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Delta and American Are Cutting Flights to 5 Major Cities, Starting Jan. 8

The changes will affect some important long-haul and international routes.

Perhaps with the exception of the holiday travel rush, jetting off during winter can be a great way to lift your spirits. Whether it's making your way to warmer weather, finding a new city to explore, or planning a visit to catch up with family or loved ones, the experience can help beat the cold weather doldrums—all while skipping summer crowds. But if you're planning on booking airfare soon, you may want to take note that Delta and American announced they're cutting flights to five major cities. Read on to see which destinations will be affected and what other changes are in store.

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Delta is axing two major long-haul routes from one of its New York hubs.


Anyone looking to travel cross country might have fewer options for booking flights in the coming months. Delta confirmed it will be dropping two transcontinental routes from its hub at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), The Points Guy first reported.

Starting Jan. 8, the East Coast airport will no longer service Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). The move will end the routes just short of six months after the airline first announced them, The Points Guy reports.

A Delta spokesperson confirmed the changes in an email to Best Life. "We continuously evaluate our network to make the changes that will help meet the needs of our customers and best allocate our resources. We apologize for any inconvenience and will work with our customers booked on flights beyond this service suspension date to make the necessary adjustments to their travels," they wrote.

The airline also pointed out that LGA operates under a "perimeter rule" that limits it to flights of 1,500 miles or less except for departures on Saturdays. This is also the lowest passenger traffic day for the airport, meaning demand for the routes was likely relatively low.

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American is dropping all international flights out of Seattle.

An American Airlines jet sitting on the runway
Shutterstock / Tupungato

But it's not just domestic long-haul flights that are seeing change. American Airlines confirmed it was dropping its route between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR), The Points Guy reports.

While the seasonal service last flew over the summer, the carrier had initially planned to revive flights again next year. The changes now mean that American no longer flies any international routes out of SEA.

In a statement, the airline explained its reasoning for cutting the flights.

"As part of a continuous evaluation of our network, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to discontinue service between Seattle (SEA) and London (LHR)," a spokesperson for the carrier told The Points Guy. "We plan to operate 25 daily flights to LHR next summer from 10 destinations across the U.S. Our partner, British Airways, continues to operate service between SEA and LHR. We're proactively reaching out to impacted customers to offer alternate travel arrangements."

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American also pushed back the restarting date of another seasonal route.

Chicago, IL, USA - July 17, 2017: American Airlines fleet of airplanes with passengers at O'Hare Airport passing through corridor.

American also recently announced another schedule change for early next year. The carrier will be pushing back the resumption of its route between Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) and Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS) in California, Simple Flying reports.

Initially, the airline had planned to stop its current daily service to the wine country destination as of Dec. 4 and restart it again on Feb. 15. However, flight data now shows the route won't fly again until May 6, per Simple Flying.

Best Life has reached out to American Airlines about the changes, and we will update this article with their response.

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Both airlines are adding new routes to their maps in other areas.

An American Airlines jet taxiing on the runway while a Delta Air Lines jet takes off
Shutterstock / Thiago B Trevisan

Even as the airlines make flight cuts and other changes, they're still beefing up service elsewhere. Delta announced that it will be supplementing its existing daily service from its main hub at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport (ATL) and Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea with an additional flight, The Points Guy reports. The new departures will add three flights a week when it kicks off on Apr. 11, 2024, before it becomes daily as of May 6, 2024.

The move marks the latest in a push to increase service to the South Korean city. "We're very excited about is the success of our Incheon hub with Korean, and that has really even exceeded our expectations," Glen Hauenstein, president of Delta, said during the company's third-quarter earnings call last month, per The Points Guy. "We think it's the best place to connect to get to Southeast Asia from any one of our hubs or as a double connect."

And American is adding more international flights, as well. The carrier will swap in service to London Heathrow from Miami International Airport (MIA) to replace its cut Seattle route, The Points Guy reports.

The new flights will add a second daily departure to London on the route when they kick off on Apr. 1. The change will allow American to hold on to the coveted runway slots it currently holds in the busy British destination, per The Points Guy.

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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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