LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Travelers who rely on an airline to get them from Fort Myers to Miami will soon have to find another way to their destination.
At the end of the month, Southwest Florida International Airport will no longer offer flights into Miami, according to airport spokesperson Victoria Moreland. The airport was notified about a week ago that American Eagle, the sole airline carrying the flights, is pulling out.
Just weeks after American Airlines filed for bankruptcy, American Eagle announced plans to return the smaller aircraft it uses for some of its regional flights. The Fort Myers-Miami connection is one of a handful in the country getting dropped.
The airport hopes to find another carrier willing to fill the void, Moreland says.
RSW currently runs 12 flights a week between Fort Myers and Miami.
The quick trip is a favorite for passengers making connections and for those looking to cut out more than 2 hours of driving to the other coast.
"It's 50 minutes to an hour, depending on the wind," says Orestis Melirrytos, who frequently travels to Miami. "That's time that can be well-used here or there."
Some flyers, like Audrey Walther, who recently used the connection to Miami to travel to Bolivia, say losing the service isn't just an inconvenience. When the cost and bother of driving outweighs the purpose of the trip, Walther says it's a reason to cut out travel to Miami all together.
"It's really going to hurt the economy, not having that little jaunt," Walther says. "I'm going to miss it. I won't be able to just travel at leisure because I'm not going to drive all the way to Miami."