To say the airline industry hasn’t had it easy lately would be a massive understatement. On top of the decreased business, lingering travel restrictions, and staff shortages brought on by COVID-19, carriers have also been forced to contend with severe weather grounding thousands of flights. Now, planning your next trip might get even more complicated after American Airlines announced that it would be cutting several flights from four major cities beginning in May. Read on to see if your plans might be affected.
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The most recent schedule released by American Airlines on flights analytics website Cirium shows that the carrier will be reducing departures by 19.1 percent beginning in May, Simple Flying reported on Feb. 6. The changes will affect at least four major American cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Raleigh, especially international long-haul flights.
The new schedule will see Chicago reduce its four daily flights to London’s Heathrow Airport to three. In addition, Los Angeles will have its service between Sydney suspended when the changes go into effect. And Raleigh won’t see flights to London resume until at least June 3.
However, Dallas will see the most flights affected by the new schedule. Flights to Kahului, Maui will be reduced from two daily to one, service to Santiago, Chile will be suspended from May 5th through June 3rd, and the airline will further delay the resumption of flights to Tel Aviv through June 4th. The changes also show that all of American’s flights to Managua, Nicaragua will remain suspended through May.
American Airlines’ revised schedule won’t only involve dropping flights, however. The carrier will also be adding departures that will affect its international routes.
When the changes take effect on May 1, Miami will increase daily flights to Buenos Aires from one to two and bump up the number of daily flights to Guayaquil, Ecuador and Liberia, Costa Rica to three each. Dallas will also see an increase in its service to Mexico, adding a third daily flight to Guanajuato and increasing the size of its aircraft servicing Cancun and Morelia.
Flights out of John. F. Kennedy Airport in New York will also be ramped up. Besides adding two more daily flights to Miami, regional connections are also increasing, including Norfolk, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond, and Baltimore, Simple Flying reports.
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While the dropped flights represent a 17.5 percent reduction in seats for the airline, the schedule is still a 10 percent increase compared to what was flown in May 2021, Simple Flying reports. Overall, the schedule shows that the airline will have 5,500 peak daily departures throughout the month.
The changes to the schedule also represent the shifts in demand that have been brought on by changes to travel restrictions and moves by other airlines. “With Qantas set to bring the Airbus A380 back in service between Los Angeles and Sydney and the travel restrictions looser for Australian citizens over Americans, Qantas is in a stronger position to do well on this route,” Simple Flying explains, adding that American Airlines flights to Tel Aviv from Miami and New York could still accommodate travelers on the carrier.
This isn’t the only time recently that American has changed its schedule as it copes with changing demand and challenges to the industry. Last month, the airline also dropped a number of flights from its schedule that went into effect on Feb. 1. Flights from Los Angeles to El Paso were reduced from three a day to just one, while Los Angeles to Denver saw service reduced from up to three daily flights to just six weekly flights. Flights from Phoenix, Dallas, and Chicago were also affected: American’s service from Phoenix to Long Beach, California, dropped from three daily to ten weekly, while Dallas to Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago to Baltimore both lost three daily flights in favor of 12 flights each week, Simple Flying reported.
Fortunately for travelers, the changes didn’t mean that the carrier was leaving the markets entirely. “Unlike other airlines, American is not exiting any of the cities. As a result, impacted customers will have the ability to alter their itinerary and find something comparable through another hub or on a different flight time,” Simple Flying explained. “In addition, any customers who choose not to accept an alternate itinerary and their flight is canceled can receive a refund.”
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