Breeze Airways is the much anticipated airline startup in the United States. The guy behind the airline is David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue. Breeze has been in the works for a long time now, and the airline is finally becoming a reality, despite the pandemic.
Breeze Airways has officially launched, and flights are now on sale (starting at $39 one-way). Let’s take a look at the details of this intriguing airline.
Breeze’s unique route network
Breeze is a leisure airline that will primarily operate point-to-point routes in underserved markets, and the carrier’s launch routes clearly reflect that. Breeze claims that 95% of its routes aren’t currently served nonstop by other airlines, so that’s pretty cool to see.
Breeze will initially operate 39 nonstop routes between 16 cities in the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Eastern United States. The first route will launch May 27 (yep, in less than a week), and all 39 routes will launch by July 22.
Breeze will initially have four focus cities:
- Tampa, FL
- Charleston, SC
- New Orleans, LA
- Norfolk, VA
Before we get into the details, here’s Breeze’s routemap, to give you a general sense of what to expect:
Breeze’s routes from Tampa
From Tampa, Breeze will operate routes to 10 destinations:
- Charleston, SC (starting May 27)
- Louisville, KY (starting May 28)
- Tulsa, OK (starting June 4)
- Norfolk, VA (starting June 10)
- Bentonville/Fayetteville, AR (starting June 17)
- Akron/Canton, OH (starting June 26)
- Oklahoma City, OK (starting July 1)
- Columbus, OH (starting July 3)
- Huntsville, AL (starting July 22)
- Richmond, VA (starting July 22)
Breeze’s routes from Charleston
From Charleston, Breeze will operate routes to 11 destinations:
- Hartford, CT (starting May 27)
- Tampa, FL (starting May 27)
- Louisville, KY (starting May 28)
- Norfolk, VA (starting June 10)
- Akron/Canton, OH (starting July 8)
- Columbus, OH (starting July 8)
- New Orleans, LA (starting July 8)
- Pittsburgh, PA (starting July 8)
- Richmond, VA (starting July 8)
- Huntsville, AL (starting July 15)
- Providence, RI (starting July 22)
Breeze’s routes from Norfolk
From Norfolk, Breeze will operate routes to seven destinations:
- Charleston, SC (starting June 10)
- Tampa, FL (starting June 10)
- New Orleans, LA (starting July 15)
- Columbus, OH (starting July 22)
- Hartford, CT (starting July 22)
- Pittsburgh, PA (starting July 22)
- Providence, RI (starting July 29)
Breeze’s routes from New Orleans
From New Orleans, Breeze will operate routes to 10 destinations:
- Charleston, SC (starting July 8)
- Akron/Canton, OH (starting July 15)
- Bentonville/Fayetteville, AR (starting July 15)
- Huntsville, AL (starting July 15)
- Louisville, KY (starting July 15)
- Norfolk, VA (starting July 15)
- Oklahoma, OK (starting July 15)
- Richmond, VA (starting July 15)
- Tulsa, OK (starting July 15)
- Columbus, OH (starting July 16)
Breeze Airways won’t have change fees
All Breeze Airways tickets will be flexible:
- There will be no change or cancelation fees
- Passengers can change or cancel flights up to 15 minutes before scheduled departure without penalty
- Unused ticket funds will be valid for 24 months
While most airlines in the USA have eliminated most kinds of change fees, there have generally been exceptions for basic economy. This is fantastic to see from Breeze, since the airline has very low fares that still offer flexibility.
Breeze’s fares: “Nice” & “Nicer”
Breeze’s entry level fares will be known as “Nice” fares:
- They’ll include a complimentary personal item, like a backpack or purse
- Passengers can pay extra to assign a seat or check bags
- Bags can be carried on or checked for $20 each (up to three bags) and seats can be assigned for as little as $10
Breeze’s more expensive fares will be known as “Nicer” fares:
- They’ll include a personal item, a carry-on bag, a checked bag, a complimentary drink and snack, and priority boarding
- Speaking of snacks, the onboard selection will include items from Utz and KIND
Eventually Breeze will also introduce a premium cabin (“Nicest”), but we don’t have many details on that just yet.
Breeze’s “BreezePoints” rewards program
Breeze will reward travelers with “BreezePoints.” Those booking a “Nice” fare earn BreezePoints worth 2% of their fare, while those booking a “Nicer” fare earn BreezePoints worth 4% of their fare.
Those points can be used towards future flights or ancillary products, like bags or seat assignments.
Breeze’s fleet & inflight experience
Breeze Airways will initially operate a fleet of 13 Embraer aircraft:
- 10 Embraer E-190s will be configured with 108 seats
- Three Embraer E-195s will be configured with 118 seats
- Passengers can choose from “Nice” seats (standard seats with 29-31″ of pitch) or “Nicer” seats (33-39″ of pitch)
- These Embraer aircraft are in a 2-2 configuration, so don’t have middle seats
- Breeze won’t have Wi-Fi on these planes, but will have streaming entertainment powered by Global Eagle
- These planes will operate flights that are an average of under two hours long
In the long run, the Airbus A220 will be the backbone of Breeze’s fleet:
- Breeze has ordered 60 Airbus A220s
- The first aircraft will be delivered in October 2021, and we should expect roughly one new A220 every month for the next five years
- Breeze will have inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi on these planes
- A220s will include a premium cabin, called “Nicest,” which will be in the front of the plane and in a 2-2 configuration (rather than the 2-3 configuration in economy)
- These planes will operate flights that are an average over two hours long
My take: what an awesome airline, but…
Talk about an airline startup that legitimately adds value:
- The airline primarily operates routes that other airlines don’t fly
- The fares are extremely reasonable, and there are no change fees
- Breeze’s ancillary pricing is among the lowest in the industry, like $20 for a checked bag or carry-on if your fare doesn’t include one
Breeze has really done something unique here, and I’d consider Breeze to basically be a hybrid between Allegiant and JetBlue.
As someone who lived in Tampa for much of my life, I’m thrilled to see Tampa get so much love from Breeze. But Breeze’s (hopefully) fantastic business model of connecting point-to-point routes that are underserved also gets at why I probably won’t end up flying the airline much.
Breeze won’t be flying between major cities, and unless you have a specific connection to a city pair (like, you live in Tampa and have business in Bentonville or family in Tulsa), there probably won’t be all that many opportunities to fly Breeze. I’ll definitely give Breeze a try when the airline takes delivery of A220s with first class, but I’m not sure I’ll go out of my way to fly the airline before then.
It’s fantastic to see Breeze Airways finally launching. The airline is a valuable addition to the aviation landscape, as it will primarily operate flights in markets that aren’t currently served.
Furthermore, I’m a huge fan of the carrier’s fare structure — there are no change fees, and even though Breeze is a low cost carrier, fees are very reasonable, like $20 for a checked bag or carry-on (if your fare doesn’t otherwise include it).
What do you make of Breeze Airways’ launch?
need round trip schedules from hartfotd c.t to richmond v.a from late september to early october. what is round trip cost? I have had over 20 surgeries and all my major jointsare replaced. Need seat with a little more legroom. Please reply as soon as possible?
Will you be flying out of ISP
do you have flights from columbus ohio to orlando for toward oct.
@Ken: Dan Price didn't start his company with employees minimum wage at $70k, he moved them there once he was established and he was making millions. That said: I am a fan of his regarding what he has done and some of his thinking regarding wages and employees. I didn't "read" every line of this story but didn't see the employees salary mentioned here so not sure why @J jumped to the employees would be paid less than living wages.
sat rd warrier
these are only round 1. Am sure with 60+ aircraft there will be a lot more routes to be announced at a later date. You have to walk before you run, before you sprint.
Think the E90s are temporary until the 60 x A220s arrive & am sure they'll have everything.
Vail would be great, but also plenty of other airports in Colorado, even in Denver than have very little congestion.
Hey now Lucky, San Antonio one of the country largest cities. We're only getting connections to OKC/Tulsa/Bentonville though.
I'm surprised SAT and MSY aren't linked though. Right now there's no direct flights to New Orleans on any carrier, you've got to stop at HOU/IAH/DAL/DFW.
+1 for Huntsville, important for NASA and DoD.
My wish lists include: Vail or Durango (CO), Missoula (MT), Santa Fe (NM), RDU (NC).
No wifi on E190s is a bummer. It might not be that important given E190s are used to operate shorter routes but it definitely makes them more Allegiant than Jetblue
If/when Breeze can offer direct (or 1-stop) flights between Richmond and San Antonio, they'll be cooking with gas.
Seymour ISP is probably "on the list" & might be announced next time
Their website looks pretty much like Jetblue's
Are there any plans to fly to Manchester NH in the future, from Florida
Hope they fly to some 2ndary airports in Colorado soon. Denver Int(DEN) is such a zoo & takes so long to get in & out of. Getting a rental car at DEN is a painfully slow process. I think there are actually some other airports in Denver or very close by that can take Breeze sized aircraft. Perhaps you might know ?
Denver area to west coast would also be great.
This is only stage 1. Am sure they will have more flights to more destinations in & out of Tampa down the line. They have a lot of aircraft coming into the fleet in the next 6 to 12 months or longer.
As being SAT based, I find interesting none of the routes hit the presumed focus cities. I wonder if SAT is a jumping off point for further expansion.
I'm shocked ISP didn't make the cut despite their maintenance HQ being in Islip. They don't have flights from the New York metro area.
Dan, I have two words for you: Dan Price.
@J go out and start an airline or any business for that matter. See if you can make money selling good and services at what you consider "living wages".
You want this airline to fail because of its "appalling labor structure"?? I'm 100% certain that 100% of Breeze employees who have only just signed up will disagree strongly with your opinion because then they'd be.......unemployed. Clearly, logic is not your friend.
+1 for Louisville. I don't think Ben kocked it really, he just said it's not in his travel plans. Cool town though.
Their website is really well done.
Bentonville, Arkansas. Mormon college students as flight attendants.
It's Air WalMart.
Can you load your Bluebird card and get a stack of money orders when you check-in for your flight?
Excited that Huntsville is a part of this network!
What happened to cities like PIT, ECP & BNA being some of the first like was previously reported on multiple sites in addition to CHS?
And HSV-MSY & HSV-CHS?? What kind of LF’s are they expecting?
I am so glad to see Bentonville (and Tulsa) on here! XNA can support more flight options, for sure. Southwest was planning to come before the market crash and never revived the plan, so we (mostly) are stuck with overpriced flights or driving to Tulsa. I sure hope it works out for them and that maybe they will expand.
So much for Nashville being a launch city….
I'll join the "don't knock those cities" bandwagon.
Huntsville has more to offer than you think. I had to go there for work a few years back, and I'd return for a long weekend trip if the fares were this low. They have the US Space and Rocket Center, beautiful botanical gardens, and it's home to one of the most successful "new towns" in America (Village of Providence).
Bentonville is worth it for the museum. Go for a weekend: one day for the galleries, one day for the grounds. Stay at the 21c. Eat some fried fish and hush puppies at that joint off the square.
Ben I'd rethink the visit to Bentonville. It's a great weekend destination.
I’m at MSY. Those destinations aren’t stunners but I can always find something to do in a city for a low enough fare, and for a 1-2 night stay I don’t need a bag.
Their predecessor Glo with a similar model failed pretty quickly, but I’m not gonna bet against Neelman.
Cancellations up until 15 mins before departure?
That's a nice (nicer, nicest..) way to get a gate pass or visit a lounge...
Echoing the Louisville comment above - go visit Mammoth Cave National Park - it's beautiful.
Wow, they are starting big. Changing the planes they fly to A220's is not the most economical. If Avelo is successful, Breeze could find that New Haven is a better market than BDL.
I want this airline to fail because of the appalling labor structure that will make sure flight crews can't afford to live.
Wish they had some flights out of RDU or CLT
You should absolutely consider visiting Louisville. It's a vibrant city, great food scene, amazing art scene, and good access to Bourbon country. Beautiful landcapes/ countryside too. Really a cool unique city. Dont knock it.
How can the planes offer streaming entertainment without WiFi? Will every seat have a personal TV?
Or will the planes offer WiFi but just no internet?
Military Bag Allowance
Active U.S. military personnel may be eligible to have their checked bag charges waived.
This can include:
One (1) Checked bag AND One (1) Carry-on bag, or
Two (2) Checked bags
Military Guests will need to provide a valid military ID to a Breeze Team Member at the ticket counter.
Still wish they had named the airline Moxy. Such a cool name.
Best of luck to Breeze! Hopefully they shake the market up for the better.
"The first aircraft will be delivered in October 2020" Did you mean 2021?