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The hottest new airline route of 2021 draws a ton of speculation

March 17, 2021
3 min read
The hottest new airline route of 2021 draws a ton of speculation
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It's no secret that JetBlue plans to hop the pond later this year.

In April 2019, the New York-based carrier announced plans to fly to London in 2021, marking the first-ever transatlantic service for the primarily domestic carrier. Despite the pandemic, JetBlue's pushing forward with its long-haul ambitions, but a big question remains: which London airport will the carrier fly to?

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Some eagle-eyed observers think they might've found the answer.

On Tuesday, JetBlue's website began listing London-Heathrow (LHR) under the "best fare finder" search menu, as originally pointed out by DELTA777 on the airliners.net forum.

Aviation enthusiasts on Twitter, including user Ishrion Aviation, found even more clues that an LHR announcement might be imminent. The carrier's mobile app updated LHR to a JetBlue-operated city. The route-map also showed that JetBlue served Heathrow, and a search of LHR schedules even turned up two flights, JetBlue 1407 and JetBlue 1408, a round-trip from JFK to London's busiest airport.

Yet, according to JetBlue, this is just routine IT testing on multiple London-area airports. There's no telling yet which one(s) the carrier might serve.

In a statement, JetBlue offered that,

As part of periodic IT testing it is possible for certain cities or routes to temporarily appear on jetblue.com or on our app. These brief displays – which today included multiple London airports – are not necessarily indicative of planned JetBlue service or forthcoming announcements.
JetBlue has applied for multiple slots at various London airports and remains committed to launching service in 2021. We continue to review opportunities available to us and will share more details as this process advances.

Getting slots at London's most desirable airport has proven challenging for JetBlue. The carrier recently filed a complaint with the Department of Transporation, in which it mentions "slot uncertainty in the U.K." is causing the airline to be "locked out" of London airports.

JetBlue's new Mint biz (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Related: Everything you need to know about London's 6 airports

In November, JetBlue secured 14 of the 28 slots it requested at Gatwick (LGW), which is enough for the airline to fly one daily service between London and one of its East Coast hub cities of New York (JFK) or Boston (BOS).

At London Stansted (STN), meanwhile, the airline secured all of the 28 slots that it requested, which are enough to fly two daily return flights between the airport and one of its East Coast hubs.

JetBlue did not receive any Heathrow slots.

Related: The new gold standard: JetBlue’s spiffy Mint Studio, with the largest bed in biz

Either way, with the second quarter of 2021 just around the corner, JetBlue is likely gearing up to share more details on its upcoming London service.

We already know that the carrier plans to fly from both JFK and BOS, using a new Airbus A321LR. In fact, TPG recently got a first-look tour of the new Mint business-class cabin that'll debut on the carrier's latest jet.

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
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
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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
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Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 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

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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

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