The busy travel period between May and September is when many carriers like to test out new city pairings and see what sticks.
This year, airlines are adding more consumer-friendly options, including many new cities being linked up with nonstop service for the very first time. So before you book that annual trip to the same old place you've been before, have a look and see what new destinations are just a plane ride away.
New Airline Routes to Spice up Your Summer Vacation Plans
Whether you’ve got the itch to head to Europe this summer or prefer to stay stateside, the following roundup of new nonstop routes will satisfy anyone bit by the travel bug.
Charleston (CHS) – London (LHR) on British Airways
It’s not often a market like Charleston (CHS) gets noticed by a behemoth like British Airways as a target for a new transatlantic nonstop. But on April 4, 2019, seasonal service between the two cities will take flight with twice-weekly departures on one of BA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners. That should make many locals in South Carolina proud, as Boeing is a major employer in the Charleston area. This new service is geared for summer and shoulder season travel, running through the end of October.
Philadelphia (PHL) – Dubrovnik (DBV) on American Airlines
The Game of Thrones TV series might be coming to an end in 2019, but nonstop flights to King’s Landing are just taking off. American Airlines is mixing up its European network this year by adding seasonal service from Philadelphia (PHL) to Dubrovnik, Croatia (DBV) starting on June 7 through September 27, 2019. Flights to the Pearl of the Adriatic will depart from Philly three times per week during this window, providing the only nonstop link from North America to Croatia on the market. Beyond geeking out on the GoT filming locations, side trips to neighboring Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina are must-see for any travelers looking to take advantage of this exciting offer to the Balkans. Philadelphia flyers will also see new seasonal nonstop from AA to Berlin (TXL), Bologna (BLQ), and Edinburgh (EDI). No need to play for the hockey team.
Boston (BOS) – Edinburgh (EDI) on Delta Air Lines
Bostonians, let Delta Air Lines whisk(y) you away to Scotland this summer with the carrier’s new 2019 seasonal service to Edinburgh. Nonstop flights between the two cities take off from May 23 through September 3, 2019. Summer is the best time to be in Scotland when the daylight hours are long, and the festivals are in full swing. Make sure to plan a visit when Edinburgh’s World Famous Fringe Festival takes place this August (2nd-26th) where thousands of performers take to the city to show off their unique talents. Edinburgh isn’t the only European destination the airline is adding to its Boston network. Daily flights to Lisbon (LIS) will set to sail across the Atlantic this spring and summer during the same dates as the new EDI service.
New York (JFK) – Athens (ATH) on Norwegian Air
Starting on July 2, 2019, Norwegian Air will make planning your Big Fat Greek holiday all the much easier. The new four times a week seasonal service departs New York (JFK) on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays through October 25, 2019. Returns are available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday leaving ATH. Delta has been offering seasonal service on this route for the last several years, but without competition, their tickets prices have been higher than Mt. Olympus. Now, with low-cost-carrier Norwegian entering the mix you can expect to see lower airfares and another travel option for that summer seaside escape to the Cyclades.
Dallas (DFW) – St. Kitts (SKB) on Sun Country
Sun Country has been pushing out of its Midwestern comfort zone. The Minneapolis (MSP) based airline has recently added Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) as a new focus city and the route network is starting to ramp up. Beginning on May 25, the carrier will introduce seasonal service on Saturdays to St. Kitts and Nevis. Once dubbed the Gibraltar of the West Indies, St. Kitts is one of the lesser visited Caribbean islands providing seclusion from tourist crowds and cruise ships. Sun Country’s seasonal route competes tit-for-tat with American Airline’s current schedule to St. Kitts, so hopefully, we will see some undercutting of competitors prices. Departures to this idyllic island will run through August 10, 2019.
Baltimore (BWI) – Grand Cayman (GCM) on Southwest
Baltimore based flyers often get overlooked when it comes to new international routes, but Southwest is here to help this summer. Nonstop Saturday service from Baltimore (BWI) to Grand Cayman (GCM) sets off on June 15 and will run through August 3, 2019. Yes, the travel window is quite short. But if it proves to be successful, you can expect to see this route returning next year for a longer stretch or maybe even beyond Saturdays only. If the Saturday schedule doesn’t work for you, daily flights are available connecting through Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) onward to the charming Caribbean island.
Kalispell (FCA) – (LAX), (DFW), and (ORD) on American
Never heard of Kalispell? Maybe Glacier National Park rings more of a bell, and American Airlines is banking that you’ll want to visit in 2019. So much so that the airline is pulling out all the stops from its Los Angeles (LAX), Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW), and Chicago (ORD) hubs on its first-ever service to the Montana airport. Service from all airports commences on June 6th with travel days varying by departure airport. Chicago and Los Angeles flights will run through September 3, while Dallas flyers get an additional month to visit with nonstops open through October 2, 2019. Glacier National Park saw nearly 3 million visitors last year, so expect that number to be on the rise in 2019 with these new convenient route additions.
Newark (EWR) – Anchorage (ANC) on United Airlines
While maybe not technically a new route, United will be making significant changes to its seasonal service from Newark (EWR) to Anchorage (ANC) in 2019. Increased demand has forced the airline to shift its Saturday only service into a daily operation, allowing much easier access for NYC based flyers to visit the last frontier. Daily departures start on June 20 and will run through September 8 serving as the only nonstop option linking these two markets.
Los Angeles (LAX) – Austin (AUS) on Spirit Airlines
Hear me out on this one. While Spirit Airlines gets a bad rap about their sometimes-shoddy service and nickel-and-diming tactics, the budget carrier should receive a little more praise for lowering prices on routes that traditionally run on the expensive side. Here's a prime example, Spirit is introducing new service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Austin (AUS) airports starting on May 2, 2019, a city pairing with no current LCC presence. We've already seen the impact it's having on the competition. Airlines like America, Delta, and United are forced to price match, and now we're noticing nonstops as low as $97 roundtrip. Nearly half of what they were selling for before Spirit entered the market. Better yet, this route is set to go year round so it won't be just seasonal savings that customer will see.