American Airlines launched its first daily nonstop flights between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Los Angeles on Tuesday, and Delta Air Lines will follow with daily flights next week.
Triangle travelers have long been clamoring for stable nonstop service to LAX. Delta offered a bare-bones LAX schedule off and on for the past few years, flying a few days a week during the warm months.
The picture changed in December, when American announced plans for daily flights, year-round. Delta quickly followed suit, upgrading to a similar daily schedule.
The two airlines offer different timetables. Americans flight leaves RDU at 5:15 p.m. and arrives at LAX at 8 p.m. Pacific time. The return flight leaves LAX at 8:20 a.m., arriving at RDU at 4:25 p.m.
Starting Monday, Deltas flight will leave RDU at 7 a.m. and arrive at LAX at 9:52 a.m. Pacific time. The return flight leaves LAX at 10:15 p.m. and arrives at RDU at 6:04 a.m.
A comparison of fares posted online Tuesday at the two airlines websites showed that Delta offers the trip at a lower price. Air fares vary according to the day of the week, the time between outbound and return flights, and other factors.
When the same dates were checked at both airlines, Americans round-trip fare was $100 or more higher than Deltas. Leaving RDU April 24 and returning April 27, for example, the round-trip coach fares were $280 on Delta and $422 on American.
With the two new LAX flights, RDU now has three daily nonstops to the West Coast. United Airlines began flying from RDU to San Francisco last August.
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