Why JetBlue Is Moving From Houston Hobby To Houston Intercontinental

New York-based JetBlue has just announced that they will be moving Houston airports later this year starting October 27th, 2019. They will move from William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). But why?

JetBlue to move from one Houston Airport to another.Photo: JetBlue

Currently, the American low-cost airline only flies to Houston from New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

JetBlue said in their statement that any passengers who already hold a ticket to either fly into or out of William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) can change the ticket to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) free of charge. Alternatively, if George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is too inconvenient for them, they can cancel their ticket and receive a full refund.

Starting October 27th, 2019, the new schedule will look like this:

  • IAH – JFK Flight #1382 11:13am – 3:35pm
  • JFK – IAH Flight #1381 1pm – 4:10pm
  • IAH – BOS Flight #1932 4:55pm – 9:32pm
  • BOS – IAH Flight #1931 7:00am – 10:13am

In their statement announcing the move, released on the 27th of June, JetBlue made no mention of introducing any new routes from their new Houston base at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

So why the move?

Looking at the move from the point of view of someone who does not live in Houston, it makes sense in so many ways.

JetBlue flies from Houston to New York JFK and Boston. Photo: JetBlue

Houston has a population of around six million residents spread over an area roughly the size of the state of New Jersey. This means that when it comes to choosing an airport, nine times out of ten, they will pick the airport that is closer to where they live. The one time they will not do that is if they are traveling internationally, or flying on Southwest Airlines.

For JetBlue, the move is all to do with what George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) has, and what William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) hasn’t. In the statement they said,

“Recognizing the needs of today’s tech-savvy travelers, Bush Intercontinental is committed to providing customer-focused cutting-edge technology, like interactive visitor kiosks and fast, free WiFi and plenty of outlets and charging stations through the terminal.

“Bush Intercontinental also features a variety of local food favorites like The Breakfast Club, Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar and The Hubcap Grill, all found in Terminal A.

“The move to Bush Intercontinental is aimed at strengthening JetBlue’s relevance in New York and Boston, while also growing the carrier’s customer base in Houston, where travelers love the airline’s award-winning service and competitive fares to and from the Northeast.”

 What other advantages does IAH have over HOU?

If you are a fan of Southwest Airlines, then you have no option but to frequent William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) where the Texas-based airline has a major hub.

Houston IAH has more international flights than Hobby. Photo: jetBlue.

When it comes to facilities, IAH, as JetBlue pointed out in their statement, has fast, free WiFi and charging stations throughout the airport. IAH also beats HOU when it comes to dining and shopping options.

What JetBlue fails to mention in their statement is that IAH is where nearly all international flights to Houston arrive. By switching airports, JetBlue can now pick up passengers who are looking to connect in Houston and then travel on to either Boston or New York.

New JetBlue routes

In the same statement, JetBlue also announced that they will be starting a new non-stop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and San José, Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

JetBlue Airbus
Starting in November JetBlue will be flying JFK to Costa Rice. Photo: JetBlue.

The new service will start on November 1st with three flights per week on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday.