JetBlue begins flying new “tag” routes in order to comply with CARES Act

Apr 25, 2020

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.

Call it a sign of the times.

As a condition of receiving federal money under the CARES Act, airlines must maintain “a minimum level of service” between city pairs that were served before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, reducing the demand for air travel to practically nothing.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

JetBlue, instead of maintaining nonstop service between its major hubs and other cities on its route map, will fly flights with “tag” segments connecting the origin to the final destination, according to Paxex.Aero. This means that flyers will have the opportunity to fly routes that did not exist on the carrier’s pre-coronavirus route map.

For example, instead of flying separate nonstop flights between New York-JFK and Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and Minneapolis (MSP), JetBlue will temporarily fly JFK-ORD-MSP. This way, it can (try to) combat the almost complete lack of demand, reduce costs for the airline and satisfy the criteria spelled out in the CARES Act.

Some of the other routes with “tag” segments include:

  • Boston (BOS) – Denver (DEN) – Albuquerque (ABQ)
  • Boston – New Orleans (MSY) – Houston (IAH)
  • Boston – Las Vegas (LAS) – San Diego (SAN)
  • Boston – Seattle (SEA) – Portland (PDX)
  • Long Beach (LGB) – Palm Springs (PSP) – New York-JFK
  • Long Beach – Salt Lake City (SLC) – Bozeman (BZN)
  • New York-JFK – Denver – Albuquerque
  • New York-JFK – New Orleans – Houston
  • New York-JFK – Las Vegas – San Diego
  • New York-JFK – Seattle – Portland
  • New York-JFK – San Francisco (SFO) – Sacramento (SMF)
  • New York-JFK – Orlando (MCO) – Sarasota (SRQ)
Screenshot via gcmap.com

Some of the transcontinental premium routes like BOS-LAS, JFK-LAS and JFK-SFO will maintain the airline’s lauded Mint service up front, but when those aircraft continue on their “tag” segments, there won’t be Mint service.

Bottom line

From a purely AvGeek perspective, it’s interesting to see JetBlue piece together these routes, and there are certainly some routes (looking at you, Denver-Albuquerque) that we’d love to fly if we weren’t still in the middle of a global pandemic.

However, the reality of these new routings is that they underpin an airline — in fact an entire industry — that’s in survival mode. Getting around the country isn’t going to be as convenient or as quick as it was before the US began to shelter in place, and it’s certainly logical that airlines are beginning to approach their route maps this way to guarantee service while minimizing cost during a time where every carrier is burning cash at a rate that was almost unfathomable before.

Featured photo by Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.