Today I flew into PIT and all I can think of is what PIT used to be and what could happen to CLT at any time.

PIT - Fly Gracefully

This link from Wikipedia sums up what happened to PIT at the hands of the airport and US Airways.

My personal experience with PIT:

I started traveling for business in March of 2006.  I was flying out of an upstate NY airport that only had service from US Airways and Northwest.  On US Airways I had my choice of PIT, LGA, or PHL.  Although PHL had the most frequency, at the urging of my coworkers I would always try to connect through PIT (well, I would usually drive to a larger airport and fly United, but if I could find a good fare I’d go through PIT).

Back then PIT actually still went to places.  By the time I moved to CLT in March of 2007 PIT barely showed up as a valid connection.  PIT’s stores were hurt by 9/11 requiring a boarding pass to enter the secured area so the shopping had suffered a little, but it still had much better shopping options than many other airports and the stores were fairly centralized instead of dispersed like in ATL.

Now I mainly only come here as a destination and today I flew Delta through ATL to get here since it was cheaper than the non-stop on US Airways by about 50%.

PIT Ghost Town - Fly GracefullyFor a while now, PIT has shut off the ends of the concourses.  This is so it doesn’t appear to be the ghost town it is.  Here is a sign clearly indicating there should be Gates 38-50, but there is a wall with locked doors blocking those gates off.

Although things are up in the air with the US/AA merger right now, if something does happen that would cause CLT to go from US Airways largest hub to just a focus city that will really change my travel game.  Although I don’t fly on US Airways nearly as often as Delta, the non-stop flights on US Airways have always been my ace-in-the-hole during IROPS.  It doesn’t happen often, but usually at least once a year if I’m on a connecting flight on Delta and it has issues I’ve been endorsed over to the non-stop flight on US.

I like Charlotte and don’t want to move, but I’m hopefully confident this is just a nightmare and will not come to fruition.

Posted by Grace Alexander | 8 Comments to Read

  1. Miles said,

    In the event of a merger, CLT is probably safe. PHX and PHL on the other hand…

  2. Grace Alexander said,

    Yes, it appears the numbers and routes say CLT is safe. The wake of dead hubs and focus cities in the past few years (PIT,CVG,MEM) show that when a city gets dehubbed there is nothing coming to fill the gap. CLT is a good 90% US and although there are plenty of domestic carriers who do not fly to CLT there isn’t enough O/D traffic to sustain much.

  3. Allen said,

    Which Upstate, NY airport did you used to fly out of? I first flew through PIT when I was flying ITH->PHL->Florida but the ITH->PHL flight was delayed so they changed me to ITH->PIT->Florida. I FELL IN LOVE with PIT and always tried to go through there…it is so sad what has happened to PIT as it truly is one of the best designs I’ve seen for connecting. I also loved how the prices were so reasonable at the stores there.

  4. Grace Alexander said,

    I used to live in Ithaca but I’d usually fly from SYR so I’d have more options. The drive home on 13 sucked.

  5. StargoldUA said,

    Another former ITH resident. Flew F in 2000 when they were offering free upgrade to F if you purchased Y full fare. Flew PIT to DEN. My new employer was paying to relocate (but in coach only), so it was the first time I started to use System to my advantage

  6. Wendy said,

    I used to live in about five miles from Pit. I remember the rotten terminal they had back in the late eighties. After the new terminal was finished it was fun to go shopping at the airport.

  7. Grace Alexander said,

    I’ve heard that, Wendy, that pre 9/11 it was the mall for that area. It still has a good bit of shopping, and it still has the post office and drug store. I liked being able to pick up real pharmacy items on the road if I needed pain killers. The aisles in the store are really cramped, especially with luggage in tow, but it was nice to be able to buy a full-size bottle of pain killers. I used to get headaches all the time my first year of travel.

  8. Allen said,

    Things have changed quite a bit in Ithaca over the last 5 years…and the plans for new construction projects will make downtown look almost city like! As for ITH…we currently have service on DL to DTW, US to PHL, and UA to EWR. Once ITH got THREE airlines serving it prices came WAY down and it is often MUCH cheaper than SYR. In fact SYR now is usually the most expensive in the area…more than ITH, ELM, BGM, and ROC. ROC usually tends to be cheapest now…but more of a drive from Ithaca!

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