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Airline Pullout's Effect to Be Slight, Travel Agents Say

July 23, 1988|GREG JOHNSON

SAN DIEGO — Eastern Airlines' announcement Friday that it will suspend service to and from San Diego on Aug. 31 will have little impact on San Diego travelers, according to local travel agents.

"Other airlines will pick up the slack, so you probably won't even notice it," said Ron Carlson of Ambassador Travel downtown.

Executives at the Miami-based airline announced that Eastern will eliminate three daily flights from Lindbergh Field--to Kansas City, Phoenix and Tucson--as part of a massive cost-cutting.

Eastern also will reduce the number of flights from Los Angeles International Airport, from 11 daily to 4. The nationwide reduction in service will eliminate about 4,000 jobs, including 24 in San Diego.

However, some of those 24--which include airport agents, local management and ramp-service personnel--will be encouraged to take early retirement, and some with enough seniority will be able to transfer elsewhere, according to Eastern spokeswoman Karen Ceremsak.

Travelers with Eastern tickets valid after Aug. 31 should contact an Eastern ticket agent, she said.

"We'll make every effort to book them with other airlines," Ceremsak said. "We'll make refunds where it's appropriate."

Carlson said travelers will still be able to get to Phoenix, Tucson and Kansas City on other airlines. "Braniff, for instance, already serves Kansas City, so you're not losing a nonstop flight," he said.

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