This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Last week, United Airlines announced plans to end service to New York (JFK) airport as of October 25, 2015, citing a lack of profitability due to limited connections. The airline’s remaining transcontinental flights to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) will now depart from United’s hub at Newark (EWR), taking the airline’s p.s. Premium Service with them.
In the wake of United’s departure, other airlines are moving to fill the void by stepping up their own transcontinental service. Foremost among them, Delta is swapping some of its slots at Newark for United’s remaining slots at JFK (pending regulatory approval), and will add another daily flight in each direction between JFK and LAX. Delta will also swap out 757 aircraft for wider 767s on three of its daily flights between JFK and SFO.
While Delta is the only airline slated to earn extra takeoff and landing slots, others are working to soak up some of the overall capacity left behind by United. American Airlines will increase its service between JFK and SFO by adding one to two round-trip flights daily beginning on September 9.
JetBlue — which recently announced plans to launch Mint Business Class service to the Caribbean — will also get in the game by adding transcontinental flights out of JFK. Beginning on October 25, JetBlue will operate up to six daily flights between New York and San Francisco, and by February will operate up to 10 flights between New York and Los Angeles on its newest A321 Mint aircraft. Check out TPG’s review of JetBlue Mint Business Class for more details.
For its part, United will increase transcontinental service out of Newark, and is maintaining its presence at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. As part of the move, United will operate 15 daily flights each way between Newark and Los Angeles, and a whopping 17 flights between Newark and San Francisco. United executives stated that the p.s. fleet will be expanded by adding several 757 aircraft that are currently being used for transatlantic flights. They also said that Premium Service could be further expanded from 23 daily flights to 32 by the summer of 2016.
The upshot of all these changes is that the transcontinental premium market (which has been heating up for years) is becoming even more competitive. With several airlines jockeying for market share between JFK and LAX/SFO, and with Delta and Alaska going toe-to-toe between JFK and Seattle, the end result will hopefully be increased availability and lower prices for passengers overall.
For more info, check out these posts:
- Which Airline Has the Best Lie-Flat Transcontinental Seats?
- Using 12,500 Delta SkyMiles to Upgrade a Transcontinental Flight
- Flight Review: American A321T Transcontinental Business Class LAX-JFK
- What is the Best Frequent Flyer Program for Transcontinental Travel?
- Delta Adds More Comfort to Transcontinental Economy Comfort
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards