American Airlines buses? The airline will offer ground connections

American Airlines is about to start moving passengers to much lower altitudes.

Driving the news: The airline announced Thursday that it will offer bus connections to several smaller regional destinations from its hub in Philadelphia.

  • Landline transportation service will provide 50-70 mile trips to and from airports in Allentown/Bethlehem, PA; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The big picture: Airlines are facing pilot shortages and soaring jet fuel prices, compounding logistical and economic challenges that have seen the industry cut many flights from pre-pandemic schedules.

  • Only about 80% of flights offered in 2019 were still working in 2021, reported The Washington Post.
  • These trends have wreaked havoc on smaller regional airports, as airlines focus resources on their most profitable routes (those with the most passengers in seats).

How it works: American Airlines passengers landing at Philadelphia Airport with a connecting bus will disembark, enter the terminal and find their bus gate.

  • In the other direction, passengers traveling to Philadelphia will first pass through security at their local airport and then board a bus bound for the Philadelphia terminal.
  • Think of it as a “bus-to-plane connection”, Airline Weekly reported.

To note : Other airlines have already implemented the system.

  • United Airlines uses buses to connect passengers to regional sites from its Denver hub since last year.

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