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American Will No Longer Fly to These 3 Cities Thanks to a "Pilot Shortage"

The airline also cited "soft demand" as a reason for pulling service to the destinations.

It's not uncommon for airlines to regularly reassess their schedules and make changes. Often, carriers will bump up the number of departures due to a destination's seasonal popularity or scale back the number of flights somewhere due to increased competition. But in some cases, airlines will go so far as to pull their operations out of a destination and completely stop offering service there. Now, American has announced that it will no longer fly to three U.S. cities thanks to a "pilot shortage." Read on to see why the carrier is shuffling its route map and dropping the destinations.

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American Airlines will stop flying to three U.S. cities in the coming weeks.

american airlines plane in flight
Philip Pilosian / Shutterstock

Depending on where you live, you might have one fewer option for flights soon. American Airlines announced that it would be pulling its services out of three U.S. cities and no longer flying to them in the coming weeks, travel news website The Points Guy reports.

The carrier says that it will discontinue flights to and from Long Beach, California (LGB) as of Feb. 28. The airline also said that it would stop service to Columbus, Georgia (CSG), and Del Rio, Texas (DRT) on April 3.

American Airlines confirmed the changes when reached for comment by Best Life. "In response to the regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry and soft demand, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to end service in Columbus, Georgia (CSG), Del Rio, Texas (DRT), and Long Beach, California (LGB) this spring. We're extremely grateful for the care and service our team members provided to our customers in these cities, and are working closely with them during this time. We'll proactively reach out to customers scheduled to travel to offer alternate arrangements," a spokesperson for the company wrote in a statement.

The changes will leave one of the cities without any service from major airlines.

Person Walking Through Airport

The impending service map changes could have significant implications for some travelers based in the affected cities. Long Beach—which previously saw American flights from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)—is still served by Delta, Hawaiian, and Southwest Airlines, according to The Points Guy. And Columbus—which has flights from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and DFW—will still be served by Delta once the changes go into effect.

But when American Airlines stops service to Del Rio on April 3, the city of 35,000 near the Mexico border will be left without any commercial airline flights whatsoever, The Dallas Morning News reports. The carrier's two daily flights to DFW have been the only departures since the spring of 2013, when United Airlines took the city off of its service map.

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The carrier also recently announced it would be dropping another major route.

A man looking at the arrivals and departures board in an airport

But the airline isn't just shaking up its domestic service map. Late last week, the carrier also announced that it would be cutting its flights from Miami (MIA) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV) as of March 24, a spokesperson for the carrier confirmed to The Points Guy.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise after the airline chose to up the service from three days a week to daily beginning on Oct. 28 of last year. However, American will still serve the Israeli city with daily service from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).

"We're proactively reaching out to customers affected by these changes to offer alternate travel arrangements," a spokesperson for American Airlines said in a statement to The Points Guy.

The latest changes will add to the growing list of cities American Airlines has pulled out of in recent years.

side view american airlines plane
GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock

These route revisions aren't the first time recently that American has decided to stop flying to a city. In June, the airline announced it would stop serving Islip, New York (ISP); Ithaca, New York (ITH); and Toledo, Ohio (TOL) as of Sept. 7, 2022. It then also said that it would not be resuming flights to and from Dubuque, Iowa (DBQ) nearly two years after it had suspended them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to the recent changes, the carrier cited the "regional pilot shortage affecting the airline industry" as the reason behind their decisions.

When the new changes come into effect this spring, American will have cut service to a total of 18 cities since the pandemic first began, The Points Guy reports. Besides the previously mentioned destinations, the list also includes Arcata/Eureka, California; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Duluth, Minnesota; Hattiesburg/Laurel, Mississippi; Joplin, Missouri; Meridian, Mississippi; New Haven, Connecticut; New Windsor, New York; Oakland, California; Sioux City, Iowa; and Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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