A little over a year after announcing the new direct flights, a major airline is pulling the plug on another direct route from Rochester International Airport.
They say the only constant these days is change, and another big change is coming later this fall to Rochester International Airport (RST) when United Airlines ends its only remaining direct flights to and from the Med City.
The news broke late Thursday that Sky West, United Airlines connector airline, was canceling its direct flights from Rochester to Denver effective at the end of October. According to KTTC, John Reed, executive director at RST, explained what was happening:
We share in the disappointment at the loss of this route. The ongoing effects of the pandemic continue to impact the air travel industry and airlines are making decisions to terminate flights in communities across the country," Reed said in the story.
In case you're having a tough time keeping up, yes, that direct route from the Med City to the Mile High City had only been around for a year-- with the service having been announced on August 10th, 2020.
And now, a little over a year later, boom, it's gone. That means United Airlines is pretty much done with serving Rochester and southeast Minnesota from RST, because Sky West announced in August that they were ending their direct flights from Rochester to Chicago as well.
Like everyone else, I get that the pandemic has still affected travel and I understand why this decision was made, but I'm bummed about United pulling both of these direct routes from RST. I'm a little ashamed to admit that after having lived in Rochester for nearly a decade now, I just flew out of RST earlier this spring on a trip to the Outer Banks.
We flew Sky West non-stop from RST to O'Hare Airport in Chicago where we boarded another flight to Norfolk, Virginia. It was SOO easy flying out of RST! No more spending nearly an hour and a half driving up Highway-52 to the Minneapolis airport. Parking for the entire week was waaay cheaper, and getting through the TSA checkpoint took about 10 minutes.
Luckily, Minnesota's own Sun Country Airlines announced that it was ADDING service to Rochester starting next February. RST is a great place, staffed by some amazing employees (check out this story about how one RST staffer helped a traveler recently stranded in Rochester), but it's not the only place in the Med City to offer great service. Keep scrolling to check out some other local businesses with incredible customer service!