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Delta cuts 6 routes, resumes 6 others in latest network update

April 13, 2021
4 min read
Delta cuts 6 routes, resumes 6 others in latest network update
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Delta just became the latest airline to tweak its route map due to the pandemic.

The Atlanta-based carrier is cutting six routes and resuming six others, in a move that's seemingly designed to weed out poor performers while boosting service to popular, outdoor-friendly destinations.

The six routes getting axed each touch one of Delta's hubs. With four cuts, Minneapolis−St. Paul is the biggest loser. Atlanta and Detroit each lose one line on the route map.

The full list of cuts includes,

  • Atlanta (ATL) — Oakland (OAK)
  • Detroit (DTW) — Little Rock (LIT)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — Norfolk (ORF)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — Rochester (ROC)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — Aruba (AUA)
  • Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP) — St. Thomas (STT)

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In 2019, both the Atlanta and Detroit flights ranked in the bottom quartile of estimated profitability compared to all other routes from the respective hubs, according to Department of Transportation data analyzed by Cirium. The MSP flights landed in the bottom 50%.

As for Aruba and St. Thomas, those flights have historically operated seasonally during the winter. It's possible that Delta may resume them in December 2022, depending on demand trends and other factors at play.

Southwest Airlines will fill Delta's gap on the nonstop Atlanta to Oakland route. The other three mainland domestic routes will remain unserved by any commercial airline.

Delta will continue serving each outstation from its other hubs, giving local flyers plenty of one-stop itineraries. In explaining the cuts to TPG, Delta said that,

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These schedule adjustments continue to reflect Delta’s response to demand and dynamics driven by the ongoing pandemic. The markets continue to be accessible via other Delta hubs and we also continue to closely watch demand in these markets.

Delta is also making an assortment of temporary cuts this summer. Six of them are from New York LaGuardia (LGA), but they're all slated to resume in early September. This includes service from LGA to Bangor (BGR), Burlington (BTV), Chattanooga (CHA), Des Moines (DSM), Lexington (LEX) and Madison (MSN).

Delta is making a bunch of route-map adjustments (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

It's not all bad news for Delta's route map or the New York area — the carrier is adding back six other routes. Much of the added service is aimed at capturing leisure demand.

OriginDestinationAdjustment
Detroit (DTW)Orange County (SNA)1x daily from July 6 through the end of the schedule
Minneapolis−St. Paul (MSP)Quad Cities (MLI)2x daily from June 5 through the end of the schedule
New York (LGA)Martha's Vineyard (MVY)2x weekly service from June 5 to Sept. 5
New York (LGA)Sarasota–Bradenton (SRQ)1x daily service from June 5 to Sept. 6
New York-JFKBangor (BGR)2x daily service from June 5 to Sept. 6
New York-JFKWest Palm Beach (PBI)2x daily service from June 5 to Sept. 6

The added New York flights come as the competition heats up in the region. American and JetBlue are teaming up to launch a host of new routes and codeshare on others, some of which will go head-to-head with Delta.

The Florida beaches and summer vacation spots like Maine’s Acadia National Park and Martha’s Vineyard have proven to be popular for both airlines and travelers.

More Delta adds: 39 new and expanded routes to 22 destinations

Many other major U.S. airlines have boosted flights to those destinations, in the hopes of capturing vacationers who are seeking socially distant, outdoor-friendly escapes.

Featured image by (Photo 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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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more