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Is JetBlue about to launch its long-awaited London-Boston route?

March 28, 2022
3 min read
Is JetBlue about to launch its long-awaited London-Boston route?
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JetBlue has snatched yet more slots from under the noses of other transatlantic carriers, this time at London Gatwick Airport (LGW).

The airline landed on the U.K. travel scene last year with a bang, snapping up 310 of Heathrow’s most coveted and valuable runway slots to New York. In fact, TPG was on the first flight.

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This latest land grab of 116 air traffic slots — revealed in the company’s latest regulatory filings — is fueling speculation of a new low-cost route between London’s second busiest airport and Boston. According to the filings, the slots will begin around July 19.

The airline's elusive London-Boston route was originally slated to launch in 2021, as reported by TPG way back in 2019. We all know what happened next. Several lockdowns — and airport reopenings, including Gatwick — later, the signs are looking good for JetBlue to make good on its long-delayed plans.

The news comes a week after JetBlue leased 14 Heathrow slots a week from Qatar Airways for the summer season, allowing for a daily departure to either John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

“JetBlue continues to pursue multiple paths for slots at London airports,” an airline spokesperson told TTG Media Ltd. “Those discussions are continuing and we are excited to grow our transatlantic service in 2022.”


Related: Watch TPG fly JetBlue two ways


The move is part of a wider power play by the airline for a share of the U.K.’s air travel market and coincides with the launch of the carrier's first-ever U.K.-focused ad campaign, under the tagline "Sky-high experiences. Down-to-earth fares."

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Related: Aer Lingus relaunches flights to NYC and Boston from Shannon for first time in two years

The new ad promotes a range of selling points including unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi, what it claims is the longest economy-class legroom and "build-your-own" meals on its transatlantic flights.

“We’re great, Britain,” trumpets one advertisement, as balloons spelling the sentence trundle past a plane at sunset on baggage handling trolleys.

“We have disrupted the domestic airline category here in the U.S. for over 22 years… and it was really important that we introduced ourselves to the U.K. in this way with our new campaign,” said Jayne O’Brien, head of marketing, product and loyalty.

Related: 8 tips and tricks for finding a great travel deal

Launched in 2000, JetBlue has become something of a tycoon in the British air-travel stakes, now holding a total of 426 London slots.

“No one believed that a start-up airline in 2000 could survive 20 months, much less 20 years,” chief executive Robin Hayes said in 2020 on the company’s 20th anniversary. “But JetBlue proved that taking care of people and bringing low fares to the market could not only be a viable business model but could also completely disrupt an industry. Others have tried to imitate JetBlue, but no one has ever successfully copied our 23,000 crew members and the incredible culture that they’ve built.”

Hayes continued: “JetBlue’s role in the industry is more important than ever. As the large airlines have consolidated and grown more powerful, and the ultra-low-cost carriers ushered in the no-frills flying, customers are turning to JetBlue for our high-quality service and affordable fares -- definitely a unique combination in the industry today.”

Featured image by Image courtesy of JetBlue
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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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