American Airlines Is Cutting Flights to 4 Major Cities, Starting in October
The cuts may affect your travel plans for later this year.
The airline industry has certainly had its ups and downs over the past several years, navigating new territory during the COVID-19 pandemic and adjusting to the uptick in eager travelers once travel restrictions were lifted. As one of the largest airlines, American Airlines isn't immune to the changing times—and it's being proactive about the routes they prioritize. In fact, the carrier just announced that it's cutting flights to four major cities, starting in October. Read on to find out where flights are being axed.
Travelers won't be able to book flights from Seattle to London.
Come October 27, American Airlines is cutting flights from Seattle to London Heathrow, The Points Guy reported. Once the route is nixed, American Airlines will no longer operate international flights out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (at least for the winter season).
Plans for service from Seattle to the U.K. capital were announced ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the route has run regularly since March 2021.
"As part of a continuous evaluation of our network, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to suspend service between Seattle and London-Heathrow this winter," a spokesperson for the airline said, clarifying that they still offer flights to both Seattle and London from several other hubs. "American will continue to offer 22 daily nonstop flights between the United States and London-Heathrow this winter. We're proactively reaching out to affected customers to offer alternate travel arrangements."
One Mile at a Time suggests that the removal is due to the fact that American Airlines lacks "brand recognition" and corporate contracts in Seattle, as well as the fact that business travel isn't fully back to normal following the pandemic.
According to The Points Guy, as of right now, the route is anticipated to pick up again on March 30, 2024.
Demand for flights to China remains low.
American Airlines also had plans to introduce service to two cities in China, but those were recently abandoned as well. New flights from Seattle to Shanghai and from Dallas to Beijing were set to launch on Oct. 29, but they've now been cut, Simple Flying reported, citing schedule data from Cirium.
Both routes were first announced right before the pandemic, according to The Points Guy—and once travel was brought to a halt, so were American Airlines' plans.
According to Simple Flying, demand for flights to China hasn't picked up since the pandemic, and some carriers have yet to reintroduce service at all. However, American Airlines will still operate one regular flight to China (from Dallas to Shanghai). Currently, the route is operated four times each week, but daily service will be increased by the end of 2023, Simple Flying reported.
"We will maintain nonstop service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Shanghai, however all other service to China will remain paused," the airline said. "We will continue to adjust schedules to China this year based on market demand and changes in government regulations."
Service from Seattle to another international destination has been postponed.
Seattle will be hit the hardest as a result of American's recent schedule changes, as yet another route from the hub to Bangalore, India, has been cut. The airline announced the new route in Feb. 2020, which was anticipated to launch in October of that same year. Thanks (again) to the COVID-19 pandemic, the launch date was pushed back, and is now postponed indefinitely, according to One Mile at a Time.
"American Airlines has indefinitely postponed the launch of scheduled service between Seattle and Bengaluru, India," the airline spokesperson told Best Life. "The safety of our customers and team members is American's top priority. As this route requires flying through airspace currently involved in a military conflict, we postponed the flight out of an abundance of caution. We're proactively reaching out to customers scheduled to travel on affected dates to offer alternate options."
The postponement was initially attributed to decreased demand, as India's borders were closed, but now, American Airlines also has to contend with the ban of U.S. aircraft from Russian airspace. Russian President Vladimir Putin put the ban in place late last year, after several countries banned Russian airlines from their airspace, according to One Mile at a Time. The outlet added that the ban makes the route from Seattle to Bangalore more difficult.
American Airlines has announced other flight cuts within the U.S. in recent months.
Earlier this month, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines all confirmed that they are slashing service from the New York City area this summer, Best Life previously reported. According to Airline Weekly, the carriers are decreasing departures from the major airports in the area—John F. Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark Liberty in New Jersey—to help ease the strain of delays and address issues related to a shortage of air traffic controllers.
The changes follow the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision to allow carriers to keep their runway spots at these airports, regardless of flight cuts. Typically, airlines are required to use these slots 80 percent of the time, and they can lose them if they fail to meet this threshold.
American is thus planning to cut back on flights from LaGuardia to Dallas, Miami, Kansas City, and St. Louis, according to Reuters. It will also reduce the number of flights from Newark to Chicago.
A spokesperson for American Airlines previously told Best Life that it would "temporarily" reduce flights from the airports, noting that the carrier was "proactively reaching out to affected customers to offer alternate travel arrangements."