In the midst of pilot shortages and skyrocketing fuel costs, American Airlines is the latest airline to offer bus connections in lieu of planes.
On Thursday, the Fort Worth-based airline announced that it was teaming up with Landline motorcoach service to carry passengers between Philadelphia International Airport to Lehigh International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania (70 miles away) and Atlantic City International Airport in Atlantic City, New Jersey (56 miles away).
Landline will offer two daily round-trip journeys between Allentown and Philadelphia, and three daily round-trip bus rides between Atlantic City and Philadelphia.
Each Landline bus—outfitted in American livery—comes with 35 reclining leather seats, power outlets, streaming services, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a bathroom.2 The check-in process is similar to any other flight, with passengers clearing airport security before boarding and having their checked luggage transferred from the bus to the plane (or vice versa).
Travelers arriving by bus in Philadelphia will land airside—thereby negating the need to go through security a second time should they have a connecting flight.
American Airlines passengers taking a Landline bus will be able to accrue AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points, just as they would if they were traveling via plane.
“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,” said Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning, in a statement. “Customers can start and end their journey at their local airport, relax on a comfortable Landline vehicle, and leave the driving to someone else while they work or start their vacation early. From road to runway, we’re excited to welcome customers on board.”
This isn’t the first time a major carrier has partnered with Landline. In March 2021, United Airlines began using the bus company’s services to transport passengers from Denver International Aport to Breckenridge and Fort Collins. And in June, Sun Country Airlines partnered with Landline to offer “seamless, non-stop [connections]” between Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and St. Cloud Regional Airport.
The new bus service will launch on June 3, with tickets available starting today.
Responding to increased demand for more connectivity on board, American Airlines announced today that it would offer passengers free in-flight Wi-Fi through May 25, 2022.1 The service will be available only on the airline’s narrowbody planes equipped with the high-speed satellite internet service Viasat.
When logging on, passengers will be prompted to watch a sponsored advertisement before connecting to the Wi-Fi for an unspecified amount of time. Once connected, passengers will be able to access American Airlines’ streaming library of movies and television shows and browse the internet.
The length of the free Wi-Fi session that passengers will have access to has not yet been confirmed. The trial period is meant to drive awareness of the airline’s in-flight Wi-Fi offering, which is usually available for purchase.
“We’re always evaluating our products and offerings on board to be sure we deliver the best experience for customers throughout their journey,” the airline said in a statement.
With the announcement, the airline now joins JetBlue as one of the only U.S airlines offering free in-flight Wi-Fi. Unlike JetBlue, however, American Airlines does not provide seatback in-flight entertainment on most of its narrowbody fleet.
The airline has not released any further indication that it plans to make free onboard Wi-Fi a permanent feature.