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Delta goes up against American, JetBlue in 6-route Boston boost

July 19, 2021
4 min read
Delta goes up against American, JetBlue in 6-route Boston boost
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The competition is brewing in Boston.

Over the weekend, Delta Air Lines filed a notable schedule update for its Boston hub, adding six leisure-focused routes to the Caribbean just in time for the peak winter season.

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Cirium schedules show that the Atlanta-based carrier is adding the following routes, most of which haven't been operated since the outset of the pandemic in March 2020. Delta confirmed the changes with TPG, but didn't have a statement to share.

OriginDestinationFrequencyNotes
Boston (BOS)Aruba (AUA)Flights begin Dec. 18 with 4x weekly flightsLast operated in March 2020
Boston (BOS)Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)Flights begin Dec. 18 with 5x weekly flightsLast operated in May 2021
Boston (BOS)Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)Flights begin Dec. 19 with 4x weekly flightsLast operated in March 2020
Boston (BOS)Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)Flights begin Dec. 19 with 5x weekly flightsLast operated in March 2020
Boston (BOS)St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT)Flight begin Dec. 18 with 3x weekly flightsLast operated in May 2021
Boston (BOS)Turks & Caicos (PLS)Flights begin Dec. 18 with 1x weekly flight on SaturdaysLast operated in March 2020

Notably, all six routes that Delta is restarting are already operated by JetBlue, and four of them are flown by American Airlines as well.

For Delta, the move comes as leisure travel continues its recovery from the depths of the pandemic. With domestic summer travel at all-time highs, the carrier's likely betting that the momentum will continue when the snow starts falling and the sun sets earlier.

But this latest boost likely isn't only about the increased demand.

Boston is one of Delta's newest hubs — it was designated as such in 2019 — and the airline was aggressively growing there leading up to March 2020. The pandemic stymied Delta's growth plan, but now that the recovery is underway, the airline's boosting Boston once again.

“We’re really just pulling that old playbook back out to continue to reestablish the footprint that this building was designed for,” Henry Kuykendall, Delta’s senior vice president of East Coast airport operations, told TPG at Logan Airport in mid-May. “Boston was one of our fastest-growing hubs.”

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Delta plans to hire about 200 customer service and below-wing employees at Logan, Kuykendhall said — on top of all of the employees previously on voluntary leaves or furloughs during the pandemic, who have already been recalled.

Though Delta is pulling out its pre-pandemic playbook in Boston, the airline is going to face some competitive headwinds with its latest expansion.

In July 2020, American Airlines and JetBlue upended the competitive status-quo with their new Northeast Alliance, which is focused on building connectivity in both New York and Boston.

Since then, the two carriers have launched a slew of new routes, additional frequencies and enhanced schedule coordination in both markets, much of which goes up against Delta's existing foothold there.

Just this year, Delta has retaliated against American and JetBlue by adding more lie-flat seats on the premium Boston to Los Angeles transcon hop, as well as announcing four new Boston and New York routes.

Now, Delta's bringing the competition to the Caribbean. How it'll fare is anyone's guess, but the heat is on.

Featured image 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.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
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  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023