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American Airlines Eliminates Shuttle Service in Northeast & Chicago

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James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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American Airlines has eliminated its famous “Shuttle” service that provided high-frequency routes up and down the Northeast and to Chicago.

The Shuttle product had been around for many years, back when Eastern Airlines was the dominant carrier in the Northeast, and was a staple of business travel up and down the coast.

Which Routes Are Impacted?

While the routes themselves aren’t being eliminated, American has eliminated its Shuttle service on these routes:

  • New York (LGA) to Boston (BOS)
  • New York (LGA) to Chicago (ORD)
  • Washington, D.C. (DCA) to Boston (BOS)
  • Washington, D.C. (DCA) to Chicago (ORD)
  • Washington, D.C. (DCA) to New York (LGA)

The New York (LGA) to Boston (BOS) route, while not being eliminated entirely, is being handed over to JetBlue, thanks to a new Northeast Alliance (NEA) codeshare agreement. American flyers will be able to book JetBlue on this route and earn their normal AAdvantage miles and status credits.

What Services Are Being Eliminated With the Shuttle Product?

The Shuttle offering was rather unique — it provided a subset of benefits for particular flights, primarily aimed at business travelers, such as:

  • Complimentary beer and wine in the Main Cabin
  • At one point, a light meal was served in both the premium cabin and in economy class
  • Special Shuttle-only check-in areas
  • Rear deplaning at select airports, allowing you to exit off of the plane quicker
  • Gates that were closer to security
  • The ability to check-in and check baggage closer to departure, beyond the usual check-in cutoff times

Introducing Main Select

Main Cabin Extra Tray Table
Main Cabin Extra includes more work for you to work or eat on the tray table in front of you. Being able to extend your laptop without it being crushed is a huge benefit of being in these extra legroom seats. Image Credit: American Airlines

With the retirement of the Shuttle, American is introducing a new fare type called Main Select that will provide similar benefits to the previous Shuttle product on more routes. You can expect to see this fare offered on all the high-frequency Northeast routes, and also some routes out of Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX).

With Main Select, you’ll experience:

  • Fully refundable fares (great for business travelers with last-minute travel plans)
  • Priority check-in, security, and boarding queues
  • Selection of Main Cabin Extra seats
  • Complimentary same-day changes

Final Thoughts

While the Shuttle product was an iconic part of the American brand, and previously under American’s predecessors such as the US Airways Shuttle, the needs of travelers are evolving. Gone are the days when specific routes matter — now travelers are desiring more flexibility and more benefits on an even greater number of routes.

Over the coming weeks, make sure to look for the Main Select booking option when flying on American.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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