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JetBlue's London service just scored a big win and notable expansion

June 20, 2022
5 min read
JetBlue's London service just scored a big win and notable expansion
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JetBlue Airways is now in it for the long haul at London's busiest airport.

The New York-based carrier announced a range of updates to its transatlantic service on Monday, which includes the exciting news that the airline has secured permanent slots at London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

To date, JetBlue has been operating at Heathrow using temporary slots it received due to the demand downtown and slack in Heathrow schedules during the pandemic.

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But now, as the carrier looks to firmly establish itself in the hotly competitive market from the U.S. to London, the airline has now acquired permanent slots to operate at Heathrow.

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One slot provides an airline a landing or takeoff spot, while a slot pair is needed to operate one round-trip flight.

It wasn't immediately clear how JetBlue acquired the slots, especially considering that a slot at Heathrow can go for as much as $70 million dollars. Rumors have it that the airline picked up the slots from Moscow-based Aeroflot, after the carrier's slots were seized following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, though there's been no confirmation of that.

(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

"With permanent slots at Heathrow – the highest in-demand slots globally – we’re now positioned to provide long-term service at one of the busiest airports in the world. This is an incredible opportunity for a carrier like JetBlue as we introduce transatlantic travelers to our great fares and award-winning service," said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes in a statement.

A JetBlue spokesperson told TPG that “we obtained our permanent slot pair at Heathrow through the normal slot allocation process.”

Getting slots to operate at Heathrow paves the way for the carrier to operate service year-round without worrying about the temporary takeoff and landing permission being revoked when Heathrow's operations return (or exceed) pre-pandemic levels.

JetBlue has a multi-airport strategy for its pond-hopping ambitions, and it currently operates service to both Heathrow and Gatwick (LGW) from New York-JFK.

As part of the news, the airline unveiled plans to add a second daily flight to Gatwick beginning in the fall, with the full schedule details available below. Seats on the new flight are available to purchase as of today (June 20).

The airline also reiterated plans to commence service from Boston to London, with the first flight scheduled to take off on Aug. 5. This represents a nearly three-week delay, which the carrier recently blamed on delivery delays of new aircraft from Airbus.

In total, the carrier will operate five daily flights from the U.S. to London come the fall.

Finally, JetBlue will now offer its Mint business-class customers, Mosaic elites and Even More Space extra-legroom flyers access to priority security at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

JetBlue operates from Terminal 2 at Heathrow (the Queen's Terminal), and eligible travelers should look for the "Fast Track" signs when clearing security. Those flying from Gatwick will have access to the "Premium Security" lane at the airport's north terminal.

JetBlue is almost on its second year of crossing the pond, after first launching flights from New York to London on Aug. 11, 2021. The airline deploys the Airbus A321LR, or "long-range," on its transatlantic flights.

The jet is outfitted with two Mint Studios, 22 Mint suites and 114 economy seats, 24 of which are in an extra-legroom Even More Space configuration.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

JetBlue has stated that it aims to "reinvent" transatlantic travel with the launch of its London flights. The airline says that it wants to lower fares in the market, especially in the business-class cabin, where legacy carriers usually charge thousands of dollars. The airline also offers an upgraded onboard product in all cabins, which includes create-your-own meals, unique amenities and walk-up snack bars.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

London is only the beginning of JetBlue's transatlantic ambitions. The carrier has said that it wants to expand beyond London in the coming years, possibly to cities like Paris and Amsterdam. For now, though, the airline can call London Heathrow one of its permanent homes.

RouteOutboundReturnService schedule
JFK-LHRFlight #007 9:05 p.m. – 9:30 a.m. (+1)Flight #20 10:45 a.m. – 2:05 p.m.Existing service
JFK-LGWFlight #43 7:47 p.m. – 8:16 a.m. (+1)Flight #44 12:00 p.m. – 3:04 p.m.Existing service
JFK-LGWFlight #3 9:59 p.m. – 10:22 a.m. (+1)Flight #4 2:00 p.m. – 5:05 p.m.Begins Oct. 29
BOS-LGWFlight #2104 6:37 p.m. – 6:35 a.m. (+1)Flight #1926 12:15 p.m. – 3:02 p.m.Begins Aug. 4
BOS-LHRFlight #1620 6:45 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. (+1)Flight #1621 8:25 a.m. – 11:21 a.m.Begins Sept. 20
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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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • 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.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases