The New American has had a number of announcements lately about their network and for the most part they’re positive. Due to some of the DOJ agreement and also to consolidation of the two airlines, some routes are being added while others go away. The two biggest announcements so far are about Laguardia (LGA) and Washington-Reagan (DCA). First, new destinations out of Laguardia:
Little Rock, AR
But, the downside here is that New Yorkers lose direct service from LGA to Minneapolis, Atlanta and Cleveland out of LGA. What’s more disappointing (and surprising) is that American will apparently wave the surrender flag on Atlanta altogether out of New York since they don’t fly JFK-ATL. Minneapolis as well (there is once daily service JFK-CLE). It’s not the first time American has ceded a reasonably popular business route to competitors (see Dulles-O’Hare, United).
Washington Reagan sees a bleaker picture, with non-stop service ENDING to the following cities:
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Little Rock, AR
Myrtle Beach, SC
San Diego, CA
As a DC-resident, this certainly blunts the lackluster enthusiasm I already had for the merger. The benefits I saw in the US Airways network for me included non-stop service to the Bahamas and Florida. We have family in the panhandle and they essentially killed any chance I have of getting their without a connection on American. Additionally, the loss of San Diego is a bit of a bummer. When award flights are hard to come by for a route like IAD-LAX, it’s nice to have a secondary route that gets you in the general area (DCA-SAN). Not so much anymore.
For the time being, my home airport of Washington Dulles does pick up some new non-stop service, but some of the most valuable ones for me (like IAD-LGA or IAD-PHL) are gone. There are a handful of cities US Airways currently serves out of IAD on regional jets:
Oh, and Charlotte
The merger is here and there’s not much that we can do but wait to see where the rest of the chips fall. I’m largely expecting to see a change in the complimentary domestic upgrade procedure (likely bad) as well as a new award chart (likely bad, though hopefully not as bad as United’s) and an updated fleet (likely very good). I’ve set my expectations fairly low for improvements that affect me and I’m hoping to not be disappointed.