JetBlue Will Up Schedule To Cope With Holiday Demand

JetBlue is laying on more flights ahead of the busy Thanksgiving travel season. The airline is adding 25 additional flights from the New York area to Florida, California, and the Caribbean. The airline is expecting a busy Thanksgiving season.

JetBlue, Bookings, TSA Passengers
JetBlue is adding more flights this Thanksgiving: Getty Images

JetBlue’s additional Thanksgiving flights

The airline announced that it is expanding service from New York City over the peak Thanksgiving travel weekend. The airline is adding on more nonstop flights to target point-to-point travel from New York, Newark, and Westchester County airports.

For additional flights, the airline is increasing flights to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa, while also increasing frequencies in popular visiting family and relatives (VFR) markets like Port-au-Prince, San Juan, Santiago, and Santo Domingo in the Caribbean. As if that was not all, JetBlue is adding more flights on “high-demand transcontinental routes” to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

JetBlue American Getty
Thanksgiving will see more transcontinental routes to places like Los Angeles from New York on JetBlue. Photo: Getty Images

The additional 25 flights will operate between November 25th and November 30th. These temporary routes will add capacity where JetBlue sees it. The full list of Thanksgiving holiday demand routes include:

  • New York City (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX)
  • New York City (JFK) to Port-au-Prince (PAP)
  • New York City (JFK) to Santo Domingo (SDQ)
  • New York City (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO)
  • New York City (JFK) to San Juan (SJU)
  • New York City (JFK) to Santiago (STI)
  • Newark (EWR) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Newark (EWR) to Orlando (MCO)
  • Newark (EWR) to Fort Myers (RSW)
  • Newark (EWR) to Tampa (TPA)
  • Westchester County (HPN) to Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Westchester County (HPN) to Orlando (MCO)

Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning at JetBlue, stated the following:

“As we head toward the holidays, we’re seeing signs of strong demand in certain markets. To help get more customers to their destinations and capture more revenue during this important time of year, we are adding additional flights over Thanksgiving weekend.”

These additional flights are on top of the plethora of routes JetBlue has already announced this year. These include flights to ski destinations, sun destinations, leisure transcontinental routes, and precede JetBlue’s flights to Guyana.

JetBlue A320 take-off
JetBlue is not holding back when it comes to searching for revenue. Photo: Getty Images

Growing demand

All of these markets are places where JetBlue anticipates increasing demand for leisure travel over the Thanksgiving holiday. This is not a typical Thanksgiving holiday season, so JetBlue has to get creative.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a very heavy holiday for airline travel in the United States. However, with travel demand severely reduced amid the global health crisis and a choppy recovery, JetBlue has to search elsewhere for revenue.

Jetblue layoffs
After parking many aircraft, JetBlue is now putting as many of them to use flying new routes in a bid to get revenue wherever it can. Photo: Getty Images

Some hope for these routes

New York used to have a pretty exhaustive list of states, countries, and territories from where, if a person is coming, they would have to quarantine in New York on arrival. Just a few days ago, New York changed its quarantine policy to exempt passengers from a quarantine requirement if they arrive in New York with a negative test result three days prior to departure and, on day four, after arrival and quarantine, they take another test.

If both tests come back negative, once the passenger receives the second negative test, they are free from the quarantine requirement. However, this does not apply to passengers who were in another state for less than 24 hours.

New York’s new testing requirements will make travel more accessible. Photo: Getty Images

As such, this gives JetBlue a good shot at making these routes work. The airline is searching for revenue where possible to stem the losses and turn back to profitability.

Some of these routes may also then be good options for JetBlue to run in the future if they work out well this year. Imagine, if in a pretty rough year some of these routes do quite well, how it could turn out for the carrier in a traditionally strong travel year. If these work out with larger aircraft during the holiday period, but JetBlue thinks there might not be that much demand outside of the holiday season, then some of the new frequencies could exist permanently, or at least seasonally, with smaller planes like the Airbus A220.

Are you glad to see JetBlue adding new frequencies this Thanksgiving? Will you be taking any of these flights? Let us know in the comments!