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