American Airlines will start a direct flight to Los Angeles in early April. | Courtesy of American Airlines

This morning, American Airlines started selling tickets for a new, much-lauded nonstop flight to Los Angeles from Louisville International Airport, making the rates public for the first time.

The route starts April 2, but the first flight is from Los Angeles International Airport to Louisville. The inaugural takeoff from Louisville isn’t actually until Wednesday, April 3.

The cost for a one-way, basic economy seat from Louisville to LAX is $174 on April 3. A one-way “main cabin” seat is $204, and first class is $456 that day. The main cabin seat allows passengers to pick their seat, change their flight (for a fee) and become eligible for an upgrade. First class includes two checked bags, priority boarding and the ability to change flight plans the same day.

Prices for economy seating from Louisville to Los Angeles range from $174 to $220 for a one-way ticket, with main cabin tickets costing $30 more, according to American Airlines’ website. First class tickets range from $456 to $570.

One-way tickets from Los Angeles to Louisville range in cost from $176 to $222 for economy, with main cabin seats again being $30 more. First class rates go from $458 to $572, American Airlines’ website states.

Tickets for economy and main cabin include free snacks, soft drinks and in-flight entertainment, as well as one free carry-on bag in addition to a personal item.

Starting in April, the flight takes off daily from Louisville at 7:45 a.m. and lands in Los Angeles at 9 a.m., according to American Airlines’ website. Return flights to Louisville depart LAX at 11:05 p.m. and arrive at 6:15 a.m. Information previously provided to the media listed slightly different times but only by a matter of minutes.

With the help from a coalition of business and government leaders, Louisville Regional Airlift Development (LRAD), the airport secured the flight, which will provide the only direct route currently to California and an easy connection to Asia.

LRAD consultant Luke Schmidt said that the flight was the result of meeting with airline executives and continually updating them on the city’s economic development, as well as the promise of monetary incentives if the route does not perform as expected.

Called a minimum revenue guarantee, the incentives reduce the risk airlines take when starting a new route by covering any deficit in expected income from monthly ticket sales. If the route meets or exceeds ticket sales expectations, then no incentive money is paid out.

Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]


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