American Airlines is amongst the latest airlines in the US to add new routes to its roster, only this time, they are set to be operated by bus, not by airplane.
American Airlines, the largest airline in both the US and the world in terms of flights and passengers carried, made the announcement yesterday, revealing a new partnership with the bus company Landline that will see passengers take to the road for connecting flights rather than the skies.
Whilst the move is bound to be unpopular with travelers, the motivation behind it stems from Covid-19 related complications and the global economic situation. Here’s everything you need to know about American Airlines’ new bus routes, including which destinations they are set to serve, how long they will take compared with a flight, and why the airline has decided to go through with such a decision.
American’s Bus Routes – Information For Travelers
Travel in the age of Covid-19 might be taking off once more, but it’s not exactly doing so in a traditional fashion across the country – and for some routes, it won’t be taking off at all. Whilst taking the bus between one destination and another might not exactly be a traveler’s idea of arriving in style – or in comfort, or in a quick and timely manner – the new partnership between American Airlines and Landline has been created with convenience, ease and cost in mind.
Yesterday, American Airlines revealed that two of its routes that connect its Philadelphia hub to Lehigh Valley Airport (ABE), and Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) would not be served by airplanes when they resume on June 3rd, but by buses instead. The move from air to asphalt will see the journey time increase from around 30 minutes to anywhere up to two hours depending on traffic.
Whilst it may be a new development for the airline, much of the process of catching a connecting bus is set to be the same as usual. As is the case with connecting flights, those taking one of the connecting buses to their final destination can expect their luggage to be moved from airplane to bus, and they will also need to go through airport security and proceed to the correct gate prior to boarding the bus.
The move has come about as a result of the current economic and Covid-19 situation across the country. With a pilot shortage and rising fuel prices, airlines have been forced to prioritize which routes they will serve – with the two 30-minute flights from Philadelphia the latest of many such route casualties so far this year. In total, just 80% of flights offered in 2019 were still operating in 2021.
Tweeting about the new partnership, Landline stressed the convenience of such a route, highlighting the “seamless” connections it can now offer – and it may be onto something. Lehigh Valley Airport’s longest-running bus-as-flight connection – a United service between the airport and its Newark hub – has proved successful due to its convenience, with passengers preferring to park there and then take the bus, rather than endure the drive to Newark themselves. In time, passengers from Philadelphia may feel the same.
The bus connections also offer passengers other benefits besides convenience. Travelers can rest easy in the knowledge that they are doing their bit for the planet, with the carbon emissions from buses far lower than those of airplanes. Every cloud has a silver lining – even if it’s harder to see from the ground than it is at 30,000 feet.
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