JetBlue hasn’t even been in London for a year, but the nimble airline has already made quite a splash. First, it was the unveiling of new dining concepts for economy with food that might actually be worth eating. Then, the airline showcased its new ‘Mint’ business class, which brings an incredibly fresh approach to the scene.
And now, JetBlue is making serious waves by securing more coveted slots at London Heathrow. In a fierce competition, the airline came out victors and will soon be able to launch Boston flights from their new transatlantic home base in London.
It’s great news for passengers, potentially not such great news for competitors and with a summer of revenge travel ahead, there’s a lot to unpack!
JetBlue Secures Heathrow – Boston Slots
JetBlue now holds a total of 426 slots in London, spread across both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. The new Gatwick slots are enough to operate a new Boston service, and regulatory filings suggest that may begin from July 19th.
With all Covid-19 restrictions dropped in the UK, including the removal of all tests, forms and proof of vaccination to enter the country, travel has picked up recently at a fever pitch. Maybe a poor choice of words?
Anyway, travel is hot right now, people are flying again, businesses are putting people back in the air and Boston has been an underserved London market. JetBlue made an instant splash on flights between London and New York, introducing competitive fares in every cabin and now all indications suggest it will fix its sights on Boston.
Business class between London and New York has steadily been as low as £1200 on JetBlue round trip, which once was nothing to marvel at, but now certainly is. Airlines are trying to capitalize on demand and lost time with aggressive fares, but JetBlue has kept prices in check as the upstart in the city.
And that’s always been the plan. JetBlue entered the London market with the thesis that “lazy” incumbents were charging exorbitant premiums for shrinking service levels and there was still money to be made at lower levels.
With agreements for onward flights on air partners, JetBlue will be able to offer one stops to many key European cities as well, particularly the lucrative Boston to Ireland market.
Great News For Passengers
An upstart in any market is always going to shake things up. JetBlue’s dining concept for economy and business class became an instant hit when flights launched between New York and London. The low fares always help, too.
With JetBlue overwhelmingly expected to add service between Boston and London Gatwick this summer, a much needed ice bath for these record hot fares may be on the way. It may be just the price break people need.
Of course, new flights bring new schedule choices too, with more opportunity to travel when desired. JetBlue hasn’t officially said anything yet, but this new slot allocation is a huge step, as is the indication in the filings that a service will start circa July 19th.
London calling, Boston?
This is a really good business move by JetBlue I think. Here is a recent and really good and entertaining review of that product. https://youtu.be/WuTflXUsk5Q
JetBlue is an awful airline operationally.
I would rather fly on spirit or something awful, than JetBlue
What data do you have to support that sentiment? Where does it rank in on time performance compared to Spirit, etc? Anecdotes aren’t always wrong, and JetBlue hasn’t been as operationally reliable as Delta, but if you’re going to make big statements, it’s good to have a resource to point to.
Here in BOS, JetBlue’s pricing seems to match everyone else’s pricing. There may be some good deals out there, but usually they are good deals for a reason, not best for most peoples schedules.
Just doing a quick search (business)NYC -LON, JetBlue is right in line with everyone else. Yes, you can find some good fares, if you look way out and on mid weeks, which Virgin matches ( I have been the recipient of great fares due to JetBlue getting into a market), but over time their fares go up to meet the others. Again, not saying they don’t have good fairs some times. I do love their product, but due to status, I can get an upgrade and use a lounge, but not with JetBlue on domestic travel, and if things go south operationally, especially if I am with my family, I can usually get a quick resolution.
Yes, MINT is great. But if the ticket price is the same I will stick with Virgin (Skyteam). I get two great lounges ( JFK and LHR) and a very good arrivals lounge at LHR.
I am not bashing them or crowing about who I fly, just pointing out what I see and experience. I had a great MINT flight LAX – BOS a few years ago with my daughter, but the flight fit the schedule and was cheaper because it was a new route.
Agree. They were cheap when I checked 6 months ago, but now I see them at exactly the same price as Virgin for flights 6 months from now. Much more expensive than United on dates I checked, with less valuable miles and zero lounge perks etc. Virgin actually treat you well from the moment you arrive at the airport, and to departing the destination if it’s the cute arrivals lounge at LHR. I’d certainly try for a great fare, but not for the same price.
This isn’t as simple as it looks. Are they all “matching” or is it that the prices set by JetBlue were matched by the others, rather than the other way around? It’s possible in both directions, but it’s hard to know who is driving fares on the face of it.
I was expecting JetBlue to provide a cheaper for Lon-NYC or NYC-Lon but they are rarely cheaper than the legacy carriers….Also, they don’t sell many connecting markets through NYC when you buy the ticket from London, so Jetblue really was not as good as I expected
Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines is still waiting on the Max 7 certification, doesn’t fly to Europe, South America and has a very small presence in the Caribbean. They still have no business class or assigned seats. Yet, it’s fast approaching its 51 birthday. Bob Jordan, acquire JetBlue and keep their product.
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