American Airlines enters the bus business | Business

Beware of American Airlines buses on a route near you, at least for drivers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

American Airlines has signed an agreement with bus company Landline to replace some short connecting flights to Philadelphia International Airport from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, NJ, with bus rides.

Starting in June, Landline buses, painted with an American Airlines logo, will pick up passengers at Lehigh International Airport in Allentown or Atlantic City International Airport and run on route to Philadelphia, a major hub for US international connections.

Passengers will actually park at either Allentown or Atlantic City airports, check in, check their bags and go through security before boarding one of the 35-seat buses to take them on the approximately 50 miles to Philadelphia. From the bus, they can enter the terminal directly as if they were transferring planes. Bags are also transferred.

“For too long, travelers have been inconvenienced by all ancillary parts of the flight, including getting to and from the airport, parking, baggage handling and navigational safety,” a statement from the airline said. CEO and co-founder of Landline, David Sunde.

Landline actually partners with airlines such as United and Sun Country for similar trips to Colorado and Minnesota.

Putting airline passengers on a bus actually solves a tricky dilemma for American Airlines in areas where airports are densely clustered. The 50 mile trip is just too short for a commercial flight, even on a smaller regional plane. At the same time, customers are often willing to drive 60-80 minutes to an airport with significantly more connections.

American Airlines only flies from Allentown to Charlotte and Chicago, two other major hubs for American. It would be a long trip to get somewhere like Boston or even Pittsburgh and Cleveland. American Airlines doesn’t even serve Atlantic City International Airport, which is only served by Spirit Airlines.

American Airlines customers can earn frequent flyer miles for travel.

On the way back, the buses will take passengers back to Allentown or Atlantic City, along with their luggage.

“Customers can start and end their trip at their local airport, relax in a comfortable fixed vehicle and leave the driving to someone else while they work or start their vacation early,” said the vice-president. American Airlines network planning president Brian Znotins in a statement. .

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