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

Aug. 17, 2020
4 min read
Eastern Airlines adds new route to Mexico, will go up against United
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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.

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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.

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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.

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 by (Photo by Victoria Walker/The Points Guy)

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
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    $250
  • 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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees