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Budget Airline PEOPLExpress Returns to the Skies This Summer

by on June 5, 2014 · 16 comments

in Airline Industry, Travel Industry

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Beloved 1980s budget airline PEOPLExpress has re-opened for business. Domestic service in the Northeast and Southeast U.S. will begin on June 30th, with fares starting at $76 each way. 

The new incarnation of PEOPLExpress will fly all-economy Boeing 737s

The new incarnation of PEOPLExpress will fly all-economy Boeing 737s

PEOPLExpress originally flew from 1981-1987 until it was absorbed into Continental, and was known not only for low fares, but friendly, efficient customer service. In the current climate of fierce (and often frustrating) competition amongst budget airlines, PEOPLExpress has taxied back onto the scene with new, all-economy Boeing 737s based at Virginia’s Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) and largely focuses on underserved routes.

Initially, PEOPLExpress will be flying between PHF and the following cities:

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Newark (EWR)
  • Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • West Palm Beach (PBI) – starting July 15
  • Atlanta (ATL) – starting August 1
  • St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE) – starting August 28
  • New Orleans (MSY) – starting August 28

While the former incarnation of PEOPLExpress flew to London, Montreal, and Brussels, there are no imminent plans for international service. However, future routes to Orlando and Providence are being considered.

For now, the Virginia-based PEOPLExpress will focus on routes in the Northeast and Southeast

For now, the Virginia-based PEOPLExpress will focus on routes in the Northeast and Southeast

As exciting as it is that a budget airline with a historically great track record of customer service has returned to the travel scene, the success of PEOPLExpress is every bit as much of a gamble as Warren Buffet’s new flight insurance policy. Like any startup business that requires a huge outlay of capital and faces stiff competition, the airline could fold again at any moment.

If its routes appeal to you, this could be a great way to save some money while you fly. Considering their fledgling stake in the air, it would be wise to purchase travel insurance and book with a card that offers purchase protection, like American Express, on the chance that they take your money and then roll back int0 the hangar.

Hat tip: Jaunted

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jaye Deveraux

    Okay I’ll just say it. Are you fucking kidding me?

  • Steve

    What’s your issue/concern, Jake?

  • Traderlatino

    Question….why TPG don’t talk about Spirit MasterCard when you can get one way tickets from 2500 miles ($1250 spending)?

  • Bucky Katt

    Let me give a couple of guesses:
    1. TPG focuses mainly (not exclusively, but mainly) on what I will call, for lack of a more convenient term, “Fancy Stuff”, e.g., business and first class flights, high-end/luxury hotels, expensive luggage, etc. Spirit…they’re not even a low-frill airline, they’re a negative frill airline in that you actually have to pay to bring more than the clothes on your back with you on the plane. So it’s not really within the blog’s sweet spot.
    2. People hate Spirit. If I remember right, it is, by far, the most hated airline in the U.S., which is something, when you consider how poorly U.S. airlines are rated compared to international airlines. I would guess that TPG is trying to draw people in, rather than push them away, which is what might happen if they started writing about the most hated airline in the U.S..

  • Traderlatino

    Bucky…believe me…Spirit IS the worst airline. But…the name of this website is TPG “MAXIMIZE YOUR TRAVEL POINTS”, so spending 25000 miles when you could spend 2500 is not maximizing. Recently I got 2 tickets Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas roundtrip non stop for 30.000 miles ($15.000 spending), Fort Lauderdale to Chicago 2 tickets roundtrip for 10.000 miles ($5000 spending), Fort Lauderdale-Boston 3 roundtrip tickets for 15000 miles ($7500 spending), and same cost to NY, Niagara Falls, and Costa Rica. Regarding fees and bags…I never paid over $100 for the whole trip (roundtrip of 2 or 3 people).

  • Traderlatino

    It is not fancy…but if you want to go somewhere Spirit delivers…

  • dee seiffer

    I am probably one of the few people who read this blog who is old enough for this post to count for Throwback Thursday!!!! Does memory serve? Weren’t fares $29?

    I was an athletic trainer for the University of Pittsburgh back in the ’70′s & ’80′s. I can’t tell you how many times I flew Peoples to play schools along the eastern seaboard. It was wild. They were the first airline to sell food instead of giving it away. People brought shopping bags of groceries on board like they were going to be stranded on a deserted island for weeks.

    Did they have a good service record? You could have fooled me. I remember being late A LOT. Of course, basketball season is in the winter and it was the Northeast, icy even before global warming.

  • Guest

    I disagree with the claim of “efficient customer service”. I flew the old PeopleExpress once. Flew from Cleveland to Miami. Worst flight ever. They sold tickets at the gate (back before 9/11 you could walk up to the gate), and would wait to sell enough tickets to make the flight financially feasible (or at least try). The flight took off 3 hours past the scheduled departure time.

  • Scott

    While I’m happy there is a new airline option in Virginia. I’m disappointed that this new airline which is suppose to be a customer service oriented airline has chosen the business model of charging fees for everything like Spirit and Frontier. According to their website there are fees for checked bags, carry on bags, advance seat assignments, and beverages. Since the nearby Richmond airport has JetBlue and Southwest serving many of the same destinations without the extra fees, PeoplExpress may have a hard time attracting customers to their airline.

  • Steve Q.

    Hey, I love your website, but let’s be honest: There is not relation between the former airline and this one. Nothing, zip, zero, nada. You’re talking about it as if these are the same people. They are not and there is absolutely no relation. So why are you trying to talk it up as if there is? They could have just as well named it “MonkeyExpress”. Why don’t you cut the hype and just say a new startup is on the scene using an old name…because that is what it is. Please tell us which original employees are involved and what the “dormant airline” has been doing the last 30 years…. It’s just a name….one has nothing to do with the other…..Hello?

  • BucknJeff

    Look at the Litigation section. Doesn’t look good for Vision air, the company that will be operating PEX flights. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Airlines#Fleet

  • i_hereby_resign

    Yep, and Southwest has a decent presence at ORF (Norfolk) as well

  • Better By Design

    TPG did review RyanAir… once if I recall.

    The reason he’s not talking about the Spirit CC is probably the same reason why I’d never even heard about it until now – I’m guessing that in their “budget” mindset they aren’t paying substantial credit card application referral fees.

  • thepointsguy

    I reviewed the Spirit credit card ..ehhhttp://thepointsguy.com/2012/09/sunday-reader-question-is-the-spirit-airlines-mastercard-worth-it/

  • Joseph Alberts

    dude, who cares?

  • Steve Q.

    You obviously do. Get back into your overhead compartment! Your photo of relieving yourself obviously is disgusting. Are you one of those guys who doesn’t use deodorant…..just as I suspected. I am sure you don’t wash your hands after using the lavatory.

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