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American Airlines – Er… Bus Lines? Airline Partners With Landline For Ground Connections

Ever wonder would it might be like to reach your next flight via a connecting bus? Some air travelers are soon to find out as a result of a new partnership between American Airlines and The Landline Company. 

The Landline Company works with the Transportation Security Administration to provide connections between major airline hubs and regional airports.

Beginning June 3, Landline and American will provide connections between two airports by bus, rather than airplane. The move will be a “time-saver” American said in a release.

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“We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with @AmericanAir!” Landline said in a tweet. “Seamless connections between American’s Philadelphia hub to Lehigh Valley Airport (ABE), and Atlantic City International Airport (ACY).”

“Our partnership with Landline is one more way we’re making it easy for customers to connect to American’s premier trans-Atlantic gateway in Philadelphia,” Brian Znotins, American’s vice president of network planning, said in a release.

Znotins continued that passengers will be able to begin their travels in a more relaxing manner on the buses provided by Landline. 

Landline CEO and co-founder David Sunde said in the release that the goal is to make travel more “efficient, affordable and relaxing.” 

Is it really a ‘time-saver’?

While American Airlines is touting the service as a “time-saver” for passengers, it will take longer on paper to take a bus from the regional locations included in the plan to the airport than it would to fly. 

“Looking at historical data, we last operated ABE-PHL in October 2015 under the US Airways Express banner and the gate-to-gate time was 45 minutes,” Brian Metham, spokesperson for American told USA TODAY. “The Landline-operated route is scheduled for 90 minutes. We last operated ACY-PHL in September 2003 (also as US Airways Express) and it was scheduled for 35 minutes. The Landline-operated route is scheduled for one hour.”

That said, it’s not as simple as a time in the air versus time on the road calculation. In exact transportation time, it may take longer to drive than it does to fly, but those blocks of time don’t account for certain ancillary tasks.

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Mentham explained that not only would those flight times have likely increased since connecting flights stopped operating due to what is now higher air traffic but there are other factors that make the Landline partnership a more efficient option.

For fliers living in those local markets with regional airports, to get in a car, drive to Philly, find parking, wait in line to check-in and then wait in line for security at the hub, it will likely take longer than it would go through those steps at a local airport where parking is steps from an entrance and the crowds are smaller.

Overall, passengers are likely to save time and experience less of a hassle, according to Mentham’s analysis

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How do the bus connections work?

The service that Landline will provide works the same as other American Airlines flight and will be available for booking through the airline when Atlantic City (ACY) or Lehigh Valley (ABE) are selected as origin or destination.

Then, once that’s set, passengers can select a trip with Landline, the company said on its website. The price of the service will be included in the American Airlines ticket purchase. 

The process of travel will be similar to that of flying, as well.

“At Landline, we operate just like an airline,” the company said. “Proceed to your airport as if you are catching a flight. Check-in will be at the American Airlines ticket counter, and you will be directed to the appropriate boarding area or gate.”

On board, passengers will have access to wifi and will be assigned seats. 

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Landline has partnerships with United Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, too

American Airlines isn’t the first major airline to partner with Landline.

Landline detailed in its release that United Airlines is partnered with Landline to serve its customers between Denver International Airport in Fort Collins, Colorado and Breckenridge, Colorado. 

And Landline teamed up with Sun Country Airlines, too, and is running transportation services in seven markets in Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

The company said it is working toward providing services connecting industrial parks, cruise ports and other locations in the future.

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