ShareThis Page

Spirit ending nonstop flights from Arnold Palmer Regional to Chicago, Las Vegas

| Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, 8:06 p.m.

Spirit Airlines will discontinue nonstop flights to Chicago and Las Vegas from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity effective Nov. 12, officials said Monday.

“They just didn't catch on as we would've hoped,” said Spirit spokesman Paul Berry.

Flights on the airline to Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Tampa; Orlando, Fla.; and Fort Myers, Fla., will not be affected, Berry said.

The “handful” of customers who bought tickets for those flights past Nov. 12 will be contacted to make other travel arrangements, Berry said.

“We'll be reaching out to them directly and letting them know their options, including full refunds, if necessary,” he said.

Airport staff were notified Monday, said Gabe Monzo, Westmoreland County Airport Authority executive director.

“It's disappointing, but it's not devastating, and we will work hard to make it up in other ways,” he said.

The staff, he said, will continue to do its best at customer service, no matter the flight destinations.

“Our people work very hard at what they do, and if it didn't work out, we'll move on to the next thing, and you never know, someday it might come back,” Monzo said.

Berry said the decision from Spirit Airlines occurred after reviewing ticket sales and trying to increase interest.

“We can see pretty quickly if they're going to do well,” he said.

Once-daily flights to Las Vegas began in April, while once-daily flights to Chicago began in May.

“We don't take it lightly, we certainly wouldn't put those routes in there if we didn't think they were going to work,” he said.

For the first six months of this year, 174,626 passengers passed through the terminal at the airport with a total of 873,483 passengers flying on Spirit Airlines since service began in February 2011.

Monzo said passengers who did fly to both cities responded well.

“The (passengers) liked what they had; it's just an airline decision, and we'll abide by it and do our job,” Monzo said.

The airline offered direct flights from Arnold Palmer Regional to Dallas-Fort Worth for 10 months from June 2013 to April 2014 but discontinued them because of low passenger numbers.

Changing routes does not reflect any change in Spirit's relationship with Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Berry said.

“We're committed to Latrobe; it's just that these flights didn't work out the way we'd hoped,” he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me