United Continues To Slash Focus City Operations In Cleveland; American Reinstating LaGuardia Service!

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3 months ago I asked how long United can possibly keep up its focus city operations in Cleveland amongst heavy ultra-low cost competition from Frontier and Spirit.

And indeed United has announced that they will be cutting flights from Cleveland to Dallas effective 03/05. That route is served by American, Frontier, and Spirit.

United is also ending service from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and Tampa effective 04/07. Those are all routes now served by both Frontier and Spirit.

The final remaining United flights from Cleveland that don’t go to one of their other 7 domestic hubs include Boston (4x daily), Cancun (1-2x weekly), LaGuardia (8x daily), Las Vegas (1x daily), Milwaukee (3x daily), Orlando (2x daily), S. Juan (1-2x weekly), S. Louis (2x daily), and Washington/DCA (5x daily).

For the next cuts the remaining leisure markets will probably be first to go, those include Cancun, Las Vegas, Orlando, and S. Juan. Milwaukee and S. Louis. I’d be surprised if there was United service to Cleveland beyond their hub airports plus Boston, LaGuardia, and Washington/DCA in a year from now.

Frontier has proven to be resilient in the Florida market, but they are retreating from non-leisure markets where their non-business friendly flight times have doomed service from Cleveland to Chicago, LaGuardia, Trenton, and Washington DC.

On the bright side?

A reliable source tells me that American will relaunch 3 daily flights from Cleveland to LaGuardia effective 03/29.
Those flights will be bookable by 12/14.

American eliminated flights from LaGuardia to Atlanta, Cleveland, and Minneapolis earlier this year.
Since then they’ve announced the return of 4 daily flights to Atlanta effective 01/06 and a 5th daily Atlanta flight will be added in March as well.

One-way flights from Cleveland to NYC remain stubbornly expensive. A search for a nonstop one-way flight from Cleveland-NYC on 03/30 shows the cheapest option being $555, though a Southwest flight from nearby Akron/Canton is just $72.

However it’s great news for British Airways Avios collectors as it costs just 4.5K Avios to fly from Cleveland to NYC, but it’s been very tough to find available on the lone daily flight to JFK ever since the LaGuardia service was discontinued.  With the additional flight availability that award space should return to being as excellent as it was previously.  It’s a value of 12.2 cents per mile and it means that the 50K signup bonus on a card like the Chase British Airways Visa nets over $6,000 of free flights 😀

The flights come at the expense of Knoxville, Little Rock, and Louisville which will lose the nonstop service to LaGuardia that they had gained earlier this year.

In the meantime there is going to be an incredible amount of flights between Northeast Ohio and NYC:
-Delta has 5 daily flights to LGA and 3 to JFK (most were added after AA pulled their LGA flights)
-United has 8 daily flights to LGA and 5 to EWR.
-American will have 3 daily flights to LGA and 1 to JFK.
-Southwest has 2 daily flights from nearby CAK to LGA.

I don’t think there’s any way for this market to support 27 daily flights. I guess we’ll see who blinks first.

Finally, American is upgrading their twice daily Cleveland-Miami service from RJ145s to RJ175s with first class service.  The only question is when will American add service from Cleveland to their expanding hub in Los Angeles…

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16 Comments On "United Continues To Slash Focus City Operations In Cleveland; American Reinstating LaGuardia Service!"

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MeirS

When is AA discontinuing their service from LGA to Little Rock?
Does it say that somewhere or is that from “reliable sources”?

Anonymous

Yawn

Dan

@MeirS:
Reliable source.

@Anonymous:
See that’s the thing about my blog, I write about things that interest me, not you 😉

pacy

Dan, do u know anything about aa adding a newark to atlanta sevice?

Chaim

Do you think American will reinstate MSP service at LGA any time soon?

Rob

I don’t think the 27 flights is that unreasonable.

Keep in mind almost all of them are on small regional jets, so the capacity is misleading. And many of those flying aren’t actually O&D passengers but people connecting at LGA on DL, EWR on UA or CAK on SW.

I’m a regular on the SW and DL flights, and those are always full during the peak business travel times

Erik

Excellent news for a Clevelander. Used Avios to go to the US Open (tennis) in 2013 for a cheap day trip and was bummed I couldn’t do it again this year. Glad to have that option back again. Also, here’s hoping that larger planes lead to more award availability on CLE-MIA. I’ve wanted to make that 15,000 Avios RT for a while, but availability is tough to come by.

Dan

@pacy:
Not going to happen.

@Chaim:
I think it’s possible.

@Rob:
A decent percentage of the flights are mainline or at least have first class.

I think 27 is really pushing the limits.

Also hard to see JetBlue enter the market at this point.

@Erik:
Yup, great news for Avios from CLE.

And MIA award space looks very good.

no offense

we love you but we don’t care about CLE

Dan

@no offense:
No offense, but read comment 3.

Joe

I travel twice a month to Cleveland from New York this is amazing news I’ll take it !

AM

@Anonymous: @no offense:
I would love to understand the mindset that compels someone to make these comments. If you don’t care about CLE or any article Dan chooses to write then don’t read it (and then you wouldn’t make it to the comment section.) Dan puts up plenty of other posts that should keep you busy. If I had to guess you ARE interested in what he posts, if not you wouldn’t be on this site. So what is the big deal to let a small percentage of his posts, where your interests are not precisely aligned, go uncommented and unscorned. I don’t see people posting “yawn” or ” we don’t care” when he posts a camera on Ebay or a toy on Amazon that you have no use for….

Makir Tovah

Just got 2 US Air card 1 for me and 1 for wife (had to call reconsideration for me)

Thanks!!!

SamBee

@AM so right, people are sick, dan you da man! keep it up! people if you dont care about a post just carry on. whats with the hate!? peace and love ppl! cheers. happy churning to all 🙂

Shlomie

Hey Dan- any nice places to stay for Pesach in North East Ohio??

yk

any idea when they upgrading the planes from cle-mia

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