Connecting Flights between Palm Springs and LAX a Gamble?

By Pamela Price

By Pamela Price

When Linda Shanks arrived at the Palm Springs airport in November she expected her 58-minute flight aboard United Airlines with an ongoing flight on Swiss International Airlines for Zurich to be a snap.

That is until United Airlines cancelled her flight and she was told to return to the airport 24-hours later.  “When I finally arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport a day later I was shocked when informed by the agent my reservation had been cancelled!”

I experienced the same response on May 24 the same United Airlines flight I was confirmed on was delayed, cancelled, rescheduled was finally cancelled.   United Airlines thankfully scheduled a car to drive those passengers holding reservations on Swiss International to LAX.

That’s the good news, the bad news was due to a technical issue the airline cancelled off the flight and it had to be rebooked at the last minute.   This corroborates Shank’s experience.

Charlie Hobart, United Airlines public relations specialist reports they are aware of the problem and “have taken measures to correct it.”

Checking with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent report on United Airlines states    flights between Palm Springs and Los Angeles operated 83.67 percent on time leaving 26.53 percent of those flights subject to delay, cancellation or being diverted.

This boils down to a decision Palm Springs travelers must consider, risking a 58-minute flight to Los Angeles or being cautious by settling for a one-way car rental, a lift from a friend or using a car service.  The cost of a one way ticket between Palm Springs and Los Angeles according to the United Airlines website fluctuate, but is currently $642.

In all fairness, I experienced four flights on American Airlines cancelled, the worst was when their MD80 aircraft were recalled in 2007.   I nearly missed the boat on this one arriving in Porto, Portugal five minutes before our cruise on Douro River departed.

It was then I resorted to United Airlines.

My advice when depending on connecting to an international flight, when departing from Palm Springs, investigate the alternatives.  Just remember what could be the title of my next travel guide,    “When My Ship Comes In, I’ll Be Waiting at the Airport!”

Pamela Price is the co-author of Day Trips from Los Angeles published by  her email is

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