American Divesting Slots at Washington DCA and New York LGA

by on January 15, 2014 · 16 comments

in American

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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.

As part of the merger settlement - American must divest slots at DCA and LGA.

As part of the merger settlement – American must divest slots at DCA and LGA.

Today American announced the cities that will no longer receive service from these slot divestitures and they include:

Augusta, GA
Detroit, MI
Fayetteville, NC
Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Islip, NY
Jacksonville, NC
Little Rock, AR
Minneapolis, MN
Myrtle Beach, SC
Nassau, Bahamas
Omaha, NE
Pensacola, FL
San Diego, CA (this flight will be shifted to LA)
Savannah, GA
Tallahassee, FL
Wilmington, NC

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:

Charlottesville, VA
Dayton, OH
Greensboro, NC
Knoxville, TN
Little Rock, AR
Louisville, KY
Norfolk, VA
Richmond, VA
Roanoke, VA
Wilmington, NC

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.

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  • woodstockdad

    So do you know what they are doing to the LGA/ATL schedule?

  • gtg5017

    Imagine they would shift most/all operations to/from JFK no?

  • Mike

    From LGA, why drop business destinations in favor of nowheresvilles? This won’t be good for corporate contracts.

  • Jared

    Will other airlines be able to pick up these slots? Slots at DCA are extremely hard to come by, so I assume other airlines would love to service that airport more frequently, if able.

  • thepointsguy

    Yes, other competitors will have the opportunity to buy the slots

  • thepointsguy

    LGA is a very strategic location for NYC, so I don’t imagine them shifting away to favor JFK, which is further from Manhattan

  • Mike

    Except they’ve just said they’re discontinuing LGA-ATL entirely (see above), and there’s no word about starting any flights from JFK at all.

  • tom

    does anyone know when this takes affect?

  • Miles

    Many of the others do not surprise me, but this one is a shocker.

  • Ven

    I imagine Delta would pick up the Detroit and Min routes from DCA. If the slots go up for re-did, do the new owners have to go to the same cities or can they reclassify the routes? If they can’t, carriers like SW probably count serve some of this cities with their 737 fleet so they would go back to Delta/United kind of defeating the purpose of pulling the slots from American in the first place. Does US also have to give up slots before the merger?

  • Philip

    Being based out of DTW, what precisely does this imply: “Today American announced the cities that will no longer receive service from these slot divestitures.” Does this mean a loss of service altogether, or a loss of service coming from DCA and LGA?

  • Ven

    Answering my own question, they are already merged so this is the full list of cities lost by US/AA combined which makes sense since i dont recall seeing flights to detroit out of DCA on AA ever.

  • Ven

    I’m based out of DCA buy fly to DTW frequently on both US Air and Delta. I imagine it means that the slots will be put up for auction to the budget carriers (Southwest, JetBlue, etc) but I don’t think there is any language stopping Delta from bidding on them as well. In the end, the flights will be taken over by SW driving prices down due to increased competition (the DoJ goal) or picked up by Delta driving prices up (what I think will really happen). Just out of curiosity, I don’t see this happening quickly as I still see flights between DCA and DTW bookable through May so who knows whats going on.

  • Stan

    Also, you can also have connecting service. DCA – DTW becomes DCA – PHL – DTW.

  • Teej

    So they make American divest all of these, but Delta can still have a Monopoly at the biggest airport in the world (ATL). bullshit.

  • Brian C. Lee

    DCA and LGA are slot-controlled. ATL isn’t.

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