(Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

American Airlines, like other carriers, is facing a severe shortage of pilots, so they’re turning their gaze from the blue sky to the open road.  The carrier has teamed up with the transportation company Landline and begun painting a fleet of buses like its airplanes, in a new program that bus would-be fliers to their destinations in lieu of a connecting flight.

Starting June 3, American will connect customers in Allentown/Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City,
New Jersey to the carrier’s Philadelphia airport hub in Landline’s “state-of-the-art vehicles.” The customers would travel to their local airport, go through security and check bags as usual, but instead of being seated on a flight, they’ll board a bus.

“Upon arrival at the airport, “they’ll deboard…enter the terminal and proceed directly to their connecting flight,” the airline explained in their announcement. “When they’re ready to return home, they’ll board a Landline vehicle in PHL and arrive at their local airport.”

The carrier insists, “American will seamlessly transfer customers’ checked bags between Landline’s vehicles and American’s flight network.”