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American Airlines is expanding again in Austin with 14 new routes

June 10, 2021
5 min read
American Airlines is expanding again in Austin with 14 new routes
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There's seemingly no shortage of demand for flights to and from Austin.

On Thursday, American Airlines unveiled one of its largest Austin-focused expansions yet, with 14 new year-round routes beginning this fall, consisting of ten domestic and four international destinations.

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American's expanded Austin service will commence in three stages throughout September, October and November. The full list of new routes is below:

New domestic routes from AUS:

Destination FrequencyFlights begin
Cincinnati (CVG)Twice-dailySept. 8
El Paso (ELP)Three-times dailySept. 8, Oct. 7 and Nov. 2
Indianapolis (IND)Twice-dailySept. 8 and Oct. 7
Jacksonville (JAX)DailySept. 8
Kansas City (MCI)Twice-dailySept. 8 and Nov. 2
Oklahoma City (OKC)DailyOct. 7
Reno (RNO)DailySept. 8
San Juan (SJU)DailyOct. 7
St. Louis (STL)Twice-dailySept. 8 and Oct. 7
Tulsa (TUL)DailyNov. 2

New international routes from AUS:

Destination FrequencyFlights begin
Cancun (CUN)Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and SundaysNov. 2
Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR)*Tuesdays, Thursdays and SaturdaysNov. 2
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR)*Tuesdays, Thursdays and SaturdaysOct. 7
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)*Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and SundaysNov. 2

All flights will be available for sale beginning on June 14. A carrier spokesperson confirmed that the new flights will be operated by a mix of Embraer 175 regional jets and mainline Boeing 737-800s.

Perhaps the most notable move on American's part is that it chose a handful of routes without any direct competition. Five of the ten domestic routes and three out of the four international ones will be operated exclusively by American, according to Cirium schedule data, to destinations marked with an asterisk above.

The others will go head-to-head against many of the incumbents in the Austin market, including Southwest, Allegiant, JetBlue and Sun Country.

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Related: Allegiant is opening a base in Austin

The Austin ramp-up begins on Sept. 8, two days after Labor Day, which typically marks the start of the school year for students and the return of business travelers from their summer vacations.

Austin is one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas (Photo by Mark Lee/Getty Images)

Though leisure travel is steadily creeping up to pre-pandemic levels, business travelers, including the biggest road warriors, haven't returned to the skies nearly as fast. Austin, notably, is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, with more and more companies relocating or adding satellite offices there.

With these new domestic routes, American appears to be betting that it can not serve Austin-based business travelers, but also that employees — and employers — will be comfortable with work travel again this Fall.

The international expansion, on the other hand, is seemingly geared towards the local leisure segment looking for an outdoor-friendly beachside vacation.

American's move to boost Austin — the carrier and its partners will offer nearly 100 peak-day departures from AUS this fall — comes just three months after the airline doubled down on the city with ten new routes.

At the time, the carrier said that it was committed to the Austin market, with vice president of network planning Brian Znotins telling TPG that "we are certainly thinking long-term here. We are at the front-end of our growth in Austin."

True to Znotins' word, American isn't just announcing 14 new Austin routes on Thursday. It's also increasing existing service, including starting year-round service to Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD) and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) after this summer's successful seasonal debut, and adding frequencies to the following five domestic destinations:

  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — two additional flights
  • Miami (MIA) — two additional flights
  • New Orleans (MSY)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Tampa (TPA)

Despite all the new flights, American isn't ready to call Austin a "focus city." Airline spokesperson Brian Metahm told TPG that there are "no changes to how we view Austin." Metham also confirmed that no existing routes are getting cut to make room for the new flights.

Instead, this growth is all about responding to customer demand, the airline said.

“Over time, we’ve seen Austin grow like crazy… There have been more nonstop flights added by other airlines. But we really want to differentiate ourselves for customers flying out of Austin. These nonstop flights will save them time, and we’ll offer them the American experience,” said Znotins during American's first Austin expansion earlier this year.

Featured image by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023