Delta upgrades nonstop RDU to LAX flights to daily, year-round service

RDU travelers to have a choice: Delta or American

bsiceloff@newsobserver.comJanuary 9, 2013 

  • Raleigh-Durham to Los Angeles, nonstop Plane for both carriers: Boeing 737-800, seats about 160. Delta Air Lines Daily service starts: April 8. RDU to LAX: DL1097 leaves RDU 7 a.m., arrives LAX 9:24 a.m. Pacific time. LAX to RDU: DL1566 leaves LAX 10:30 p.m. Pacific time, arrives RDU 6:10 a.m. Price: Lowest round-trip fare posted Wednesday at delta.com: $219. American Airlines Daily service starts: April 2. RDU to LAX: AA1329 leaves RDU 5:15 p.m., arrives LAX 8 p.m. Pacific time. LAX to RDU: AA1342 leaves LAX 8:20 a.m. Pacific time, arrives RDU 4:25 p.m. Price: Lowest round-trip fare posted Wednesday at aa.com: $379. Sources: delta.com, aa.com

Less than three weeks after American Airlines announced that it will start daily nonstop service from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Los Angeles, Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it will make its occasional LAX flights more frequent, and put them on a more business-friendly schedule.

Delta’s service from RDU to LAX has waxed and waned over the past decade, and is currently on winter hiatus. Instead of resuming flights three days a week during warm months only, Delta says it will begin daily, year-round nonstop runs April 8.

“We have known for some time that our market could support daily service to Los Angeles and support Delta’s decision to upgrade this service,” Teresa Damiano, RDU deputy airport director for marketing, said in a news release.

Triangle passengers did not have any daily nonstop options to the West Coast before United Airlines inaugurated service to San Francisco in August. Now they’ll have their choice of three flights to California after American and Delta start their Los Angeles schedules in April.

Wednesday’s announcement also will give travelers to southern California a choice of travel times. Some business travelers did not find Delta’s old LAX schedule attractive, with a flight that left RDU at 7:30 p.m.

After both airlines start their new schedules, RDU passengers will have the choice of leaving here at 7 a.m. on Delta or 5:15 p.m. on American. For the return, they’ll have the choice of American’s flight leaving LAX at 8:20 a.m. Pacific time or Delta’s red-eye, leaving LAX at 10:30 p.m.

“The American and Delta service, they’re at complementary times, so it really does give two options,” said Andrew Sawyer, a spokesman for RDU, which announced the new Delta schedule.

Delta also said that in March it will resume nonstop flights from RDU to Tampa-St. Petersburg, which had been discontinued last year, and will add a second daily flight to Orlando.

Siceloff: 919-829-4527 or blogs.newsobserver.com/crosstown or twitter.com/Road_Worrier/

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