American, JetBlue detail new routes, enhanced connectivity in next phase of Northeast Alliance

Jul 20, 2021

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.

The powerhouse alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue continues to spread its wings in the Northeast.

On Tuesday, the two carriers unveiled the next phase of their Northeast Alliance, designed to boost connectivity in the New York and Boston markets, with added routes, enhanced coordination and more.

Though Tuesday’s update summarizes much of the previously announced growth, there are some interesting updates coming in the weeks and months ahead.

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

JetBlue’s 12 new routes get a start date

In April, JetBlue shared plans to add seven new cities and two new countries, with 17 routes throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

On Tuesday, the New York-based carrier announced launch details for a handful of these markets, with the specifics in the table below.

Destination Origin(s) Launch details
San Antonio (SAT) Boston (BOS), New York-JFK 1x daily begins on Oct. 31
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR) New York-JFK 1x daily begins Feb. 19, 2022
Kansas City (MCI) Boston (BOS), New York-JFK 1x daily on each route begins on March 27, 2022
Milwaukee (MKE) Boston (BOS), New York-JFK 1x daily on each route begins on March 27, 2022
Jacksonville (JAX) New York LaGuardia (LGA) 2x daily begins on Oct. 31
Sarasota-Bradenton (SRQ) New York LaGuardia (LGA) 1x daily begins on Oct. 31. (Note this is winter seasonal)
Savannah (SAV) New York LaGuardia (LGA) 1x daily begins on Oct. 31
New Orleans (MSY) New York LaGuardia (LGA) 1x daily begins on March 27, 2022
Nashville (BNA) New York LaGuardia (LGA) 2x daily begins on March 27, 2022

 

Notably, flights to Kansas City and Milwaukee, as well as select frequencies to San Antonio, will be operated by JetBlue’s newest domestic workhorse, the modern Airbus A220-300, which the carrier inaugurated in April. This 140-seat plane is designed to replace the aging Embraer 190 fleet, and offers an upgraded inflight experience, with larger TVs, faster Wi-Fi and more.

The remainder of the flights will be operated by Airbus A320 family aircraft.

JetBlue notes that the number of daily frequencies on some of the new routes is expected to increase in the future, but no details are available yet. By the end of 2021, JetBlue plans to offer 35 daily departures at LaGuardia and intends to grow to more than 50 daily departures by summer 2022.

The latest announcement leaves just five previously announced routes with no official start date yet. This includes the airline’s first-ever service to Canada and Honduras. For reference, you’ll find the remaining new JetBlue routes listed below.

Destination Origin(s) Launch details
San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP) New York-JFK December 2021
Vancouver (YVR) Boston (BOS) – Seasonal, New York-JFK Summer 2022
Asheville, North Carolina (AVL) Boston (BOS) – Seasonal Summer 2022
Portland, Maine (PWM) New York LaGuardia (LGA) Summer 2022

 

Goodbye to the convenience of LaGuardia

JetBlue is packing its bag at LaGuardia’s Marine Air Terminal. In the months ahead, the airline will begin vacating its current terminal at LaGuardia and move into the airport’s newly opened Terminal B.

The Marine Air Terminal is one of the most convenient at LGA. It’s accessed via a dedicated exit from the highway and doesn’t suffer from the same road congestion as LaGuardia’s other terminals. With just six gates, it almost feels like you’re flying private.

Many JetBlue flyers will miss the ease of flying from Terminal A, even though it lacks some basic conveniences, like a variety of concessions and dining options.

By relocating to Terminal B, JetBlue can offer more seamless connections with American Airlines. AA already occupies a portion of the terminal’s Western Concourse, and as more gates are built there in the coming months, JetBlue will be able to easily relocate its existing operation.

Also, JetBlue flyers will soon have easy access to the new Amex Centurion Lounge in Terminal B once the airline officially moves.

Meanwhile, at New York-JFK, the two carriers are going to stick to their homes — Terminal 5 for JetBlue and Terminal 8 for American — but the airlines have added a shuttle bus that’s available post-security for easier connections.

Reciprocal loyalty benefits are (finally) coming

While you can now accrue miles on both AA and JetBlue flights, you can’t yet redeem them for either carrier nor can you enjoy your elite status perks when flying on a flight operated under the Northeast Alliance.

That’ll change this fall when AAdvantage elites and TrueBlue Mosaic members will start receiving benefits when flying on either carrier.

While the details are still light, the airlines unfortunately didn’t mention anything about upgrades or lounge access as a reciprocal benefit. Instead, the carriers shared that benefits will include priority check-in, security and boarding, plus up to two complimentary checked bags.

The lie-flat wars are getting hotter

Though the real news of Tuesday’s announcement is the start date for JetBlue’s new routes, the airlines buried the lede.

Instead of first writing about the launch details in the press release, the airlines decided to instead focus on the premium transcon network that’s enabled by the Northeast Alliance.

AA’s Flagship Business on the Airbus A321T (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

It goes to show how important these lie-flat routes are to the recovery from the pandemic. The airlines are likely trying to woo deep-pocketed leisure travelers, as well as corporate accounts, to choose them for the top-notch experience offered on cross-country routes.

To that end, all transcontinental routes operated under the Northeast Alliance will feature lie-flat seats in the pointy end of the plane in 2022. The full list of routes, with the product(s) offered, is listed in the chart below.

Destination Origin Product offered Aircraft
Los Angeles (LAX) Boston (BOS) American Flagship First, Flagship Business, JetBlue Mint AA Airbus A321T, JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
Los Angeles (LAX) Newark (EWR) JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
Los Angeles (LAX) New York-JFK American Flagship First, Flagship Business, JetBlue Mint AA Airbus A321T, JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
Orange County (SNA) New York-JFK American Flagship First, Flagship Business AA Airbus A321T
San Diego (SAN) Boston (BOS) JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
San Diego (SAN) New York-JFK JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
San Francisco (SFO) Boston (BOS) JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
San Francisco (SFO) Newark (EWR) JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
San Francisco (SFO) New York-JFK American Flagship First, Flagship Business, JetBlue Mint AA Airbus A321T, JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
Seattle (SEA) Boston (BOS) JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint
Seattle (SEA) New York-JFK JetBlue Mint JetBlue Airbus A321 with Mint

 

Bottom line

American Airlines and JetBlue are charging ahead with their nascent Northeast Alliance. This winter, the airlines will offer more than 700 daily flights, with 57 new markets and more than 110 codeshare routes from Boston and New York.

But it’s not just about an expanded network.

The airlines are moving forward with plans to enhance their frequent flyer partnership as well as the on-the-ground connection experience.

It’ll be interesting to follow how the alliance continues growing, especially as other airlines begin retaliating.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.