New American Airlines Routes to South Bend Announced!

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One of the trips we have planned for 2018 is a return trip to South Bend, Indiana, to cheer on the Fighting Irish. We did this trip about 7 or 8 years ago, but we loved it so much that it is time for a repeat with my parents and even my girls. I mean, C will be almost 9 this fall, so that’s a good time to see her future alma matre, right? We have hotels booked on points, but flights are a bigger challenge. Last time we visited South Bend, we flew into Chicago O’Hare and that is again the Plan B for this trip, too. However, I would really love to fly right in and out of South Bend and skip the drive from Chicago this time around.


Technically we could do that now via Delta or United, but both carriers want an exorbitant number of miles or cash for our dates. We’re talking about 60,000 miles and up for each economy round trip ticket. After looking at flights a few weeks ago I said that if I win the lottery this year, I’m spending part of the winnings chartering a plane so we can fly right to South Bend. There just aren’t that many commercial seats to go around, so it’s hard to snag one at a reasonable price. This is especially true when the Irish are playing a home game.

Well, today things might have just gotten at least a little better as the South Bend airport announced new twice-daily service on American Airlines from both Dallas and Charlotte! They say that will add about 93,000 seats to South Bend each year.

The new American service to South Bend will begin on June 7 and the flights will be available for booking beginning on January 22, 2018. You can bet your bottom dollar that my calendar is set to check our dates on Monday, because you have to imagine the chance of a reasonably priced award being available on a brand new route is much better than my chances at winning the lottery.

There were a few other American Airlines routes also announced today, such as:

  • Three routes from PHL to Fort Wayne, Indiana (FWA); Oklahoma City (OKC); and Pensacola, Florida (PNS)
  • New service from both Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and DFW to Panama City, Florida (ECP) and South Bend, Indiana (SBN)
  • Service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania (AVP)
  • Beginning April 4, a new Shuttle product will fly between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and ORD. American’s Shuttle will offer hourly flights between the two business centers, giving customers additional flexibility and choice, as well as unique travel benefits such as dedicated gates, 15 flights per weekday and complimentary beer and wine in Main Cabin.

I love new routes, but I’m especially partial to the one to South Bend since it is an airport that doesn’t presently provide for tons of seats or flight options. So, we’ll call this new route a slamdunk, or touchdown, whichever the case may be.

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    • My dads side of the family was Catholic and grew up loving and rooting for the Irish. I think my Grandpa even lived in Indiana area at some point. The love of the Irish was passed down and stuck as we all love the traditions, trumpets, songs, parades, etc.

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