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American ups its game

From staff reports • Feb 17, 2020 at 8:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — American Airlines will begin dual-class service on flights to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) beginning June 4, 2020. The aircraft will have 65 seats, nine of which will be first-class seating. This replaces the current single-class service aircraft with 44 seats.

The flights will happen under the American Eagle brand name for the regional branch of American Airlines that focuses on short-haul and medium-haul “feeder” flights.

Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) passengers have embraced the new service to DFW, leading to the increased aircraft capacity and improved service.

“We are proud to add more seats between Tri-Cities and our largest hub, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport,” said Philippe Puech, senior manager of Network Planning at American. “This increased commitment highlights the successful partnership between American Airlines, the Tri-Cities Airport Authority and the Tri-Cities community.”

“The airport has seen a remarkable increase in passengers throughout the last year,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport Authority executive director. “The addition of the DFW flight is a huge contributor to this year’s success. In December, our passenger numbers were up 24 percent with 10 percent growth for 2019.”

TRI finished 2019 with more than 448,000 total passengers visiting the area and accessing the world.

“We are happy to see that our community and visitors are embracing the new service on American Airlines,” Cossey added. “The Dallas-Fort Worth flight, and continuing our work to increase service, are vital to the region’s business and tourism communities.”

“As a business owner with clients all over the world, I need to be able to access the major airports to get to my clients faster,” said Scott Emerine, Branding Iron advertising, marketing and public relations co-founder and co-owner. “I have several clients in Dallas. In fact, that is where I am from. I now have the freedom to quickly connect with my customers in Dallas and throughout the West Coast. Flying TRI is fast, efficient, and cost effective. In today’s fast-paced business environment, having the direct flight to DFW really enables me to get business done from the Tri-Cities region. I do not need to relocate. I am just one flight way from anywhere in the world I need to be.”

Flights can be booked on the www.TRIflight.com booking engine or directly with American at www.aa.com.

Beyond the security checkpoint

In a separate move, Tailwind will begin construction this week on a new café area and remodeling the restaurant in the airport’s concourse.

The first phase will include constructing a new café area next to gate 4 and is expected to be completed by mid-March. As part of this phase of construction, the concourse flight information display system will be relocated during the week of Feb. 17, and unavailable to passengers. After passing through security clearance, passengers will only be able to access flight schedules through their airline’s app or TRIflight.com.

The second phase, which is to remodel the restaurant, will begin in mid-March. The updated restaurant area will include a new kitchen, additional seating and better flow for passenger use.

Food service in the concourse will be limited during the construction of the new restaurant. The Tailwind restaurant located in the main terminal will remain open and continue to offer its full menu during construction.

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