Major airlines cut back on summer schedules and leave some markets completely

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Check your flight to make sure you’re good to go

American, Frontier, and United have cut some flights from their schedules due to delays in delivering new jets and a shortage of pilots. And, nope, we’re not back in COVID-19, either.

Reports from various sources say that the impact will hit both big and small markets alike.

A spokesperson for United put the blame on the U.S. pilot shortage that’s affecting regional carriers more than long-haulers.

“But pilots are not the only issue,” AirlineWeekly’s Edward Russell said. “Continuing aircraft delivery delays at Airbus and Boeing have also hamstrung airline schedules; the latest example being American’s decision to suspend flights between Philadelphia and Madrid in May and June due to late Boeing 787 deliveries.”

Russell says that there's a third problem – a shortage of air traffic controllers – which caused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to step in and suspend usage rules for 10% of the slots at airports in New York and Washington, D.C.

Frontier’s cutting 14 routes

Frontier is also chopping some of its routes, but basically because they’re dead weight. A Frontier Airlines spokesperson told The Points Guy that it periodically reviews and updates routes based on demand, seasonality, and other factors. It’s not pulling out of 13 of those markets completely, but it is hanging it up in Rochester, N.Y., (ROC) where its bread and butter has been regular flights to and from Orlando. Those flights will cease on May 8. 

United chops 17

United is completely getting out of Erie, Pa., and will cut 16 other regional routes from its network. The Points Guy reported the changes, outlining everything that’s getting taken off the board. They include:

Chicago O’Hare to Bismarck, N.D.; Charlottesville, Va.; Jackson, Miss.; Pasco-Tri-Cities, Wash.; and Redmond, Ore. 

Denver to Dayton, Ohio. 

Houston Bush to Alexandria, La.; Columbia, S.C.; and Akron, Ohio

Newark to Oklahoma City; Omaha, Neb.; and Knoxville, Tenn.

Washington Dulles to Allentown, Pa.; Lexington, Ky.; Madison, Wis.; Oklahoma City; and Pensacola, Fla. 

American’s cuts hit Philadelphia pretty hard

American had already announced plans to eliminate 3,729 flights – about 10% – from its summer schedule at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Those flights won’t operate from June through August. writes Holden Wilen and Emma Dooling at Philadelphia Business Journal.

Do you have a reservation on one of these routes?

It's a safe bet that any airline that cuts a flight from its schedule will make things right with the traveler. For example, in American's situation, a spokesperson said anyone whose flights were changed will be granted alternate options and, if there’s a traveler who can’t be accommodated, refunds will be available because of the airline’s schedule-changing policy. You can find United's schedule change policy here, and Frontier's here.

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