Eastern Airlines adds new route to Mexico, will go up against United

Aug 17, 2020

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.

United or Eastern?

That decision only sounds like a throwback to the 1980s. Instead, it will be the choice for New Yorkers looking for nonstop flights to Los Cabos, Mexico, this winter.

Eastern Airlines plans to enter the market later this year, adding two nonstop flights a week connecting New York JFK to the beach resort on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

Eastern’s website says flights are scheduled to begin Aug. 29, though its booking engine doesn’t list any flights for sale on the route until Nov. 14. Whenever the flights begin — assuming they do — the carrier plans one flight each Wednesday and Sunday on Boeing 767 aircraft.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news

Eastern would go up against one of New York’s biggest carriers on the route: United. The Star Alliance carrier is scheduled to begin seasonal nonstop service to Los Cabos (SJD) on Oct. 3, operating up to two flights on Saturdays and an additional one on Sundays. United will use Boeing 737-800 aircraft for the flights, according to its current schedule.

As for Eastern, its name harkens back to an iconic brand that was once one of America’s biggest carriers. But that company went bust in 1991, abruptly halting flights after several years of labor rancor and rising discount competition.

The new Eastern is “Eastern” in name only, and it’s not even the first reboot. That came in 2015 with outfit that bought the rights to the name and launched charter operations and a logo that mimicked the original. That carrier halted flying in 2017.

Review: I flew the new Eastern Airlines inaugural flight. Here’s why I won’t fly them again.

The latest began flying in 2020 after charter outfit Dynamic Airways became the latest to acquire the naming rights as part of its effort to grow its regularly scheduled commercial schedule. But little about the latest outfit mirrors the original or the reboot. For starters, it’s “Eastern Airlines” – not “Eastern Air Lines.”

And the iconic blue color scheme and logo is out in favor of multi-hued blue and yellow palette.

Trade the narrowbody planes you're used to flying on for our fleet of all wide-body aircraft. This means more headspace, bigger lavatories and more distance available onboard. ???????? #goeasternair

Posted by Eastern Airlines on Thursday, August 13, 2020

TPG reporter Victoria Walker flew on one of the carrier’s first flights – from New York JFK to Guyana – writing a review that warned readers: “If you’re expecting to read a nostalgic story, waxing poetic about the new and improved Eastern Airlines, you won’t find that in this piece.”

The fledgling airline has so far served out-of-the-way international destinations that offer little competition. From New York JFK, its pre-pandemic schedule included service to Georgetown, Guyana; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

They’re back! Eastern Air Lines is returning, again. Will it last?

Now, Los Cabos would become Eastern’s first destination in Mexico.

Eastern’s website touts fares as low as $199 round trip, though fares appear to shoot up to more than $600 for travel from late December and into early 2021.

United’s fares begin at about $500 in the fall for basic economy and increase to about $650 – also in basic economy – in January. Tickets in first class – something customers won’t find on Eastern – run from about $1,000 and up.

For United frequent flyers, United’s website showed one-way award tickets from 17,500 miles in economy or 68,500 miles in business for mid-January.

This screenshot from Aug. 17, 2020, shows United award availability from Newark to Los Cabos. (Screenshot courtesy of United Airlines)

Featured image: Victoria Walker, TPG



Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, 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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.