Skip to content

American Airlines responds to JetBlue in Hartford, fills United's gap in Vail

March 22 2021
4 min read
An American Airlines plane parked at an airport.
American Airlines responds to JetBlue in Hartford, fills United's gap in Vail
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor's Note

This post has been updated with a comment from American Airlines. 

American Airlines is defending its home turf.

Over the weekend, the Fort Worth-based carrier made some interesting route updates, seemingly aimed at responding to its competitors.

The first route — between Miami (MIA) and Hartford (BDL) — will get a 200% boost in flights. Beginning on June 3, the carrier will start flying the 1,194-mile hop three-times daily, up from the current once-daily schedule. The two added frequencies have been loaded through the end of the schedule, in March 2022.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The move comes just weeks after American announced a sweeping Miami-focused expansion, with a brand-new long-haul flight to Tel Aviv (TLV) and increased capacity across Latin American and the Caribbean, including a new destination: Paramaribo, Suriname (PBM).

Right now, Florida is hot — both in its temperature and in terms of increased air traffic. Cirium schedules show that the Sunshine State will see about 177% more flights in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same time period in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. With travelers looking for outdoor-friendly destinations, it's no surprise that Florida's beaches climb to the top of the list.

But American's move likely isn't about serving the record-breaking spring break crowds headed south. After all, the additional Hartford flights don't begin until June.

Instead, it's seemingly a response to JetBlue. In February, the New York-based carrier started flying to the American Airlines fortress hub, with four routes from New York-JFK, Newark (EWR), Boston (BOS) and Los Angeles (LAX). Less than a month since launching Miami flights, JetBlue announced that it'll fly once-daily between, you guessed it, Miami and Hartford starting on June 24.

Related: JetBlue already expanding in Miami, takes on American with new Northeast route

Despite American's new Northeast-focused alliance with JetBlue, the heat is on down south. The two carriers might be codesharing in New York and Boston, but that partnership doesn't extend to the Miami-to-Hartford route, where the two airlines will go head-to-head in June.

For it's part, American cited high demand for the extra flights.

"The bookings trend over the last four weeks has increased significantly from MIA to BDL and we’re adding frequencies to match the increased demand," an American spokesperson said in an email to TPG.

American and JetBlue have teamed up in the Northeast (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The one upside to both American and JetBlue is that their Miami growth could help blunt some of Delta’s ambitions to grow service to the city. In 2019, the Atlanta-based carrier took a 20% stake in LATAM, designed to bolster the Delta’s presence in Latin and South America. Despite the pandemic, Delta still plans to turn Miami into a “gateway hub.”

Elsewhere, American is also responding to moves made by a competitor in another outdoor-focused destination. AA will add daily summer seasonal flights between Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Vail/Eagle (EGE) from June 3 to Sept. 7. If all goes according to plan, this will be American's first time flying this route in the summer in at least 18 years, per Cirium schedules. (American flies to Vail from Chicago each winter season.)

So, why fly the route this summer?

For one, Vail seemingly fits the bill as an outdoor-friendly destination. With access to hiking, white-water rafting and more, pandemic-weary travelers can find plenty of socially distant activities there.

Related: United Airlines adds Mexico, Caribbean flights in major summer boost

The carrier also is filling a void left by United.

Earlier in March, United dropped two Vail routes from its summer timetable. The carrier was originally planning to fly twice-weekly EGE service this summer from both Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Houston Intercontinental (IAH), but that's since been scrapped.

With United's Chicago-Vail service out of the cards for the summer, American is perhaps betting that it can capture travelers headed to the mountains. With daily flights aboard a 128-seat Airbus A319, the carrier will have plenty of seats to fill.

The good news? It won't face any direct competition.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with a comment from American Airlines.

Featured photo by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees