While the height of summer travel is winding down, many of us still have vacations scheduled this month and in the fall when cozy season settles in. But if your upcoming trips involve flying, you’ll want to pay attention to any changing schedules, as several airlines confirmed that they will be cutting flights over the next few months. Different carriers offer different reasons for the cuts, ranging from staffing shortages to decreased demand, but either way, you should take note of the routes being eliminated. Read on to find out which airlines are cutting flights and where, starting this month.
Delta Air Lines is the first to make adjustments, with changes going into effect this month.
According to Simple Flying, flights from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York to Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., are being reduced this month, per Cirium schedule data. In addition, the airline is cutting flights between LGA and Boston Logan International Airport this month, with 77 flights axed in each direction.
The outlet also reported that fewer Delta flights will be scheduled from both LGA and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Routes from Atlanta to Newark, New Jersey, and Baltimore are being reduced, too, as is the route from Detroit to Baltimore.
In a statement previously provided to Best Life, a spokesperson for Delta Air Lines confirmed that changes were planned ahead of the summer travel season.
“Delta has reduced our originally planned summer schedule beginning in June to improve overall reliability in our operations,” the spokesperson said. “These adjustments were made in domestic markets where our customers have plenty of options available so they can be easily re-accommodated. This decision reinforces our unwavering commitment to provide the best possible travel experience for our customers.”
Simple Flying also noted that Delta is increasing flights from its hubs to Newark, Salt Lake City, and Dulles International Airport in Virginia this month.
Over the Fourth of July holiday, extreme weather created issues for United Airlines, specifically at Newark Liberty International Airport, its largest hub. In an email to staff sent on July 1, United CEO Scott Kirby said that the airline would need to “further change/reduce our schedule to give ourselves even more spare gates and buffer—especially during thunderstorm season.”
The airline first announced changes for the fall, dropping 700 flights from its schedule in November. The domestic cuts will be made throughout the carrier’s coverage network, but flights between Newark and United’s other hubs are being hit the hardest. Cuts impact Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, and Dallas Forth Worth International Airport.
During a July 20 earnings call, Kirby confirmed that the airline is making schedule changes even sooner, cutting back the number of departures from Newark. Starting this month, daily departures from the hub are down from 410 to 390. In addition, according to posted flight data, United is also scrapping a route from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to Tokyo Narita International Airport, Simple Flying reported.
United is also doing away with some international routes in the coming months, and in December, the carrier will also cut back on flights to Hawaii destinations. On the flip side, additional flights are being added, including service from Denver to Sangster Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica (starting Nov. 4), and several new routes to and from Asia (starting in late October).
In a statement to Best Life about the November cuts, a spokesperson confirmed that United’s changes are part of regular adjustments they make due to demand and seasonality. We reached out to the airline regarding the Newark reductions, but have yet to hear back.
American Airlines is also adjusting its schedule starting Oct. 29, reducing the number of flights between Boston and Louisville, Kentucky (from twice daily to once daily); and Boston and Columbus, Ohio (from three times daily to two times daily), a spokesperson previously told Best Life.
American also confirmed that it would be cutting the route between JFK to Monterrey International Airport (MYT) in Mexico this winter.
“Due to soft demand, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to suspend service between New York (JFK) and Monterrey, Mexico (MTY) effective December 20, 2023,” the American spokesperson said, noting that passengers can still book flights to Monterrey from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), and Phoenix (PHX).
They continued, “We are proactively reaching out to impacted customers to offer alternate travel arrangements.”
The cuts follow a court ruling from May, which disbanded American Airlines’ and JetBlue’s partnership, known as the Northeast Alliance, The Points Guy reported.
But like other airlines, American is also increasing service to other cities, resuming its route between LGA and Boston as of Oct. 29.
Alaska Airlines is dropping more than 3,000 flights to 14 major cities come Jan. 2024, with the most significant impact on service between Paine Field International Airport in Seattle and Alaska’s hub at San Francisco International Airport. In total for these airports, Alaska is cutting 72 flights per week, Simple Flying reported, citing Cirium data.
Other cities are affected by the change, seeing a reduction of 48 departures weekly in total. Service is being reduced between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as between San Francisco and JFK and Spokane, Washington. The airline will also slash the number of flights between its primary hub at Seattle Tacoma Airport and Sacramento and Oakland, California; Eugene and Portland, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; and JFK in New York.
On a smaller scale, Alaska is also cutting 34 weekly flights between Anchorage and King Salmon in Alaska, as well as 37 weekly flights between Los Angeles and Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
In a statement to Best Life, a spokesperson for Alaska Airlines confirmed that these adjustments are temporary (for a period of 38 days in winter) and based on seasonality. They further explained that they are temporarily reducing “flying on business routes,” which are currently experiencing a lack of demand.
“We recently announced new [flights] to Nassau, Honolulu, Miami, Palm Springs and Mexico to go after warm-weather leisure demand—the places our guests want to fly to this winter,” the spokesperson added, noting that schedule trims are typical for carriers while they solidify plans during the year.