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American Airlines, Landline Get TSA Approval for Bus-to-Plane Service

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Victoria M. Walker
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Victoria M. Walker

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Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria...
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You can now catch some American Airlines flights by bus at some East Coast airports.

Let’s take a look at the details.

You Can Catch a Landline Bus From 2 Airports to PHL

American Airlines has partnered with Landline, a bus company, to provide seamless connections from Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) in New Jersey to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

And, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently approved airside-to-airside motorcoach operations, making the new partnership feasible for passengers.

Here’s how it works:

  • American Airlines customers will arrive at ABE or ACY
  • Customers will check in with American, clear security, and board their bus on the secure side of the terminal
  • Customers will arrive airside at PHL and proceed directly to their connecting flight

Travelers will not have to go back through security screening.

American AAdvantage members will earn AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points for these bus trips, though it’s unclear how the earning structure will work.

Your checked baggage will also be directly transferred between Landline’s vehicles and American’s network.

Landline bus interior
American Airlines will use buses to transport passengers from Allentown and Atlantic City. Image Credit: Landline

“This program streamlines the passenger experience and enables travelers to seamlessly travel out of a large international airport conveniently by going through our security screening process from a smaller international airport,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director at Philadelphia International Airport.

Spero went on to say that the TSA put in “numerous security requirements” to ensure “robust security protocols” are followed during the trip.

Hot Tip:

The program also works in reverse, as travelers arriving in PHL can board a Landline bus airside and arrive directly at ABE or ACY.

What Is Landline?

We reported on American and Landline’s partnership at PHL in April 2022. If you aren’t familiar, Landline buses hold up to 35 customers. Each bus boasts leather seating, complimentary Wi-Fi, streaming entertainment, and power at every seat, and you can book tickets with American and Landline directly at aa.com.

While the partnership might seem odd at first, it makes sense. Providing bus service from these 2 smaller airports to the much larger PHL will certainly save American some cash in fuel and crew costs. American used to fly between ABE and PHL before scrapping the route due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

American isn’t the first to do this. United Airlines uses Landline between Denver (DEN) and Fort Collins/Loveland Airport (FNL). Sun Country Airlines provides ground service from its hub in Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) to Duluth (DLH), Eau Claire (EAU), Fargo (FAR), and Rochester (RST).

Final Thoughts

This is certainly an interesting partnership, but it does show that ground-to-air transportation is quickly becoming a thing. If you’re traveling from ABE or ACY, get ready to travel to PHL — not by air — but by bus.

Victoria M. Walker's image

About Victoria M. Walker

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria M. Walker” newsletter.

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