JetBlue Cuts London Flights For The Fall

JetBlue Cuts London Flights For The Fall

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In August JetBlue launched its much anticipated transatlantic service. In some ways the airline lucked out, and in some ways it didn’t — UK travel restrictions were lifted for vaccinated Americans shortly before the flights started, while US travel restrictions still haven’t been lifted for Brits.

JetBlue reduces transatlantic frequencies

JetBlue will be operating flights from New York to both London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW), and initially the plan was for the airline to fly:

  • Daily nonstop to London Heathrow as of August 11, 2021
  • Daily nonstop to London Gatwick as of September 29, 2021

While JetBlue operated service to London Heathrow as planned for the month of August, the airline is significantly scaling back its schedule for early fall (and I have to imagine these cuts have the potential to be extended). As noted by Wandering Aramean, JetBlue has adjusted its schedule as follows:

  • For the months of September and October, JetBlue will operate 4x weekly flights between JFK and LHR, operating eastbound on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
  • JetBlue will launch flights between JFK and LGW on September 29 as planned, but with reduced 4x weekly frequencies, operating eastbound on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and westbound on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays
JetBlue is reducing frequencies to London this fall

These JetBlue cuts make sense, could continue

As you can see, as of now JetBlue has only cut service through October. Previously the airline had cut frequencies for September, so it seems that JetBlue is going one month at a time here with the cuts.

Personally I wouldn’t be surprised to see these transatlantic service cuts continue:

  • While vaccinated Americans being able to visit the UK is a positive, Brits still aren’t able to visit the United States, which is a serious challenge if this route is going to be successful
  • It’s unlikely that business travel demand across the Atlantic will fully recover anytime soon
  • Leisure demand across the Atlantic starts to get really weak around November

It seems highly unlikely to me that these cuts won’t end up being extended further, though only time will tell.

On the plus side, JetBlue is going about these cuts in a logical way — once the Gatwick service launches, the airline will offer at least one daily flight to London, to either Heathrow or Gatwick. While customers on canceled flights might not get their preferred airport, they are at least assured that they’ll be able to fly on the date that they booked.

JetBlue is offering an absolutely incredible experience across the Atlantic (my full Mint review will be published within the next day), and I wish the airline all the best in making this route a success.

JetBlue’s gorgeous Airbus A321LR Mint cabin

Bottom line

JetBlue has reduced its schedule of London flights for September and October, as the airline will operate up to 4x weekly to each airport. These cuts make a lot of sense, given travel restrictions in place. While vaccinated Americans can travel to the United Kingdom, the inverse isn’t true.

I’ll be curious to see how JetBlue’s London schedule evolves. Even if the United States lifts travel restrictions, I can’t imagine transatlantic demand will be very strong this winter.

What do you make of JetBlue’s London service cuts? For how long do you think they’ll last?

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  1. JS

    Lucky - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading all your posts and have been a fan for a long time. I HATE, HATE, HATE your new website. I've tried giving it some time to get used to it but it's just down right clunky, uninspired and frankly, frustrating trying to weed through all the crap. It's TOO BUSY and non-intuitive.

    Thank you for at least making the front page more like the old blog. Sometimes the wheel just can't be re-invented! :)

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ JS -- I appreciate the kind words and feedback. And I hear you. We've been trying to de-clunk the site a bit since launch, because I had a similar impression to you. We're still making some tweaks and open to feedback.

      Just to give you a sense of where I'm at (and I'm not at all a technical person, and I'm pretty resistant to change), personally I think the mobile version looks pretty good...

      @ JS -- I appreciate the kind words and feedback. And I hear you. We've been trying to de-clunk the site a bit since launch, because I had a similar impression to you. We're still making some tweaks and open to feedback.

      Just to give you a sense of where I'm at (and I'm not at all a technical person, and I'm pretty resistant to change), personally I think the mobile version looks pretty good at this point, and I'm fairly happy with the front page of the blog, and how it's hopefully once again a simpler experience of being able to find all content there. Aside from the "latest news" section we'll be mixing content up over time, and have a few other creative things that should be launched soon.

      But if you have any concrete feedback and thoughts on how to declutter (short of reverting to the old site), I'd love to hear it. And I'm also curious if you're usually reading on mobile or desktop.

    2. JS

      Lucky - I only read on desktop. Trust me, I will always read your postings no matter what. Maybe I'll give the mobile version a look and try also! Thanks for the willingness to listen to your readers. Keep up the great work!! :)

    3. John

      Ben,

      Since you’re asking for feedback, I’d say the tweaks you’ve made since the ill-fated relaunch have improved it. However, I still find the colour scheme deeply off putting. I find the orange and blue to be really harsh and quite unpleasant as a combination.

      Like JS, I’ll continue reading because I love the content. But does what it’s worth, the new site is still very hard on the eyes and just doesn’t feel fresh or modern, in my opinion.

      Hope that helps,
      John

  2. derek

    I wonder if JetBlue can maintain its London slots by flying empty planes between London and some other city, like Lille Lesquin (LIL) or Shannon (SNN)?

    There was a start up airline that maintained its Chicago (ORD) slots by flying passenger flights to and from Rockford even though there might not have been many passengers.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ derek -- I could be mistaken, but I believe for the time being slot requirements are waived anyway, so it's a moot point? Also keep in mind that JetBlue has only temporarily been awarded Heathrow slots, so even if slot requirements weren't eased, it might not be worth spending so much to keep slots that could be taken away next year anyway.

  3. Lukas

    Very disappointed that you removed the BLOG shortcut. I guess traffic to just that section was too much for you.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Lukas -- I'll probably publish a post about this a bit later on to explain the logic, but that's not what's going on here. When the site was redesigned, we received a lot of negative feedback about the front page, and frankly I wasn't very happy with it either. The front page of the blog was no longer the focal point of OMAAT for frequent readers, since new posts were published in an easier...

      @ Lukas -- I'll probably publish a post about this a bit later on to explain the logic, but that's not what's going on here. When the site was redesigned, we received a lot of negative feedback about the front page, and frankly I wasn't very happy with it either. The front page of the blog was no longer the focal point of OMAAT for frequent readers, since new posts were published in an easier to follow way on the /blog page. We set that up so that ongoing readers had an easy place to follow all new posts.

      Since the redesign, I've been asking that we once again integrate all the blog posts into the front page of the blog. The team has been working on that behind the scenes for a while now, and it's finally live as of today. The posts should now show on the homepage the same way they showed on the /blog page, with no additional scrolling required.

      There's absolutely no financial or traffic motive here, and it has nothing to do with more people visiting the /blog page. Rather it was important to me that the homepage continue to be the main place that frequent readers visit, since at the end of the day they're the heart of this blog. That change went live today, and that's why the /blog page now redirects. I hope you'll agree that the homepage is much more friendly towards frequent readers than it was when the site relaunched, and you'll see and appreciate the logic.

      I of course welcome feedback here (if I'm totally off base, feel free to tell me), but this was something that I requested as a genuine improvement to the user experience.

    2. SQ51

      No, it's good that you changed it. Many year veteran here, it's highly appreciated that the new OMAAT homepage now has the same layout as it used to. Thank you for continuing to run the only blog in this space worth reading! Can't wait for your full mint review.

    3. Ben Schlappig

      @ SQ51 -- Thanks for reading, and for the kind words! :)

Featured Comments Load all 10 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

SQ51

No, it's good that you changed it. Many year veteran here, it's highly appreciated that the new OMAAT homepage now has the same layout as it used to. Thank you for continuing to run the only blog in this space worth reading! Can't wait for your full mint review.

Ben Schlappig

@ Lukas -- I'll probably publish a post about this a bit later on to explain the logic, but that's not what's going on here. When the site was redesigned, we received a lot of negative feedback about the front page, and frankly I wasn't very happy with it either. The front page of the blog was no longer the focal point of OMAAT for frequent readers, since new posts were published in an easier to follow way on the /blog page. We set that up so that ongoing readers had an easy place to follow all new posts. Since the redesign, I've been asking that we once again integrate all the blog posts into the front page of the blog. The team has been working on that behind the scenes for a while now, and it's finally live as of today. The posts should now show on the homepage the same way they showed on the /blog page, with no additional scrolling required. There's absolutely no financial or traffic motive here, and it has nothing to do with more people visiting the /blog page. Rather it was important to me that the homepage continue to be the main place that frequent readers visit, since at the end of the day they're the heart of this blog. That change went live today, and that's why the /blog page now redirects. I hope you'll agree that the homepage is much more friendly towards frequent readers than it was when the site relaunched, and you'll see and appreciate the logic. I of course welcome feedback here (if I'm totally off base, feel free to tell me), but this was something that I requested as a genuine improvement to the user experience.

Lukas

Very disappointed that you removed the BLOG shortcut. I guess traffic to just that section was too much for you.

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