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Delta to roll out LAX-San Francisco shuttle service in September

August 02, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
  • Travelers check in for Delta Air Lines flights at Los Angeles International Airport. The airline Thursday announced plans for a San Francisco-Los Angeles shuttle.
Travelers check in for Delta Air Lines flights at Los Angeles International… (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg )

Delta Air Lines plans to start hourly shuttle service between Los Angeles and San Francisco airports next month that's modeled on its New York shuttle operations, the airline announced Thursday.

The airline on Sept. 3 will introduce 14 daily flights each way starting at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday.

It's a bid to woo business travelers, but it's not Delta service as usual. The flights will be operated by partner Compass Airlines, which will fly smaller E-175 planes that hold 76 passengers in all classes (12 first-class seats, 12 economy-comfort seats and the rest economy).

United Airlines, Virgin America, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and others already fly between these cities, so what makes a shuttle a shuttle?

Delta promises dedicated check-in counters exclusively for shuttle passengers, check-in a half hour before taking off, assigned seating, free beverages (including Sierra Nevada beer, Starbucks coffee and wine), free newspapers and access to Wi-Fi on every flight.

United on peak days runs 15 daily flights each way between the two cities. "It's a place where we want to compete vigorously and welcome competition," spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm says. She also says United can offer more opportunities for upgrades for San Francisco-L.A. service because it's flying larger planes.

Southwest flies nine to 12 flights daily each way, depending on the season, between Los Angeles and San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland. "Our entire model is about facilitating the short haul," spokesman Brad Hawkins says. "We don't market it as a shuttle, but in a de facto sense, that's what it is."

Delta in late July also announced its plan to beef up service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Portland  (four daily flights) and Seattle (two additional daily flights) as well as Oakland and San Jose. This service also will begin Sept. 3.

The airline is in the middle of a $229-million upgrade of LAX's Terminal 5 that's expected to be completed in 2015. The airline says it will have more room for ticketing areas, more security checkpoints and up-to-date baggage carousels.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com

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