Airline Transition FAQs
On March 10, 2022, SkyWest Airlines filed a US Department of Transportation required notice to terminate air service in 29 cities, including SHD, due to an ongoing severe pilot shortage across the aviation industry. SkyWest/United service to Washington Dulles (IAD) and Chicago O’Hare will operate until October 30. Our new partner, Contour Airlines with an interline agreement with American Airlines, will offer daily jet flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) starting November 1.
The following frequently asked questions have been drafted to assist our customers during this transition period.
Why is SkyWest Airlines terminating service at SHD?
SkyWest has filed the required US Department of Transportation notice to terminate air service at 29 cities across the country. This decision is a direct result of the ongoing severe pilot shortage in the aviation industry and not an indication of poor utilization of the service. Shenandoah Valley travelers have embraced the flights provided by SkyWest since they began service in 2018, repeatedly breaking new passenger records.
When does SkyWest/United service end at SHD?
SkyWest has been an excellent partner over the past four years and they are committed to ensuring a smooth transition as Contour begins operations. SkyWest/United flights will still be operating to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Washington Dulles (IAD) through October 30th.
Who will be the new airline at SHD?
Our new airline partnership will be with Contour Airlines, offering daily jet flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) starting November 1st. Contour has an interline agreement with American Airlines, enabling Valley travelers to purchase combined tickets on both airlines under a single itinerary. Baggage will also be transferred seamlessly between flights. American Airlines and their interline partners operate approximately 700 flights daily at the Charlotte hub.
Tickets can be booked now at contourairlines.com or aa.com.
Why did the Airport Commission choose Contour Airlines?
Many factors were taken into consideration when we evaluated the bids from airlines interested in serving our market. Here’s why the Airport Commission requested the Department of Transportation award our contract to Contour Airlines:
- Connectivity – We know how important it is to have well-timed connections at the hub to get where you need to go as quickly and efficiently as possible. Charlotte International Airport (CLT) is a major gateway to the world with 700+daily flights to 188 destinations, including 36 international destinations. It’s a great hub to reach almost anywhere with a single connection.
- Major Airline Affiliation – Contour has an interline agreement with American Airlines. That means you can purchase combined tickets on both airlines under a single itinerary, and checked baggage will be seamlessly transferred at the hub all the way to your final destination. As many as 90% of all flights at Charlotte are operated by American so this partnership between Contour and American is a major plus.
- Passenger Experience – Contour is all about the passenger experience. Their beautiful ERJ-135 jet aircraft offer all leather seating, first-class legroom in every row (five to six inches more than any other domestic carrier), complimentary snacks and beverages, and a complimentary checked bag on all flights to Charlotte. They operate their own Customer Support Center where you can call and talk to a real person for flight assistance without a lengthy wait on hold. And to top it all off, Contour is consistently ranked among the most punctual airlines in America by the Official Airline Guide (OAG).
I have a trip planned after October 30 on SkyWest/United. What do I do?
All passengers with travel booked after October 30 should have received a notification from United Airlines that their trip has been changed. In some cases, the United system may have automatically rebooked the trip from/to another airport with United service. Travelers have two options:
- Keep the suggested departure/arrival airport changes from United or alter travel arrangements to use a surrounding airport with United service. No change fees should apply.
- Request a full refund of your trip from United and rebook from SHD with Contour Airlines/American.
How do I get in touch with United Customer Service?
The United Help Center is a great resource. Or you can contact United Customer Care at (800) UNITED-1.
Many changes can also be made to existing reservations by logging into My Trips with your confirmation number or Mileage Plus number.
How do I get in touch with Contour Airlines or American Airlines?
Contour’s Customer Experience Team is very helpful and can be reached by phone or email.
American Airlines Customer Service information can be found here.
Is the airport closing?