JetBlue considers premium amenities for Boston ‘shuttle’ routes

Sep 24, 2019

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.

JetBlue Airways could soon offer free beer and wine on its Boston flights that overlap with competitors’ shuttle routes, part of the company’s effort to compete for lucrative business travelers.

The New York-based carrier is considering offering select premium amenities on high-frequency routes between Boston Logan (BOS) and New York, Philadelphia (PHL) and Washington National (DCA), JetBlue director of route planning Andrea Lusso told TPG at the World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia, on Tuesday. Possible offerings include free same-day changes, coffee at the gate, and beer and wine onboard.

Lusso expects a decision on any possible added amenities on shuttle flights in the next few months, he said.

Related: JetBlue ‘Committed’ to Boston Even as Delta Encroaches

Premium amenities are a legacy offering on shuttle routes in the Northeast. That dates to the days of the Eastern Shuttle, which would keep spare aircraft on the ground at Boston, New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Washington to add a section if more passengers showed up for one of the hourly flights than there were seats.

JetBlue does not market specifically brand any of its routes as “shuttle” service, but it does have several high-frequency routes that go head-to-head with competitors — including the popular shuttle service on two of its rivals.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which operate the two shuttles today, continue to offer free beer and wine on flights. The latter also offers complimentary coffee at the gate and “enhanced snacks” onboard.

This summer, JetBlue boosted frequencies to hourly or near-hourly service from Logan to the three New York airports — John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia and Newark Liberty (EWR) — and Washington National.

Lusso described the Boston-Washington route as among JetBlue’s “best markets” in terms of financial performance.

The carrier added an eighth weekday flight between Boston and Philadelphia earlier in September, according to Diio by Cirium schedules.

JetBlue faces what Lusso described as “changing competitive dynamics” in Boston. Delta Air Lines upgraded the city to a hub in June and airline is now marketing its aim to be the city’s “number one global carrier.” In keeping with its global ambitions, the SkyTeam Alliance member will add flights to London Gatwick (LGW) and Rome (FCO) from Boston next year.

Related: Can Delta and JetBlue Make Boston the Next Dual-Hub City?

“Boston is actually very well positioned geographically to be a connecting point for US passengers going transatlantic. As we’re getting to kind of our maximum capacity at [New York] JFK, using Boston as a secondary transatlantic gateway makes a lot of sense,” Delta managing director of domestic network planning Amy Martin said in June.

JetBlue is not backing down from the fight. The airline’s president Joanna Geraghty said in July that JetBlue was “committed to winning Boston,” citing the added frequencies to cities like New York and Washington, as well as plans to begin flights to London in 2021.

Featured image courtesy of JetBlue.

Related: Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the latest news and frequent-flyer info delivered right to your in-box

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME 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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.