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As part of American and US Airways’ settlement with the Department of Justice over their merger, the two airlines agreed to divest slots at Washington National and New York La Guardia airports. Specifically, the airlines will divest 52 slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and 17 slot pairs at New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), as well as certain gates and related facilities to support service at those airports. Each slot pair entitles the holder to one departure and arrival.
Today American announced the cities that will no longer receive service from these slot divestitures and they include:
Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Little Rock, AR
Myrtle Beach, SC
San Diego, CA (this flight will be shifted to LA)
However, American will add a second daily nonstop flight between DCA and Los Angeles by shifting US Airways’ current San Diego flight to LA instead.
From New York LGA, the airline will no longer fly year-round daily service to Atlanta, Cleveland and Minneapolis, but will provide new flights to the following 10 destinations:
Little Rock, AR
Flyers can start booking tickets on these new routes January 26 for travel starting April 1.
While these aren’t earth-shattering changes, and we knew they were coming, I suspect airfares to some of these regional airports are going to go up in the short-term thanks to the drops in frequencies and less competition as well as on those LGA flights to three Delta strongholds. However, only time will tell what the entire impact will be on flyers based in the southeast as the new schedules become clearer.
Also, keep in mind that though some flights will get more expensive, you’ll be able to use Avios for US Airways flights come March 31 when it joins Oneworld, so that could be a good way to get more bang for your buck on short-haul flights thanks to Avios’s distance-based awards.