Complete List: US Airlines Will Stop Flying To Dozens Of Cities

Filed Under: Alaska, Allegiant Air

Several weeks ago we learned that US airlines would be allowed to drop service to dozens of cities, and that list of cities has now been approved and finalized. Let’s take a look at the details.

The destinations that US airlines will be dropping

US airlines received billions of dollars in aid through the CARES Act, and one condition of accepting aid was agreeing to maintain service to all US airports that were previously served.

Airlines weren’t required to maintain all the same routes and frequencies, but at a minimum they needed to maintain at least some service to all airports that previously belonged to their network. The logic was to continue to give all communities access to air service.

However, US airlines have been able to apply for specific service exemptions, which were approved on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Several weeks the DOT announced that US airlines would be able to drop service to more airports:

  • Airlines can drop service to either five total markets, or to 5% of their total markets served, whichever is greater
  • Airlines could prioritize the markets to which they wanted to drop service, and then the DOT would make the final decision, ensuring that each market still has service from at least one airline
  • These exemptions apply for service through September 30, 2020 (after that airlines can do whatever they want, since CARES Act funding runs out)

After a review period, the decision of which destinations can be dropped has now been finalized. Here’s a look at which cities US airlines will be dropping:

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Charleston, SC
  • Columbus, OH
  • El Paso, TX
  • New Orleans, LA
  • San Antonio, TX

Alaska Airlines is dropping service to five markets

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air will be dropping service to the following six cities:

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Ogdensburg, NY
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Springfield, IL
  • Tucson, AZ

American Airlines

Surprisingly American Airlines will only be dropping service to the following four cities (which also spells the end of the 29 mile flight between Aspen and Eagle):

  • Aspen, CO
  • Eagle, CO
  • Montrose/Delta, CO
  • Worcester, MA

Cape Air

Cape Air will be dropping service to the following city:

  • Portland, ME

Corvus Airlines

Corvus Airlines will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Goodnews Bay, AK
  • Kodiak, AK
  • Napakiak, AK
  • Napaskiak, AK
  • Platinum, AK

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines will be dropping service to the following 11 cities, tied for the most of any airline:

  • Aspen, CO
  • Bangor, ME
  • Erie, PA
  • Flint, MI
  • Fort Smith, AR
  • Lincoln, NE
  • New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, NC
  • Peoria, IL
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • Williston, ND

Delta is dropping service to 11 markets

Elite Airways

Elite Airways will be dropping service to the following city:

  • Sarasota/Bradenton, FL

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Greenville/Spartanburg, SC
  • Mobile, AL
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Portland, ME
  • Tyler, TX

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue Airways will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Palm Springs, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Sarasota/Bradenton, FL
  • Worcester, MA

JetBlue is dropping service to five markets

Seaborne Virgin Islands

Seaborne Virgin Islands will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Charlotte Amalie, VI
  • Christiansted, VI
  • Culebra, PR
  • San Juan, PR
  • Vieques, PR

Silver Airways

Silver Airways will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Charlotte Amalie, VI
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Key West, FL
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Tampa, FL

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Asheville, NC
  • Charlotte Amalie, VI
  • Christiansted, VI
  • Greensboro/High Point, NC
  • Plattsburgh, NY

Spirit is dropping service to five markets

Sun Air Express

Sun Air Express will be dropping service to the following city:

  • Nashville, TN

Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines will be dropping service to the following five cities:

  • Madison, WI
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Sacramento, CA
  • St. Louis, MO

United Airlines

United Airlines will be dropping service to the following 11 cities, tied for the most of any airline:

  • Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, PA
  • Charlotte Amalie, VI
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Fairbanks, AK
  • Hilton Head, SC
  • Ithaca/Cortland, NY
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Key West, FL
  • Lansing, MI
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Rochester, MN

United is dropping service to 11 markets

Bottom line

US airlines will be dropping flights to dozens of markets this summer, thanks to new permission granted by the DOT. If you’re booked on one of the above airlines to one of the listed destinations, expect you may very well get a cancelation notice soon.

I’d say there are two things that I find most interesting about the above list:

  • Southwest Airlines didn’t request any service exemptions
  • American Airlines is cutting only four markets, while Delta and United are each cutting 11 markets

What do you make of the US airports that airlines are dropping?

  1. Looks like getting to the Virgin Islands is going to be much harder. Four on the list dropping service to Charlotte Amalie as well as some other regional gateways. Hopefully that will be restored at some point.

  2. @Kyle Roberts, yep, just happened. Ironically, pre-COVID, UA was hinting at a return to OAK. Now not only is there no hope of all the Big 3 serving it as they did before the Great Recession, longtime tenant JetBlue pulled out as well (to say nothing of last year’s international bloodbath from Norwegian/Level/BA).

  3. None of these communities, as best I can tell, is woke enough to justify continued air service.

  4. Is Aspen moving to seasonal service for AA/DL, or going away completely?

    Also, it’s kinda surprising that big 3 airlines would cut service to a state capital. Delta is doing that with Lincoln, and United is doing that with Lansing.

  5. Big correction: these are cities which can be dropped. This does not necessarily mean that they will be. For example, for AA, EGE (especially flights to EGE) still appears to be pretty strong.

  6. I’m sure service will eventually resume to year round for aspen, but this summer, people that go to Aspen will probably stay in the Hamptons.

    American is foolish. Delta and United are protecting their balance sheet by leaving these cities.

    And I don’t think state capitals have much relevance these days, I

  7. Well there goes my Amex airfare credit. Delta is ending service to the only destination I fly with them on.

  8. I’d love to see this list mapped out. Just reading through, it seems the cuts are much more significant in the Midwest and East Coast. Hardly any West Coast cuts outside of a few California markets like Palm Springs.

  9. Mitch – AS stopping their CMH route surprises me. Its a larger midsize market. It’s always late but always always full. At least pre COVID. They are keeping their IND flight so strategically it might make sense but still surprising.

    I called them today to get the details and they were very nice and said as far as they know now, at least for AS this is temporary and right now slated for just a month. Although they said a lot can change in the coming months.

  10. I’ll believe all these airlines will drop their STT flights when I actually see them off the July schedule. The requests to DOT were put in before it was realized USVI would actually open 1 June.

  11. @Sharon plenty of people living between DFW and Aspen over the summer. They fill up those small planes the whole season

  12. Shawn- I believe AS move service to Cincinnati. Looks like they only want to service only one Ohio City

  13. I’m confused. Are these permanent service eliminations, or just COVID-19 related with the intent to resume once traffic picks up?

    I don’t think AA intends to leave Vail during the busy winter ski season.

  14. I fly out of SFO instead of OAK because of the lack of options, particularly direct options. SWA is the airport’s biggest carrier, but I don’t like them and they don’t take me where I have to go. Now that United, American and Norwegian left there is no reason for me to fly out of OAK.

  15. Basically, AA ended the mountain hopper flight that flew between EGE-ASE-MTJ. It is now flying nonstop to both EGE and ASE. I am booked on the ASE-DFW non-stop round-trip next week. According to the seat map (always a less than reliable indicator, I know) the DFW-ASE flight looks to be quite full.

  16. @Oops….interested as well on the EGE flights by AA.

    Is that just for the summer? those flights are cash cows for the airlines during the winter (at least they were). Always full out of LAX, DFW, MIA, ORD, JFK with very high ticket fares on the A319s & 757s.

  17. @Shawn The Alaska Flight from Columbus to Seattle was convenient, but was subsidized, at least initially. I don’t know how many people it took to run ticketing/gate/baggage, but it may have been an expensive remote outpost, even if the flights were full.

  18. Ouch… looks like my city will be taking a hit. (Charlotte Amalie) Not going to be good for our economy.

  19. I wonder if United will still be serving ABE-EWR with their (not air) bus service? I belive this was the only regularly scheduled flight on equipment that never left the ground (not a codeshare like the amtrak routes).

  20. theres no way theyre dropping service to Aspen. Who shall we fly to Aspen in the ski season? Blade Private Jet? theyd be losing so much $$ on that route

  21. Sucks AA is dropping Oakland permanently. Soon WN is going to be the only airline flying from OAK.

  22. Once again…airlines will start raising
    the price of airfare as there is less competition at these Airports.
    Greed….drives all the Airlines…

  23. Do you think it would be possible for you to recap the International destinations that US airlines are stopping flying in? I was about to book a flight for September and found that AA stop flying to YOW last June 2… and DL will do the same at YOW on June 20. I know some are temporary restrictions but many are as a permanent decision.

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