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.
Delta giveth, and Delta taketh away. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate — it’s John Wayne Airport doing the taking — but it’s a loss for New Yorkers regardless. In May of this year, Delta made a fairly big deal about a new route between New York (JFK) and Orange County (SNA). When announced, it was set to become the only nonstop from New York-JFK to John Wayne Airport, enabling those in the Big Apple to fly direct to Disneyland (or an Anaheim Ducks game, if that’s more your style).
That flight did indeed commence as scheduled on Oct. 15, 2018, but it’ll be no more in under three months total. TPG Managing Editor Alberto Riva set out to book a seat on this flight next year, but noticed that it wasn’t popping up anywhere after early January. The route was intriguing for many reasons, including the fact that at nearly 2,500 miles, it was one of the — if not the — longest Boeing 737-700 routes in the lower 48. (United’s nonstop EWR-SNA flight checks in a few miles shorter.)
When TPG reached out to Delta for comment, the answer was revealed: “Delta has made the tough decision to end service between its New York-JFK hub and John Wayne Orange County Airport effective Jan. 5, 2019 due to slot allocation awards from John Wayne Orange County Airport. Delta was awarded one fewer slot in 2019 than in 2018. While disappointed with this outcome, Delta will continue to explore future opportunities to offer the service going forward.”
It’s a bummer for all involved, particularly given that Delta has recently doubled-down on its nonstop routes into the LA basin. It’s also a reminder that commercial flight mapping is complex, and when airports shuffle slot allotments things like this can happen.
If you’re a Delta loyalist who has already flown all of its longest and shortest flights, you’ve but a few weeks to book a seat on what will no doubt become one of the shortest running DL nonstops of all time. One-way award seats are pricing out as low as 14,500 SkyMiles (and as high as 53,000) for the remaining dates, while cash rates start at around $180 for basic economy.
Once the flight is relegated to a memory, you’ll likely find yourself jockeying for position on one of Delta’s many JFK-LAX nonstops. Or, taking the leisurely route to Palm Springs (PSP), Ontario (ONT) or Long Beach (LGB) with a connection in between.
Featured image at JFK by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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