And even though airline ticket prices are (finally) starting to come down and there have been fewer flight disruptions in recent months (compared to the first half of the year), there’s one persistent challenge for travelers—finding flight routes that work for them as carriers continue to cut back on service.
In the past few months, United dropped 12 domestic flight paths, American pulled out of four cities, and Delta trimmed 100 flights per day over the summer as airlines continue to grapple with pilot and staffing shortages. And it’s not just the “big three” U.S. airlines that are feeling the pressure on their route networks. Alaska Airlines confirmed Friday that it will be cutting four routes over the next several months in response to decreased customer demand.
The discontinued Alaska Airlines routes
- Austin–Bergstrom International Airport to Palm Springs International Airport (effective November 30, 2022)
- Los Angeles International Airport to Salt Lake City International Airport (effective November 30, 2022)
- Los Angeles International Airport to Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (effective January 9, 2023)
- San Diego International Airport to Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (effective May 23, 2023)
The reduction in service is not great news for those who routinely fly between San Diego and Santa Barbara with Alaska’s Flight Pass program—an annual subscription service that entitles users up to 24 round-trip flights within California and between California, Reno, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, for a monthly fee. However, Alaska Airlines is part of the oneworld Alliance, and its partner airline, American, still flies all of the four above routes, so frequent Alaska fliers can still receive reciprocal elite benefits, like complimentary upgrades and bonus miles for the four affected flights.