US Airways finally chooses their long-haul DCA route


The recent addition of perimeter exemption routes for Washington, DC‘s National Airport included the provision that the four largest carriers were entitle to slots, assuming they gave up a non-exempt slot. Three of those four routes were announced previously, with Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Los Angeles being chosen. Up until now, however, US Airways has remained silent on their plans. They already hold perimeter exemptions for service to Phoenix and Las Vegas and, as of June 8, 2012 service so San Diego, California.

The new service will start as an evening flight westbound and a redeye eastbound. In mid-July the route switched to a morning flight westbound and a noon departure eastbound, arriving at 8:30pm.

DCA-SAN lv 5:40p ar 8:03p
SAN-DCA lv 11:00p ar 7:00a

Effective 7/11/12

DCA-SAN lv 8:55a ar 11:18a
SAN-DCA lv 12:30p ar 8:23p

Neither of the timings seem particularly fantastic for business customers, particularly on the eastbound times, but I guess they have their reasons.

It will also be interesting to see how this announcement affects the pending applications from the other carriers trying to get the slots. Alaska Airlines had applied to operate the same route non-stop while both Frontier and Southwest are hoping to operate it as a one-stop service via Colorado Springs and Austin, respectively. This definitely gives the DoT some interesting things to think about.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

5 Comments

  1. So they’re changing the flight times after just 1 month of doing the evening/redeye?

    As a DC-based semi-frequent US flyer, I like the original schedule better for the purposes of a doing a quick weekend in san diego. Might have to try to make the trip before they change the schedule.

  2. Is there some technical reason why “everyone” is reporting on this subject as “long-haul” or do they simply mean relative to existing DCA routes?

    1. They are considered “long-haul” because DCA has a perimeter rule. Basically no flights longer than 1250 miles are permitted without special dispensation. So when those long slots come up they are greatly coveted.

  3. SAN-DCA lv 11:00p ar 7:00a
    Effective 7/11/12
    SAN-DCA lv 12:30p ar 8:23p

    The math doesn’t add up. They’ll be leaving 1 1/2 hrs later but arriving 13 1/2 hours later.

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