Travelers using American Airlines to get to New York will soon do so on a smaller airplane. In August, the airline will shift its Nashville-La Guardia service from the MD80 jet to the American Eagle CRJ.
While the planes are smaller, American Airlines representative Derrick Proffitt said they still feature first-class seating options and that the move will actually increase the number of La Guardia departures per day from four to five.
The reason for the change, Proffitt said, is rooted in passenger volumes: The CRJ jet has a seating capacity of about 70, while the MD-80 can seat anywhere between 130 and 172 people, depending on the model. That equates to American soon having a capacity of about 350 travelers per day on the La Guardia route versus roughly 600 now, using the midpoint of the MD80's seating range.
Proffitt also pointed out that current service already includes regional jets in conjunction with the MD80 service. Additionally, he said many other carriers already utilize regional jets for their Nashville to New York flights.