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Uh-oh: American’s new bus service will be missing a key feature at launch

June 02, 2022
3 min read
American Airlines bus
Uh-oh: American’s new bus service will be missing a key feature at launch
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American Airlines' new bus connections are going to be less seamless than initially promised.

When first announced back in April, American shared that its ground transportation provider, Landline, would work with the TSA to allow travelers originating in either Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) or Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) to clear security at the outstation before proceeding directly on the bus.

Upon arrival at the airline's Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) hub, the bus would pull directly up to a gate in the regional terminal (F). Then, travelers would be able to directly enter the airside area.

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Once inside the airport, travelers would be able to head straight to the gate for their flight, without needing to reclear security.

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However, American and Landline haven't received the necessary permissions to offer travelers the ability to board coaches on the ramp just as they would any other flight. The companies "continue to work with the TSA" on enabling this service, but until then, travelers will need to clear security in Philadelphia, according to a spokesperson for American.

In a statement, American shared:

As Landline works through approvals, customers will check in, check bags and board the coach pre-security at ABE and ACY. Coaches will arrive at PHL at Terminal F where customers will de-board and proceed directly through security while our team transfers checked bags. Agents will meet every arrival to assist customers. Departures from PHL will board post-security at Terminal F before heading to ABE and ACY.

As American and Landline get ready to inaugurate the new bus routes on June 3, this news is certainly disappointing for those who were planning to use the service to streamline the travel experience.

(Photo courtesy of a TPG reader)

It's not immediately clear when American and Landline anticipate receiving the necessary approvals from the TSA, and a carrier spokesperson didn't have a timeline available to share.

While those originating in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, will need to clear security upon arrival in Philadelphia, their checked bags will automatically be transferred to the plane; this eliminates the hassle for passengers who would otherwise need to collect their bags and re-check them.

Those who fly into Philadelphia and wish to connect to the Landline bus will do so from a dedicated gate in Terminal F — with no requirement to reclear security.

In fact, this revised travel process matches the one that Landline uses with its other airline partners, United Airlines and Sun Country. The bus provider was poised to debut airside connections with its American partnership, but that aspect of the experience will, unfortunately, need to wait.

American will begin serving ABE and ACY on June 3; on Aug. 16, it will begin serving Lancaster Airport (LNS).

In recent days, TPG received exclusive photos of the new bus — and it looks quite stylish with the blue wrap and American logo painted from top to bottom.

Once inside, the 35 seats are arranged in a 1-2 configuration — just like the Landline bus that operates for United in Denver — and there is complimentary Wi-Fi, streaming entertainment and power at each seat.

Itineraries that include bus segments operated by Landline are eligible for AAdvantage mileage and loyalty points accrual.

Stay tuned to TPG for more about American’s new bus partnership with Landline.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of a TPG reader)
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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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
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  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases