ST. LOUIS – Flying from St. Louis to San Francisco is a little harder these days. The nonstop flight route is one of 12 that United Airlines is cutting across the country.
“United has been one of the more aggressive airlines about cutting or not restoring routes that haven’t had good booking trends,” said Ben Mutzabaugh, senior aviation editor for travel website The Points Guy.
Mutzabaugh says there are two big factors at play with these cuts.
“The fact that business travel has not come back the way we’ve seen it before 2020 definitely plays a role. You probably aren’t surprised to know that travel to Asia is not only down – it’s really down,” he said. “That’s one of the pieces of glue that holds the San Francisco hub together for United. Those are the routes that tend to feed flights not only to St. Louis, but wherever else United flies from San Francisco.”
FOX 2 contacted United Airlines about cutting the St. Louis to San Francisco route. In a statement, a company spokesperson said, “This route has been suspended since March 2020 and we don’t have planning timed for returning. We regularly adjust our schedule for a variety of reasons, including demand and the broader needs of our network.”
St. Louis-Lambert International Airport declined to comment on our report.
“We never really had a huge draw for that route from STL to SFO which is San Francisco,” said Abbey Meyer, co-owner of Sky High Travel in St. Louis.
She doesn’t want news of this route cut to tarnish some positive additions for St. Louis travelers.
“I think, more importantly, is what St. Louis is getting, which is nonstops to Jamaica. We haven’t had those in five years, the charter flight. We’ve got the nonstops to Punta Cana, Cancun,” she said.
On Tuesday, Frontier Airlines announced non-stop service from St. Louis to Montego Bay, Jamaica, beginning in February 2023. That news may be little consolation to those who’ve relied on United flights from STL to San Francisco, but both Meyers and Mutzabaugh remind us that there are other ways to get to the Bay Area.
“While there might not be a direct flight to where you need to get to, we can get really creative,” Meyer said. “Like the SFO flight you’re talking about. Oakland is not even 30 minutes from there and a lot of people don’t think of those things.
“If I were you, I’d be hoping and keeping my fingers crossed, maybe Southwest brings back the Oakland-St. Louis nonstop once their schedule gets extended past April.”