I flew on JetBlue for the first time since it began filling planes to capacity and found it’s still doing more than most to keep flyers safe

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

  • JetBlue Airways has been slowly returning to normal and abandoning pandemic-era protocols.
  • Middle seats are no longer blocked and back-to-front boarding was recently discarded.
  • I still felt perfectly safe on the airline and was impressed with its array of safety measures.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue is firmly on the road back to normal as the pandemic enters its second year.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321
A JetBlue Airways Airbus A321.

Flights are being filled to capacity as the airline stopped blocking seats in January following the Christmas travel rush. Middle seats had been blocked until October 15, 2020, around the time Southwest Airlines also announced an end to its policy.

Flying JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 New Phase 2 Interior
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 with a new interior.

Read More: JetBlue will soon fill its planes to capacity and is offering refunds for travelers who don’t want to fly on the airline as a result

But it didn’t stop there, JetBlue has been gradually moving away from pandemic-era safety measures like back-to-front boarding and has brought back fan favorites like soft drinks and more snacks in the in-flight service.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After flying JetBlue during the summer at the height of its safety efforts, I decided to take JetBlue home from Los Angeles to New York in March on one of its flagship routes. Here’s what flying JetBlue Airways is like in 2021.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Los Angeles is JetBlue’s new West Coast hub, having moved operations from nearby Long Beach during the pandemic.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue doesn’t have an entire terminal to itself as it does in New York here at LAX but it makes the space work.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Check-in kiosks were spaced and JetBlue even installed social distancing reminders on the floor.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Hand sanitizer stations were available next to the bag drop station.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And even the regular check-in line had multiple social distancing and face mask reminders from both the airline and the airport, in addition to plexiglass partitions at check-in counters. It was the most impressive setup I’d seen in the terminal.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue, like many US airlines, now requires customers to acknowledge a health declaration at check-in. I had to affirm that I didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, been exposed to the virus, or tested positive for the virus.

Flying JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I also had to agree to JetBlue’s face covering policy and affirm I didn’t have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.

Flying JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I used the kiosk to print my boarding pass and was reminded about the touch-free option by using the JetBlue mobile application to do everything from check-in to get a mobile boarding pass. Customers checking a bag could also just scan their boarding pass and the bag tag would automatically print without having to touch the screen.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I booked JetBlue’s version of basic economy for this flight but I was luckily still assigned a window seat. Most of the middle seats went empty on the flight and I was glad to see JetBlue wasn’t randomly assigned seats as some other airlines are for basic economy flyers.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Ticket in hand, I headed to the gate and saw some of the same safety features. Plexiglass partitions were installed at the check-in counter and the airport had installed social distancing placards on the floor but that was about it.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Boarding soon began in JetBlue’s standard procedure based on groups. There was surprisingly no pre-boarding reminder to wear masks

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Passengers boarding first included JetBlue elite status holders, those traveling in Mint business class, active duty military, families with small children, customers with disabilities, and travelers with “Even More Space” seats.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue gave up on back-to-front boarding in early March.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read More: JetBlue is abandoning back-to-front boarding as more travelers take to the skies and vaccinations take off

Inside the jetway, the airport had installed its own social distancing placards, saving JetBlue the trouble. These placards are largely ignored but are still a good gesture.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Flight attendants kindly welcomed us on board but didn’t offer anything in the way of hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes. I later found out that they were available on request.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Source: JetBlue Airways

The aircraft, however, was perfectly clean. I had no concerns whatsoever in that regard.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue is beefing up aircraft cleanings and disinfecting planes by means of “fogging” with an electrostatic sprayer, a common industry standard.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read More: Delta, United, and American are ‘fogging’ their planes to make them safe for travel amid coronavirus — here’s what that means

Source: JetBlue Airways

I got to my seat, 25A, and settled in for the overnight flight to New York.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Everything about the seat was clean and I didn’t have any worry there whatsoever.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Health and safety aside, I was immediately reminded why flying on JetBlue is one of the best ways to cross the country, especially when flying on this aircraft.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The Airbus A321 fleet, including the A321 and A321neo, are incredibly modern and comfortable. I’d flown across the US on four different airlines in two days but when I sat down on the JetBlue flight, it felt like home.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

These aircraft feature one of JetBlue’s older in-flight entertainment products but they still offer touch-screen capabilities, high-definition displays, on-demand content, and a map screen.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

It also helped that the airline offers 32 inches of legroom in economy on this aircraft.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The front of the aircraft naturally filled first thanks to the new boarding procedure but the aircraft was empty enough where the back started to fill before too many people were settled up front.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Even though it was an empty flight to New York, flight attendants asked passengers to go to their assigned seats first before moving around the cabin.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Flight attendants also reminded passengers of the safety features of the aircraft including its high-efficiency particular air filters, or HEPA filters, and reassuringly said that the aircraft was just cleaned and disinfected.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

It was also made clear that wearing a mask was required by federal law.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

We departed Los Angeles with around three-quarters of the plane full.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I lucked out and had the middle seat open but not every row was so lucky.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

After departure, the entertainment screens showed a video outlining the health and safety features of the aircraft to reassure passengers. Airlines tend to do this at the gate but I was glad to see it on the aircraft right in front of passengers.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The “dos and don’ts” of flying on JetBlue were explained including wearing a face covering…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And don’t crowd the aisle. This one was interesting considering JetBlue had just removed back-to-front boarding and its middle seat block.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Even more messaging was available on the map channel.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

This kind of messaging goes a long way to reassure flyers returning to the skies for the first time during the pandemic.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

We quickly departed Los Angeles and turned eastbound towards New York. The in-flight service began shortly after takeoff.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that JetBlue had gotten rid of the plastic bag service and was serving actual soft drinks. I even got the full can.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Customers also had a choice of snacks including cookies, chips, Cheez-Its, or a granola bar. I went for the cookies.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The rest of the flight progressed smoothly as most passengers tried to get some sleep in on the five-hour flight.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

New York soon came into view and the flight was approaching its natural end.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

When we landed, there was a reminder to social distance when deplaning but most didn’t heed that warning. It’s only natural for flyers to get up as soon as the seat belt sign turns off.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Walking off the plane, I noticed JetBlue had installed its own safety placards in the jetway.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The terminal in New York was also way better equipped than in Los Angeles. JetBlue had installed its own hand sanitizers at the gate…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Automated boarding gates were available to reduce contact with the gate agents…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And seats in the gate area were even blocked off, in addition to social distancing placards lining the falls and plexiglass partitions installed at the gate.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Overall, JetBlue did a great job at ensuring passengers are safe in both of its hubs, even though it is shedding off some social distancing efforts as more flyers take to the skies. The flight felt closer to a normal experience but there was still a strong emphasis on health and safety at every turn.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read the original article on Business Insider

See inside the first JetBlue plane with all-new Mint business class suites which are set to impress on upcoming flights to London

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo’s with new Mint business class.

  • JetBlue Airways has taken delivery of its first aircraft with the new Mint business class cabin.
  • The private suites offer new fan-favorite amenities like direct aisle access and wireless charging.
  • The long-awaited flights to London from the East Coast are slated to begin in the third quarter of 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JetBlue Airways’ swanky new business class suites have landed.

The New York-based carrier marked another milestone towards launching flights to London having taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo with the upgraded business class seats that flyers will enjoy on transatlantic flights later this year.

Even casual Mint flyers will immediately notice the difference in the new product. Every seat offers fan favorites like direct aisle access and closeable doors that offer the utmost privacy, all in a residential-style designed suite.

The A321neo is one of JetBlue’s newest aircraft and can be found flying JetBlue’s longest routes including New York-Guayaquil, Ecuador thanks to its increased range and cost-saving economics. It’s also known for its quiet cabin and ultra-modern features like mood lighting.

The jet that will take JetBlue to Europe, however, has yet to arrive. The Airbus A321neoLR offers an even greater amount of range and JetBlue plans to pack it with even more business class suites to accommodate the near-endless supply of premium flyers on the route.

And before London flights takeoff, the suites will first make a West Coast debut on the New York-Los Angeles route this summer. JetBlue’s long-awaited transatlantic flights have been delayed due to the pandemic but are set to launch in the third quarter.

Here’s a sneak peek at the business class suites that will soon take JetBlue flyers to Los Angeles, London, and beyond.

The new Mint cabin on the A321neo is comprised of 16 business class suites arranged in a 1-1 configuration.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each seat is angled in what’s known as a herringbone configuration, allowing the airline to fit more seats in the cabin while maintaining privacy. It’s an upgrade from the current Mint product as there are no paired seats in any row.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue offers two types of seats in the cabin. There’s the standard “Mint Suite…”.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And the larger “Mint Studio,” the cabin’s flagship seat.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The cabin has 14 Mint Suites spanning seven rows while the first row has the only Mint Studios, and they come at an additional premium.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Those that pay extra for the Mint Studio get an entire 22.7-square-foot cabin to themselves.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

There’s more room to spread out, especially when the seat is in the lie-flat position.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue even installed a separate cushioned seat here so a companion can share the space.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Other amenities exclusive to the seat include a personal closet that can be used to store anything from a purse to shoes or a jacket. A small mirror is there to help freshen up after, say, an overnight flight to London

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The in-flight entertainment screens in these enclaves are also the largest on the plane at 22 inches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

An additional tray table is built-in so companions can share a meal or get work done together. And if traveling solo, the table can also be used as simply an additional countertop to hold papers, a laptop, or food items.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The screen doesn’t extend all the way, however, so watching a movie together might difficult.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Standard seat amenities are also included like a tethered remote to control the in-flight entertainment…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A large countertop with individually-controlled lighting…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Wireless charging capabilities…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And a laptop holder under the screen, among other unique touches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The regular suites are narrower but still comfortable and spacious when seated thanks to the suite’s curved walls.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

For those that love looking out of the window, however, the angle of the seat makes doing that a bit harder as it requires turning one’s head at least 90 degrees.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Placed on each seat will be the standard business class amenities for the flight. A new service offering was just rolled out in November that includes a new partnership with the Delicious Hospitality Group, Tuft & Needle, Wanderfuel, and Master & Dynamic.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: JetBlue is revitalizing its popular Mint business class as the airline prepares for its European debut — here’s what to expect from Mint 2.0

Among other items, passengers will get a pair of JetBlue-specific Master & Dynamic noise-isolating headphones…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Bedding kit from Tuft & Needle…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And a wellness kit from Wanderfuel.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Privacy-minded travelers at each seat can close the suite door for additional exclusivity.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A blue “do not disturb” sign can also be activated to let flight attendants know to skip certain passengers for the meal service.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

All seats in the cabin were developed by Tuft & Needle, JetBlue’s new sleep partner, and double as mattress pads for when it’s time to sleep. Tuft & Needle also created the bedding that includes a “foot nook.”

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: JetBlue is revitalizing its popular Mint business class as the airline prepares for its European debut — here’s what to expect from Mint 2.0

Screens in the suites are slightly smaller at 17 inches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A fun fact about the in-flight entertainment screens is that they can be extended away from the wall during takeoff and landing, something most other airlines haven’t been able to offer.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

This A321neo only has eight rows of Mint but the London-bound aircraft will have at least four more rows for a total of 24 seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Those riding in the back won’t have their own suites but will still get to experience some of JetBlue’s latest products.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The rest of the cabin is split between extra legroom seats, known as “Even More Space” seats…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And regular economy seats, known as “Core” seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

True to name, Even More Space seats on this aircraft offer between 35 and 38 inches of seat pitch, depending on seat location, and 18 inches of width.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Source: SeatGuru

Regular economy seats, alternatively, offer 32 inches of seat pitch and the same amount of width.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Source: SeatGuru

As for entertainment, JetBlue installed the latest in-flight entertainment product complete with movies, television shows, games, device pairing, and a moving map, among other features.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: I flew on a newly upgraded JetBlue plane and despite less legroom and slimmer seats, the refresh is exactly what the airline needed

These screens clock in at 10.1 inches and offer high-definition content.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A cool feature of economy is the “pantry,” a self-serve snack and beverage bar where flyers can take food items as they please without bugging the flight attendants.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Flyers can also connect to JetBlue’s complimentary satellite WiFI onboard the aircraft, even while over the ocean or above a foreign country.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Mood lighting is a key feature of the aircraft, especially on long-haul flights.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each lighting profile coincides with a specific phase of flight, whether it be the daytime meal service or cruising at altitude at night.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Mood lighting is also intended to link up with a traveler’s circadian rhythm to help adjust to each phase of flight.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Warm colors induce relaxation for when it’s time to sleep and cool colors wake the body up.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each suite has its own lamp with different mood lights controlled by the occupant.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And the Mint Studios are the only seats that come with two lamps.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The lighting extends through the entire aircraft, not just business class.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

On the outside of the plane, keen flyers will also notice a new tail design on the back of the plane. Called “ribbons,” the design uses optical art to create the illusion of movement.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And powering the aircraft are two Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Piloting the A321neo requires minor additional training and pilots will be able to fly it interchangeably with other Airbus A320 family aircraft in JetBlue’s fleet.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue flyers can expect to see this aircraft flying this summer, first between New York and Los Angeles before expanding across JetBlue’s route network.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Transatlantic travelers will then be enjoying this cabin by the end of the year.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read the original article on Business Insider

American and JetBlue just unveiled a new partnership with 33 new routes combined- here’s what it means for travelers

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways
American Airlines and JetBlue Airways aircraft.

  • American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are moving forward with a partnership in the Northeast US.
  • The two will better coordinate in the region and add a total of 33 domestic and international routes. 
  • Elite status holders will also be able to earn and redeem miles on each airline. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

American Airlines and JetBlue Airways are joining forces in the Northeast as part of an alliance that creates new routes, schedules, frequent flyer programs, and more.

The duo is moving forward with the first phase of a “Northeast alliance” following a regulatory review from the Department of Transportation that wrapped in January. JetBlue and American flight codes will be placed on over 70 flights between the two airlines under a codeshare agreement, allowing customers to book certain flights on either airline or website.

“Our alliance with American opens the door for JetBlue to successfully enter into new markets, introducing more choices and our award-winning service and low fares to more customers,” Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s head of revenue and planning, said. 

American has been joining forces with coastal airlines like JetBlue on the East Coast and Alaska Airlines on the West Coast to fill the gaps in its route network. Both American and JetBlue will add 33 new routes combined to domestic and international destinations as travel slowly rebounds with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and growing testing for entry options in foreign countries.

Here’s where travelers will see the biggest differences. 

New routes from the Northeast

JetBlue is adding 15 new routes from New York City’s three main area airports, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and LaGuardia. American, for its part, will add 18 new routes from Kennedy International and LaGuardia, as well as JetBlue’s stronghold at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

From Kennedy International, two JetBlue new routes will be added to Boise, Idaho, and Kalispell, Montana, in July. Both are located in the Mountain West, a region that’s been surging in popularity during the pandemic as Americans seek social distancing in nature. 

On American, new routes from Kennedy to the Colombian cities of Cali, Bogota, and Medellin; Santiago, Chile; St. Lucia; and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos will start in May and June. Previously announced routes from New York to Tel Aviv, Israel, Athens, Greece, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil also launch this year. 

American will also give New York City its first non-stop link to Orange County, California, as the airline is adding a new route from Kennedy starting July 2. The daily flight will be operated by American’s ultra-premium Airbus A321 aircraft with first class, business class, and economy class seats. 

Newark will see 10 new routes to the existing JetBlue leisure destinations of Antigua; Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Cartagena, Colombia; Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Nantucket, Massachusetts; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Seattle; St. Lucia; and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The new routes start on July 1. 

LaGuardia will receive more routes across the East Coast and to the west. JetBlue flights to Charleston, South Carolina; Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; and Denver also begin July 1. while American will launch and resume summer season flights to Key West Florida; Pensacola, Florida; Rapid City, South Dakota; Kansas City, Missouri; and Savannah, Georgia in June. 

And from Boston, American will also fly to Asheville, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Traverse City, Michigan; and Wilmington, North Carolina this summer. 

Better schedules and more first class

The two airlines are coordinating schedules in key markets so passengers have more choices when they fly. American will notice the difference on six segments, in particular, including  Boston-South Florida, Boston-Washington, New York-Washington, New York-Boston, New York-South Florida, and New York-California.

JetBlue flyers will notice the difference on the Boston-Los Angeles, Boston-Chicago, New York-San Francisco, New York-Atlanta, New York-Dallas, New York-Chicago, and New York-Raleigh, North Carolina segments. 

On the popular New York-Los Angeles route, for example, the airlines will offer a combined 14 daily flights. Both American and JetBlue operate the route with Airbus A321 aircraft with business class cabins. 

American also plans to offer first class on all of its New York-originating flight as it retires smaller regional jets like the Embraer ERJ145. JetBlue currently offers business class on select routes to popular destinations. 

Loyalty has its perks

Frequent flyers from both airlines will also benefit as they’ll be able to earn miles when flying on either starting this spring. Both airlines will soon allow customers to use points and miles to book award tickets on each other’s flights but that functionality will come “over time.”

A JetBlue loyalist might be able to book an award ticket from New York to Tel Aviv on American as Israel is currently well beyond JetBlue’s scope of service. 

Elite status holders may also receive reciprocal benefits when traveling on the two but specifics, including whether that includes complimentary first class upgrades, have yet to be announced. 

JetBlue elites currently do not receive upgrades into the airline’s swanky Mint business class cabin while American offers its status holders complimentary upgrades on select flights. Upgrades are a key perk of frequent flying that keep customers loyal to a particular airline since a single upgrade can be worth hundreds of dollars and yield free meals, early boarding opportunities, and even complimentary lounge access

Better single-itinerary options

The codeshare agreement opens the door for single-itinerary bookings for connecting flights, simplifying the travel experience for those that can’t get to their final destination on either American or JetBlue alone. 

A JetBlue flyer in Buffalo, for example, could book a one-stop trip from New York to Athens, Greece on a mix of JetBlue and American flights under one itinerary. 

The move also eliminates the need for self-connections between the two airlines where passengers book two separate tickets. While a widely-used practice, it can have downsides if one of the flights is canceled or delayed.

Flights can already be booked under the codeshare agreement that starts on February 25. 

Read the original article on Business Insider