American to announce New York service, maybe from PHL

American Airlines has scheduled a news conference with CEO Gerard Arpey for tomorrow regarding service in New York, and says the subject could be of interest to PHL travelers. Hmmm? What could this mean? Here is some informed speculation.

American has extensive international operations at Kennedy airport but has no nonstop big-jet flights or regional service by its Eagle unit between PHL and JFK. Its archrival Delta, an even bigger player at JFK, does have nonstops to connect passengers between JFK and PHL. American may be ready to launch a number of new routes, including one from PHL, into JFK to feed passengers to the overseas flights.

Another possibility is American has struck a code-share deal with Amtrak similar to what Continental has with the rail service at Newark Liberty airport; code shares allow airlines to sell each others' tickets and share revenue on routes. If that's what American would like to do, remember that getting from Amtrak's Penn Station in mid-town Manhattan to JFK requires a good hour or two on public transportation, much different from being able to go from the EWR rail station to the terminal in about 10 minutes on a free people mover system.

Or maybe American wants to expand at New York's LaGuardia airport, but that seems less likely because of congestion and limited takeoff-and-landing slots at LGA.

Here's another fun fact: Looking at online travel agency Web sites today to see if my memory served me correctly and American didn't already have nonstop feeder flights between PHL and JFK, I saw that they did offer one-stop service between the two airports. Where's the connection? Fly to Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami or (!!!) San Juan, P.R., first and then back to JFK. Doing that would take between six and 16 hours, but you can do it if you wish. If you have that kind of time, but need to save money, ride Septa and NJ Transit to Penn Station and take the subway to JFK ... a route only takes three to four hours!