NYC's LaGuardia Airport Introduces Its Longest Route Ever, but There's a Big Catch

NYC's LaGuardia Airport Introduces Its Longest Route Ever, but There's a Big Catch

New York 2023-06-26

From Boston to Chicago and sunny Florida, New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) has served as a gateway to popular destinations. However, one city has been missing from the list: Salt Lake City. But that's about to change.

Get ready for exciting news as Delta Air Lines announces the launch of service from LGA to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) starting July 8. The airline's decision to introduce this route was confirmed by a Delta spokesperson, following its discovery in Cirium schedules by TPG.

Operating during the peak summer period until Sept. 2, Delta's new route will be serviced by a 109-seat Airbus A220-100. With hubs at both LGA and SLC, Delta offers seamless connections to various cities along the West Coast and beyond, making this route a convenient option for travelers.

Brace yourself for a record-breaking journey! The LGA to Salt Lake City route will claim the title of the longest nonstop route from LaGuardia Airport, covering a distance of 1,982 miles.

Surpassing American Airlines' flight to Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport, which held the previous record, this new route will be just 21 miles longer. Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure from LGA to the stunning Salt Lake City.

However, there's a twist to this exciting news. Delta will operate a total of 10 flights in each direction, exclusively on Saturdays. While this limited schedule may raise some eyebrows, there's a reason behind it.

The "perimeter rule" at LaGuardia Airport imposes restrictions on flights to airports farther than 1,500 miles, with only two exceptions: Denver and routes operated on Saturdays. Delta is making use of this exception to offer this unique Saturday-only service to Salt Lake City.

Although Delta would likely prefer more frequent service, the perimeter rule leaves them with no choice. But this restriction won't stop them from providing travelers with an unforgettable experience.

Source: Joshua Sukoff/Unsplash

Delta's decision to leverage the Saturday exception highlights their commitment to connecting passengers from LGA to Salt Lake City. With this route, they aim to provide travelers with a convenient and efficient travel option, even if limited to a specific day of the week.

It's worth noting that LaGuardia Airport operates under slot constraints, requiring special permissions for takeoff and landing. However, these restrictions do not apply to Saturday flights, allowing Delta to offer this unique service without slot limitations.

While Saturday-only service may not be the most lucrative for airlines, Delta recognizes the demand for travel from the closest airport to Manhattan. Even though Saturdays are typically quieter for air travel, Delta is determined to cater to leisure travelers seeking weekend getaways.

Delta's strategic decision to connect LGA with Salt Lake City also takes into account the proximity of the airport to Manhattan. Despite operating a hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Delta understands that some travelers prefer the convenience of departing from the closest airport to the city center.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time Delta has ventured into connecting LaGuardia with Salt Lake City. The airline previously offered this route on Saturdays between December 2005 and September 2010. While it didn't make a comeback for 12 years, Delta is excited to reintroduce this service to meet travelers' needs.

Several airlines have explored utilizing the Saturday exception to the perimeter rule in the past, but their endeavors didn't yield consistent operations. Delta's commitment to this unique route demonstrates their confidence in providing a reliable and enjoyable travel experience.

Amid the pandemic, Spirit Airlines made headlines with LaGuardia's longest flight at the time, a transcontinental journey covering 2,469 miles to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Unfortunately, due to changing circumstances, this service has been discontinued. Similarly, Delta once experimented with flights from LGA to Los Angeles back in 2006, but the trial run came to an end after a brief six-month period, as indicated by Cirium schedules.

Looking back over the past two decades, the record for the longest route flown from LaGuardia belongs to the now-defunct ATA Airlines. From January 2004 to September 2004, the low-cost carrier operated a 2,579-mile route between LGA and San Francisco exclusively on Saturdays. However, both the service and the airline are now part of aviation history.

Taking flight: discover the 10 longest trips from LaGuardia Airport

Source: Julio Rivera/Unsplash

Presenting the top 10 longest routes departing from New York's LaGuardia Airport, as per the Cirium schedules.

  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC);
  • Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA);
  • Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ);
  • Denver International Airport (DEN);
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU);
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH);
  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW);
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL);
  • Will Rogers World Airport (OKC);
  • Tulsa International Airport (TUL).

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