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JetBlue adds Steamboat-NYC flights as Colorado ski town's pandemic connections keep growing

Aug. 20, 2020
3 min read
JetBlue adds Steamboat-NYC flights as Colorado ski town's pandemic connections keep growing
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There seems to be something in the snow in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

JetBlue Airways plans to connect the ski town with New York this winter, joining Southwest Airlines in adding flights to Steamboat Springs (HDN) during the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York-based carrier will offer up to twice-weekly service between New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Steamboat beginning Dec. 19, JetBlue said Thursday. Flights will operate with Airbus A320 jets through March 27, 2021.

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Seats are on sale for the New York-Steamboat route on JetBlue's website. Fares start as low as $407 one-way in December.

The new route complements JetBlue's existing seasonal service between Steamboat and both Boston (BOS) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Both routes are due to resume this winter.

Nestled in the Yampa Valley in northwest Colorado, Steamboat is known for its winter delights. It boasts an eponymous ski resort with more than 150 downhill trails and 18 lifts, multiple other outdoor winter attractions plus a town with shopping and dining options.

The city has even trademarked the self-proclaimed nickname "Ski Town USA."

Related: JetBlue says flyers want empty middle seats, international flights coming to LAX

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Steamboat has long had year-round air service to Denver (DEN), which United Airlines continues today. In addition, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue offer seasonal nonstop flights from cities ranging from Atlanta (ATL) to Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle (SEA).

Southwest plans to join the pack in Steamboat this winter. The low-cost carrier will offer three daily flights to Denver plus weekend service to its home base at Dallas Love Field (DAL) from December through April 2021.

The new service on both JetBlue and Southwest comes as airlines say travelers increasingly are looking to fly to places with outdoor space — destinations with beaches — or, as in Steamboat's case — mountains.

Related: Southwest unveils Steamboat Springs routes, adds new destination during pandemic

But traveler interest in the outdoors is not the only reason airlines are going to Steamboat. The airport also offers considerable financial incentives for new service, several advisors who help airports land new flights told TPG. Incentives can include anything from waiving landing fees to offering a minimum-revenue guarantee that would pay for any losses incurred on a new route.

Even with the added flights, both JetBlue and Southwest plan to fly significantly less this winter than they did last year. In July, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the company anticipates being a 25% smaller in December than during the same month in 2019.

JetBlue's new New York JFK service will compete with a seasonal flight to Newark (EWR) on United, Cirium schedules show.

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

Featured image by Getty Images

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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.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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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
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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees