Why connections matter: Skybus edition
Why does the network effect matter? Consider the curious case of Skybus, the Columbus-based carrier that just failed yesterday, April 4.
Until the day it shut down, Skybus warned its passengers that its hub wasn't a hub. Here's some text from the "Where We Fly" page cached at Google (as of April 5), with emphasis added:
Currently, Skybus does not offer any connecting flights (for example, from Los Angeles through Columbus to Boston). And we don’t offer flights between our destination cities (for example, between Los Angeles and San Francisco).In other words, the Skybus route system was a collection of discrete routes. With no connection between them.
Please note: It’s possible to create your own multi-point trip through our Columbus and Greensboro bases, but we don’t recommend it. Our flight schedules are very tight, and you may miss your connection. If you do create your own multi-point trip, please keep the following in mind:
- You must claim and recheck your baggage between flights. If you create your own multi-point trip, you must collect your own baggage at each stop and re-check it yourself – Skybus does not move your bags automatically. For more information, see our Help Center section on baggage.
- Leave enough time between flights. If you book a multi-point trip, we recommend that you allow at least two hours between your flights. This will help ensure that you have enough time to retrieve and re-check your bags, and be at your gate in time. All of our check in and gate deadlines still apply if you purchase multiple flights.
Don't let any critic or so-called rail fan tell you different: Networks matter.