Delta, citing health concerns, drops service to 10 US airports. Is yours on the list?

Travelers aboard Delta Air Lines are about to have fewer options when it comes to airports in major metro areas.

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Delta announced Friday that it is cutting service at 10 U.S. airports serving cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as part of a previously announced 85% overall reduction in its service schedule.

In each case, Delta says the airports where it is temporarily pulling service are relatively close to other, larger airports that travelers can use as an alternative.

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So in New York, Delta’s Westchester County Airport service will cease, but flyers can still get to LaGuardia. Flights will stop at Stewart International, but John F. Kennedy International is the close-by option.

No longer can Delta customers use Hollywood Burbank Airport and Long Beach in Southern California, but Los Angeles International flights will continue. And Chicago Midway is out, but Chicago O’Hare remains in.

The changes take effect Wednesday and will stay until September, the airline said, portraying the cutbacks as an attempt to reduce its employees’ possible exposure to the coronavirus.

“By consolidating operations while customer traffic is low, we can allow more of our people to stay home in accordance with local health guidelines,” said Senior Vice President Sandy Gordon in a statement.

Air traffic overall has been dreadful, given stay-at-home orders and fear of the coronavirus that has brought the travel business to a near standstill. Earlier this week, Nicholas Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, the airline industry’s most prominent lobbying group, told a Senate committee that the average domestic flight recently  had 17 passengers aboard. International flights averaged 29 passengers.

During the pandemic, Delta has announced it reducing its domestic flying by 80% and international flights by 90%. Delta is waiving change fees through Sept. 30, 2022 for customers who had flights canceled through this September and had booked before April 17.

Other airports being dropped by Delta include T.F. Green International and Manchester-Boston Regional, while the nearby Logan International in Boston will still have service. Oakland will no longer have service, with San Francisco International as the alternative. 

And Delta will no longer fly to Newport News/Williamsburg International, close to Norfolk International in Virginia; or Akron-Canton, though flyers can still go to Cleveland Hopkins in Ohio.

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