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JetBlue service to Baltimore, some California airports now suspended until April

Sept. 28, 2020
4 min read
JetBlue plane on the runway
JetBlue service to Baltimore, some California airports now suspended until April
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JetBlue Airways has been on a tear adding new routes, including some in unusual places, during the coronavirus pandemic. But it's not all good news for the country's sixth-largest airline.

The New York-based carrier will not resume flights to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Burbank (BUR) or Ontario, California (ONT) until at least April 2021, each airport confirmed to TPG. In addition, PaxEx.Aero has reported that flights to San Jose, California (SJC), will also not come back until next April and that flights to Newburgh (SWF) near New York City and Worcester (ORH) near Boston are suspended indefinitely.

The suspensions come as executives at American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines all say service cuts are likely without additional federal aid. The three carriers, as well as JetBlue, are all pushing for an 11th-hour extension of the payroll support program for airline employees that expires this Thursday, Oct. 1.

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"We need Congress to do their job," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes told reporters on the extension effort outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 22. "Our crewmembers sit there and say 'if we did our job, why can't they do their job?'"

Hayes did not comment on potential service cuts without additional federal relief.

With or without aid, JetBlue has had to shrink to match the number of people flying today. The airline only plans to fly about half of what it flew a year ago in October, according to Cirium schedules.

These schedule cuts come as data from trade group Airlines for America (A4A) shows the number of flyers on U.S. domestic flights stood at just over a third of the number who flew a year ago during the week ending Sept. 20.

Related: American, United say flights to small cities are at risk unless Congress extends payroll program

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JetBlue's suspensions hit both large and small airports. The only apparent connection is that they are all in large metropolitan regions with multiple airports. For example in Southern California, it is adding flights at its new Los Angeles (LAX) base while Burbank and Ontario remain suspended. The airline will end service to Long Beach (LGB) in October.

The moves beg the question of when a "suspension" becomes a "cancellation." At BWI, as Baltimore/Washington is known locally, JetBlue will not operate a flight for nearly a year, having suspended service to Boston Logan (BOS) on April 15, Cirium schedules show.

BWI spokesperson Jonathan Dean told TPG that the airport looks forward to "continuing" its relationship with JetBlue when asked when the airport would consider the suspension a cancellation. He added that the airline's sole route, Baltimore-Boston, is popular with business travelers that have yet to return to flying in any significant number.

Related: JetBlue wants to be No. 1 in Connecticut; adds Hartford routes to California, Las Vegas and Mexico

Baltimore/Washington is the busiest airport in the greater Washington region, which also is home to Washington Reagan National (DCA) near downtown and farther Washington Dulles (IAD). Since the pandemic began, BWI has expanded its lead to roughly half of the market compared to just over a third before the crisis.

JetBlue has added or unveiled dozens of new routes since the pandemic began. Almost all of them cater to holidaygoers by connecting to destinations with outdoor attractions, like beaches, mountains and national parks. Leisure travelers are among the only people flying amid continuing concerns of COVID-19.

Even with additional federal aid, JetBlue could keep suspensions in place at all of the airports except Worcester. The U.S. Department of Transportation allows airlines to suspend flights to select airports in multi-airport regions — including the Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington areas — under the air service rules. Worcester, though it is only about 50 miles from central Boston, is not considered part of the Greater Boston area under the regulator's definition.

A JetBlue spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Related: JetBlue to open LAX base, end flights to Long Beach in West Coast realignment

Featured image by (Photo by CarterAerial/Shutterstock)

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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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    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