
Jim,

The story I posted was related to me by none other than "Lime Boy" hisself and it was done as an aside over dinner. Now if memory serves the conversation took place AFTER the 11th hour lease rejection, a negotiation I have no direct knowledge of.

There was no negotiation prior to the 11th hour rejection.

US, in fact, assured the county in writing that it was committed to the leases.

This took place after US prepared a study detailing how to fund the airport AND give US the relief they required. IIRC it was between BK1 and BK2

bullsnot. That study said "raise the rental car tax, give gambling revenue to the airport, etc" essentially for the exclusive benefit of US Airways (as if a billion dollar terminal built to spec was not enough).

Bob--seriously--if you buy that crap from the former denizens of CCY, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. In Galveston.