JetBlue has been promising flights between London, New York and Boston this Summer for some time now, but it is only today that the flights are finally bookable.
Now that it is selling tickets we know the confirmed schedules it will operate. It appears that JetBlue will operate flights to New York from both Heathrow AND Gatwick, with Stansted, which had been a contender, falling by the wayside. Boston will only be served from Heathrow.
The Heathrow flights from Terminal 2 will launch first, operating daily from 12th August. The flights are initially as follows:
- B620 (London – New York) departs Heathrow at 6:10pm
- B67 (New York – London) departs New York at 10:05pm
Gatwick flights will commence from 29th September from the North Terminal, also daily:
- B644 (London Gatwick– New York) departs Gatwick at 12pm midday
- B643 (New York – London Gatwick) departs New York at 7:48pm
Earlier rumours suggested that these will be joined by a Boston route from the 12th September, although in its press release JetBlue says Boston won’t be on the cards until 2022.
All flights are now bookable on the JetBlue website here.
Heathrow or Gatwick?
It sounds like Gatwick may become JetBlue’s permanent home, with the JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes saying:
“Our initial [Heathrow] schedule is made possible due to temporary slot availability from the past year. We continue to work with the slot coordinators and the U.S. and U.K. governments to identify long-term pathways to continue serving Heathrow, as we believe the public benefit from true competition into this market will be extremely meaningful.”
“We have an incredible opportunity to secure long term slots in London’s second-largest airport, and we look forward to building our presence there over the long-term. Gatwick will perfectly complete our London service, giving customers options as they plan their travel. Gatwick is an attractive choice with its low costs, speed and convenience to Central London.”
What is JetBlue’s onboard experience like?
JetBlue is often called a low cost carrier. In truth, it operates more of a hybrid model, with a ‘proper’ business class cabin up front on many of its US transcontinental flights and soon-to-launch transatlantic flights.
JetBlue will be one of the first airlines to use the single-aisle A321LR aircraft for transatlantic flying, although Aer Lingus has used used this aircraft on select routes since 2019.
Despite being a ‘low cost’ airline in its domestic US market and charging for ancillaries, JetBlue will offer a lot of ‘included in your ticket’ benefits on flights to London. This includes free, unlimited Wi-Fi for all as well as a new approach to economy food that will let you mix and match items:
“Customers will have the option to choose one of three main selections including a protein or vegetable that comes with a base, and two out of three hot and chilled side options.”
In February, it unveiled its new business class ‘Mint’ seat that would operate the London flights. This looks like an impressive product given the restrictions of a single aisle aircraft. It features improved bulkhead seats with even more personal space and the option for buddy dining, which it is calling ‘Mint Studio’:
How cheap are JetBlue’s transatlantic flights?
Is JetBlue still able to honour its promise of cheap fares given that it will match (and even exceed) the amenities offered by other major airlines on transatlantic flights?
It appears it can. JetBlue has announced that prices for its Mint business class will start from £999 (round trip) whilst return economy flights are priced from £329. We found flights slightly cheaper – from £990 in Mint from Heathrow, for example:
If you are willing to head to Gatwick, you can pay as little as £956 return. The flight time outbound is substantially better too, giving you an extra six hours in New York on the first day.
It goes without saying that these are excellent fares, and fairly widely available. Business class fares typically bottom out at £1,300 in British Airways sales, so JetBlue is undercutting these by a considerable margin.
In economy (which it calls ‘Core’) fares pretty much match some of Norwegian’s lowest fares except that, unlike on Norwegian, you’ll get free Wi-Fi, food and in-flight entertainment.
Flights for JetBlue’s transatlantic services now bookable. By the time flights launch in August it is expected that a USA-UK travel corridor will open, allowing leisure travel between the two countries.
We have yet to see whether JetBlue can live up to expectations and help pressure legacy carriers into improving their customer experience and pricing. All the signs so far point to an airline that is intent on providing a quality experience at a competitive price.
JetBlue is not part of any airline alliance, unfortunately, so you can’t earn or redeem miles with either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. It is a partner with Emirates but redemptions are only allowed for economy seats.
You can book on the JetBlue website here.