Delta Adding Austin to Harlingen Flights

Someone in Delta’s network planning department is taking the phrase “Keep Austin weird” and applying it to the service offered from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). The Atlanta based carrier quietly added flights between Austin and Harlingen’s Valley International Airport (HRL) marking Delta’s third Texas route from Austin after McAllen (MFE) and Midland/Odessa (MAF).

Austin Skyline with Lady Bird Lake in the Foreground
Delta will connect Austin with Harlingen/South Padre Island with new daily service.

Delta’s Strategy in Austin

On the surface, these new intra-Texas routes are head scratchers. Did a little deeper and things start to make a bit more sense. Delta opened a massive Sky Club prior to the pandemic and has previously referred to Austin as a focus city. The focus city designation has waned in recent years though this new routem is another indication that they are invested in growth at the airport.

Prior to the Harlingen flight, Delta was already operating its largest Austin schedule ever in 2024, with a 20% increase in capacity over Summer 2023 offering almost 50 flights to 15 destinations and even more when you count partners.

Delta Air Lines 2024 Austin Route Map
Delta Air Lines Current Austin Route Map

The recent additions come as Austin continues to see strong demand and the current airport is bursting at the seams. A new midfield concourse is in the planning stages which will add anywhere from 10-20 new gates. Delta may be launching these flights in order to squat on gates, allowing them to petition for a greater slice of the new gates once they open.

Harlingen, McAllen, and Midland/Odessa are only connected to the Delta network via Austin, though Harlingen sees seasonal service to MSP.

Delta’s Harlingen Flights

When Delta added flights to Midland/Odessa and McAllen, it marked the carrier’s only service to both cities. The airline is using Austin to connect travelers to Delta’s global network along with joint venture partners KLM and AeroMexico. Harlingen also fits this mold somewhat as the only other service Delta provides from HRL is seasonal service to Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP).

Interestingly enough, Delta touted the proximity to South Padre Island when they announced the McAllen service. When I flew the route I ended up sitting next to a group that was traveling back home from South Padre to North Carolina.

Delta will connect Austin with the “Gateway to South Padre” via a single daily flight operated by regional partner SkyWest. The flight will operate on the following schedule utilizing Embraer E175 Aircraft beginning on October 7th.

Austin (AUS) – Harlingen/South Padre Island (HRL)
DL 4085 Departs: 10:45a Arrives: 12:13p

Harlingen/South Padre Island (HRL) – Austin (AUS)
DL 4085 Departs: 12:45p Arrives: 2:11p

Delta Connection Embraer E175
Delta Connection will operate the flight using Embraer E175 aircraft.

While these flights are currently on sale, the First Class cabin is zeroed out for all dates and frequencies that I looked at. Only Economy and Comfort+ are available for booking at Roundtrip flights start at $107 in Economy and $127 for Comfort+. Delta will be going head to head against Southwest’s two daily flights on this route.

Special thanks to NedsKid for bringing this to my attention. I’m sure he’s already booked on one of the first flights!


Delta has quietly added Austin to Harlingen flights to the system beginning October 7th. This will be the 16th nonstop route from Austin as the airline continues to grow their presence in the Texas capital. I’m currently searching for a free weekend where I can hop aboard one of these flights!

  1. It does look like Delta is building an operation at AUS to ensure that it can connect TX customers in smaller markets without flying in the wrong direction, which e.g. an ATL flight would cause (so ATL-only would be poor service). Having a low trip cost on a short flight with cabins including C+/F just might offset the need to double-connect (or connect at all to destinations WN serves) for anyone flying. And WN is making this work on a lot more capacity.

    1. WN is running 2x daily but they famously don’t serve McAllen due to some sort of longstanding dispute. It’s great to see Delta add routes from these locations that keep you from having to backtrack all the way to Atlanta. If this pattern holds I could see them add flights to/from El Paso since their only Delta service currently is to Atlanta.

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