Lambert ranked 32nd in total passengers last year with 14.4 million, just ahead of Portland, Oregon. American Airlines revealed it will eliminated service to twenty cities, including twelve with no other carrier. The twelve destinations on the chopping block include Indianapolis, Nashville and San Francisco. If the flights aren't replaced, St. Louis will have only 55 non-stop departures.
It's hard to imagine that less than a decade ago Lambert was one of the 15 busiest airports in the country. Now, it's second-tier, more on par with Cleveland than Minneapolis.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has a great website that allows you to dig deeper and see how airports compare on key data. You can compare airports, and even compare air traffic to others forms of transportation. This link shows the average domestic fare for airports.
What I learned today is that even though Lambert has been cut severely in recent years, it still has low prices and has more non-stop departure flights than many other large airports, including Portland and Pittsburgh. Lambert officials believe some of the 12 destinations that American plans to eliminate will be picked up by other airlines, especially the San Francisco, Indy and Nashville flights.
There's no question Lambert isn't the airport it used to be, or what we want it to be, but airport Director Dick Hrabko insists it will still deliver good service, even if it's not the kind of service we remember just a decade ago.