so I shouldn't use them on longer routes? Is that frowned upon or something?
There's nothing wrong with using them on longer routes. You should use the most economical plane that you have available for the routes that you want to fly. In some cases. that means a tech-stopping A321 will be more profitable than a larger gauge aircraft. Just realize that the farther you go, the less profitable the plane will be.
A321 can fly 9000NM, if you have the 3000NM range variant and find ideal stopovers...
I condemn such players though, but most people don't give a sh*t, and just frequency rape the f*ck out of the other airlines...
And just because you're vocal about your personal condemnation
of the practice doesn't mean that a vast majority of players frown upon it. The use of the smaller gauge aircraft isn't about the frequency - its about the best economic decision for the airline at the time. I've shown again and again that going for frequency over low cost per seat isn't any more profitable even with higher load factors.
I can review the DOTM economics for a tech-stopping 757 real quick (very ballparked from memory though) - 757-200 - 50m to acquire, ~3800nm range, 8-9k lbs/fuel hour, 201 pax (in standard). L1011-500 - 80m to acquire, ~5000nm range, 15k lbs/fuel hour, ~250 pax. DC10-30 - 70-80m to acquire, ~5000nm range, 15k lbs/fuel hour, ~300 pax. Quick back of the envelope math tells me that I can fly 402 passengers on 2x 757s for about the same COST as flying 250-300 passengers on a widebody (figuring staffing is about the same going from 3 man xlarge crew to 2man large). So, if costs are roughly the same, but there's 33-40% more revenue potential, you'd be silly not to do it.
Now, as the years progress into MT scenarios, it becomes a bit more difficult for the math to turn out favorably when you're comparing to an A333, 787, etc, but in DOTM, its a rather valid strategy in my mind unless some changes are made to the simulation.