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Delta Shuts Comair; Says 'Don't Worry'

You shouldn't worry about future travel arrangements through Cincinnati on Delta, says the airline. It's shutting down regional subsidiary Comair after September 29 but says that the move will "not result in any significant changes to Delta's network, which has enough flexibility to accommodate these changes … There will be no disruption to customers and no significant adjustments to Delta's flight schedule or locations served."

That promise is probably realistic. But don't ignore the word "significant" in the announcement. The prime reason Delta is making this move is that Comair has far too many planes that are too small to be profitable with today's high fuel prices. Delta plans to replace them with larger jets, including perhaps some of the mainline 717s it will be leasing from AirTran. Obviously, however, switching from small planes to bigger ones means some combination of reduced schedule frequencies and eliminated routes will result.

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Accordingly, what's not "significant" to Delta might be significant to you. If you have reservations for Comair flights after September 29, Delta will certainly accommodate you, possibly with a schedule change or, in a few cases, a refund or a trip to/from some other airport. If you are a frequent Comair user, keep checking Delta's schedules to see how your airport and routes will fare.

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