Why Is United Adding Daily Service from Chicago and Houston to Atlantic City? (Answer: Trains)

An OTR reader passed along this article noting that United Airlines announced that it will begin once-daily service from Atlantic City to both Chicago and Houston beginning in April.

Spirit Airlines is currently the only carrier serving Atlantic City, focusing on getting people out of Southern New Jersey and down to Florida and Myrtle Beach.

So is there demand for a 6am flight to Houston? Well, no. I was thinking that UA must want something from the Port Authority (which now runs the Atlantic City Airport), and as that thought crossed my mind, the reader who sent me the original story pointed out this piece that says Governor Christie offered to extend PATH train service to Newark Airport in exchange (in part) for United flying to Atlantic City. (BTW – if you can’t read that Wall Street Journal article because you don’t have a subscription, just Google the phrase “Mixed Signals on New PATH to the Airport” and you can get to the article for free).

There you have it: United is flying from Atlantic City to Houston to encourage more people to take the train from Hoboken to Newark. Obviously.

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