Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Delta Air Lines revamps Roanoke service
The airline is cutting back the number of trips but upgrading some of its other flights.
The latest from The Ticker blog
Roanoke air travelers received a little good news Monday to ease the turbulence hitting this week.
As previously reported, Roanoke Regional Airport will experience a reduction in nonstop service to New York on Thursday, the result of a long-anticipated slot swap between Delta Air Lines and US Airways that is now complete.
Three daily nonstop flights from Roanoke to New York LaGuardia Airport run by US Airways will end late this week. However, Delta agreed to continue the service with a single flight a day, effective Thursday.
So, instead of three 37-passenger turbo props going to New York daily, there will be one 50-passenger Canadair regional jet making the trip. Return flights are being trimmed to the same degree.
Delta plans to inaugurate its New York service by feeding passengers leaving Roanoke on Thursday free New York-style cheesecake at the gate.
But here's even better good news: On Monday, Delta confirmed plans to assign a 122-seat Airbus A319 with optional first-class service to one of its six daily flights from Roanoke to Atlanta, a key hub for domestic and international flights. The five other flights will continue on 50-seat regional jets.
The plane switch is scheduled to occur Sept. 10. The flight will be run by Delta itself, not a regional carrier.
Delta is "responding to the market demand. A lot of people are flying their aircraft," said airport spokeswoman Sherry Wallace. "It means more seats to Atlanta and markets beyond. It means a first-class cabin, particularly for those business travelers who get those upgrades."
Roanoke airport has not had first-class service on any flight since air service was trimmed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Wallace said.