United Pulls Out of Palmdale as Quickly as Possible

LAX - Los Angeles, PMD - Palmdale, Schedule Changes, United

Let’s stick this one in the “I told you so” file. Back in June, I said, “I’m sure that the second that subsidy is gone, United is out of there.” I was right.

United started flying to Palmdale on June 7, 2007 and committed to stay for 18 months. The flights never did well, but LAWA did get United to double the number of flights. Of course, LAWA knew the writing was on the wall, because they applied for another federal grant to keep United in town beyond the 18 month point. The feds weren’t exactly supportive (PDF):

This year, 10 applications either did not meet the basic criteria for participation outlined above and were determined ineligible for selection, or the application itself was deemed incomplete. Most often, the applicant sought additional funding for the same, or essentially the same, project that was funded in a previous grant.

Yep, that’s you, Palmdale. So guess what, the last day of flights is December 6, 2008 . . . 18 months after they started. I know this source isn’t confirmed, but see if you can book the flights past December 6. You can’t, and that’s proof enough for me.

I can’t say I’m sorry about this. The only thing that bothers me is that so much money was wasted in trying to force this service to work. Hopefully now LAWA will move on and focus back on the local airports that matter.

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5 comments on “United Pulls Out of Palmdale as Quickly as Possible

  1. I tired once to fly into Palmdale but would up going to Burbank. The ticket price into Palmdale was near $1,000 while Burbank was $300. Easy decision.

  2. I did the SFO-PMD run once and actually liked it a lot. Contrary to Mike’s experience above, it was cheaper than going into ONT (which would have been geographically closer for me) and the UA flights to both locations were regional jets, so no difference there.

    If you’re looking for confirmation:


    A few days ago (when the rumors were already making the rounds) I was still able to find late December flights on ual.com.

    Now I have to hope that Southwest will start offering SFO-ONT service to bring some competition on that route (UA’s fares are often ridiculous).

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