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JetBlue consolidating flights in New York, Los Angeles and 3 more big cities

April 08, 2020
6 min read
JetBlue consolidating flights in New York, Los Angeles and 3 more big cities
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JetBlue Airways will consolidate flights to just one or two airports in five of the nation's largest metro areas, including New York, Los Angeles and Washington. The changes are part of the company's latest response to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The New York-based carrier will suspend flights to select airports in the Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, areas that are served by several commercial airports from April 15 to June 10, JetBlue said Wednesday. The consolidation comes as the airline plans to reduce capacity by 80% in April, 10 percentage points more than previously disclosed.

JetBlue will consolidate service in the following areas with planned departure levels in April:

  • Boston: 28 departures from Boston Logan (BOS), suspending Providence (PVD).
  • Los Angeles: five departures from Long Beach (LGB) and Los Angeles (LAX), suspending Burbank (BUR) and Ontario (ONT).
  • New York: 30 departures from Newark Liberty (EWR) and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), suspending Newburgh (SWF), New York LaGuardia (LGA) and White Plains (HPN).
  • San Francisco: two departures from San Francisco (SFO), suspending San Jose (SJC).
  • Washington: five departures from Washington Reagan National (DCA), suspending Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

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JetBlue's plans to consolidate service in the five regions was first reported by PaxEx.Aero.

The suspensions are designed to meet requirements for the funds from federal coronavirus relief bill — formally the CARES Act funds — that JetBlue applied for on April 3. The guidelines require airlines to continue service to all destinations in their network deemed reasonable by the Department of Transportation. However, they allow carriers to consolidate flights to one airport in designated metro areas with several airports.

Airlines are getting creative in how they continue flights to all of their destinations. Alaska Airlines is consolidating service to 12 cities by ending nonstop flights between Seattle (SEA) and six cities and "tagging" them on to existing service to six other cities. American Airlines is suspending many routes to its nine domestic hubs and consolidating service at its two largest bases in Charlotte (CLT) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).

However, more airlines are expected to follow JetBlue's lead in consolidating flights to just one or two airports in regions served by several gateways as the number of travelers flying in the U.S. continue to drop on a daily basis.

Related: JetBlue backtracks on its strict schedule change policy

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened just 97,130 passengers at airports across the U.S. on April 7. That is less than 5% of the number of travelers screened a year ago, and possibly the first time in the agency's history the number has fallen below 100,000.

"[This] is the biggest crisis we have ever had in front of us," International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Alexandre de Juniac said of the impact of the crisis on the world's airlines on April 7.

The organization has warned that, without government support, half of the world's airlines could collapse or merge with others. In the U.S., regionals Compass Airlines and Trans States Airlines will or have shut their doors, and RavnAir in Alaska has shut down with hopes of resuming flights under bankruptcy protection.

It is an open question whether JetBlue, or any other carrier that consolidates flights to one or two airports in large U.S. cities, will ever return to their previous service levels. Airlines will be smaller when they rebuild post-COVID-19 with the number of flights on busy routes likely the first casualty, but industry experts anticipate each carrier to carefully evaluate what routes and destinations to resume.

Related: How will airlines rebuild their route maps after the coronavirus?

Featured image by AFP/Getty Images

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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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    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