Via Points, Miles, & Martinis and FlyerTalk, Delta Air Lines apparently plans to stop offering its business-oriented shuttle flights along the West Coast as of January 4, 2018. These flights are intended to make travel easier with late check-in (as little as 30 minutes before departure), dedicated check-in counters, locating gates close to security, and complimentary on-board amenities such as food, drink, and newspapers.
The shuttle flights that will be discontinued include San Francisco to Los Angeles, Seattle to San Francisco, and Seattle to Los Angeles. Other shuttle flights on the East Coast will continue to operate.
Honestly, I’m not surprised. The West Coast is not really a shuttle-oriented market in my mind. Travel distances are long (2-3 hours) and there is not nearly the same volume of inter-city traffic as you might find, say, with politicians and bankers flitting between New York and Washington. I’m not saying people don’t do business across multiple regions out here. It’s simply not at the same scale.
Alaska Airlines has operated a shuttle for some time, but it does so between Seattle and Portland, and between Seattle and Spokane. Flights leave every 15-30 minutes on Bombardier Q400 prop planes. It works great for a 30-minute flight between smaller cities with under a million people. However, add it all together and the point-to-point travel time is not much different from driving three hours.
Service between West Coast cities is likely to continue. There is still plenty of demand. But frequent shuttle service with all the extra amenities won’t. And I honestly don’t mind. It’s never been an issue for me traveling between Seattle and San Francisco for the last decade. Flights will still every hour on multiple carriers, with or without a shuttle.