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||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
Point-to-point transit refers to a transportation system in which 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 prominent example of an airline that uses the point-to-point transit model. For example, there is a route between Jacksonville International Airport in Jacksonville, Florida, and Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk, Virginia. 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, Lambert-St. Louis, Atlanta, and a few others. It is doubtful that there is any pure 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.
- It eliminates the need for connections.
- It considerably reduces travel time.
- Without the need to satisfy connections for passengers, trips (e.g. flights) in a point-to-point system are less interdependent, though the operational constraints of needing to have sufficient equipment and personnel in each location at the right time to satisfy the timetable remain. This minimizes the risk of the "domino effect", in which the delayed arrival of one trip into a place (e.g. airport) leads to delayed departures of the (often) multiple trips with which its passengers had to make connections, cascading delays through the network. Therefore a point-to-point system is less prone to delays.
- If a desired origin–destination pair is not served, passengers will have to make a connection as in the hub model or travel by another mode of transportation.
- The frequency of trips may be reduced because the number of origin–destination pairs is orders of magnitude larger.
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, San Diego/Boston
- American Airlines operates Raleigh-Durham/London, San Juan/Caracas, St Louis/Washington-National, Boston/Paris, Boston/St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale/Port-au-Prince
- Delta Air Lines operates Chicago/Paris, Boston/London, Los Angeles/Honolulu, Orlando/Cancun, Orlando/Boston, Honolulu/Osaka, Honolulu/Seattle, Nagoya/Saipan, Los Angeles/Sydney, Seattle/Osaka, Seattle/Beijing, Cancun/Hartford, Nagoya/Manila, 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, Seattle/Shanghai, Seattle/Tokyo-Haneda, Memphis/Cancun, Memphis/Las Vegas, Memphis/Washington-National, Memphis/Tampa, Memphis/Orlando, Seattle/Anchorage, Accra/Monrovia
- JetBlue Airways operates Burbank/Las Vegas, Buffalo/Fort Myers, Nassau/Westchester, Oakland/Washington-Dulles, San Francisco/Austin, Sarasota/New York-LaGuardia, Seattle/Anchorage
- United Airlines operates Bahrain/Kuwait, Hong Kong/Singapore, Hong Kong/Ho Chi Minh City, Austin/Cancun, San Antonio/Cancun, Doha/Dubai
- US Airways operates Boston/Cancun, Boston/Montego Bay, Boston/Punta Cana, Boston/Providenciales
- Virgin America operates New York-JFK/Las Vegas, New York-JFK/Palm Springs