Delta and United Will No Longer Fly to These 4 Cities, Starting June 2
THE TWO CARRIERS ARE DROPPING MORE DESTINATIONS AS THEY RECONFIGURE THEIR ROUTE MAPS.
It's always nice to have plenty of options when you're booking a flight. Whether it's because you're trying to score the best deal or you just like to remain loyal to your favorite airline, it can make the travel experience much easier and more comfortable. But as carriers continue to adjust to new realities after hard years of business during the COVID-19 pandemic, many are still shuffling their schedules and route maps to better meet demand. And now, Delta and United have confirmed they'll no longer fly to four different cities. Read on to see which destinations will no longer be serviced by the carriers in the coming weeks.
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Delta is cutting service to two cities as of June 5.
Depending on where you live, you may have fewer booking options with Delta in the near future. The airline will no longer fly to La Crosse, Wisconsin (LSE), and University Park Airport near State College, Pennsylvania (SCE), effective June 5, The Points Guy reported. Flights to the two destinations beyond that date are no longer available for purchase.
Delta confirmed it was "temporarily" suspending the routes when reached for comment. "This will impact once-daily service between La Crosse and Minneapolis and twice-daily service between State College and New York-LaGuardia," Drake Castañeda, a spokesperson for the airline, told Best Life in an email.
"Delta continues to evaluate the regional market, monitoring regional carrier pilot availability and customer demand," they added. "Affected customers will be proactively notified by Delta and re-accommodated accordingly. We apologize to customers for any inconvenience these changes may cause."
While other major airlines still service the two destinations, travelers hoping to fly Delta near La Crosse can drive an hour to Rochester Airport (RST) or 2.5 hours to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (MSP), both of which are in Minnesota. State College travelers can drive 1.5 hours to access Delta flights out of Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), which offers service to the airline's hubs at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).
United is dropping two other cities from its route map as of June 2.
Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock
Devoted United fliers will also have fewer destinations available to them in the coming weeks. The carrier is dropping Erie, Pennsylvania (ERI), and Springfield, Illinois (SPI), from its route map, The Points Guy first reported.
"United made the difficult decision to suspend service between Chicago O'Hare and Erie, Pennsylvania and Springfield, Illinois starting June 2," a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Best Life in an email. "We're proactively reaching out to impacted customers to discuss their options."
For now, travelers from the destination will still be able to book flights with other airlines. Those in Erie can access twice-daily American Airlines flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). American also still services Springfield with twice-daily flights to Chicago beginning on June 1, while Allegiant Air offers flights to Punta Gorda, Florida (PGD), per The Points Guy.
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Both airlines have dropped a growing number of destinations since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The changes announced by the airlines mark the latest destinations to be taken off service maps in recent years. The carriers have both reconfigured their schedules since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as shifting demand and capabilities have limited operations—especially to smaller regional airports. In their email to Best Life, the United spokesperson noted that an ongoing pilot shortage at its regional airline partners was a driving factor behind its schedule changes.
As of April 6, Delta has announced its departure from 17 different U.S. cities, The Points Guy reports. On top of State College and La Crosse, they also include Akron, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; Manchester, New Hampshire; Newport News, Virginia; and Santa Barbara, California.
United has seen an even greater retreat from smaller regional airports in the U.S. The latest additions bring the total number of destinations dropped by the carrier to 38, per The Points Guy. The list includes Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Erie, Pennsylvania; Flagstaff, Arizona; Hilo, Hawaii; Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Michigan; Pierre, South Dakota; Santa Rosa, California; Tallahassee, Florida; and Texarkana, Arkansas.
Three major airports will also see a reduction in flights from four airlines this summer.
It's also not just smaller regional airports that will have fewer Delta and United flight options soon. The two carriers confirmed, along with United Airlines and JetBlue Airways, that they would all be cutting back on the number of flights from the New York City area to help ease issues with delays, Airline Weekly reported. The move could see as much as 10 percent of each airline's total departures affected, starting as early as June 15.
The carriers are paring back their schedules due to an ongoing staffing shortage affecting air traffic controllers in the region. During a meeting in March, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that it expected only to have 54 percent of the necessary staff working in the New York City area and anticipated delays on about 45 percent of all flights from the region if traffic was not decreased, Bloomberg reported.
The move marks a significant concession by the FAA, which agreed to issue waivers to the airlines that would allow them to hold on to runway slots at each airport despite the changes. The agency normally penalizes carriers by reassigning the slots if they're not used at least 80 percent of the time, Airline Weekly reported.
"This summer is going to be really hard again," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in New York on March 29, per Bloomberg. "We need to reduce flying and make sure we can operate what we've got."