JetBlue Back at LAX, Should We Believe Them This Time?

JetBlue, LAX - Los Angeles, LGB - Long Beach, Schedule Changes

It was almost a year ago that JetBlue announced it would begin flying to LAX in addition to its main Southern California JetBlue Back at LAXoperation at Long Beach along with smaller operations at Burbank and Ontario. Once fuel started climbing, they walked away from LAX. But now, a year later, JetBlue is back and ready to begin flights to LAX. Should we bother to believe them this time?

I’d say yes, though if oil spikes again (HIGHLY unlikey considering the state of the economy), then all bets are off. But JetBlue has always wanted to do a better job of serving the LA area. They dropped Ontario last year, so until June, when the first LAX flights start, you’ll only see them in Burbank and Long Beach. That’s not really much coverage.

So LAX makes sense, and the airport’s traffic is so far down this year that finding a gate isn’t the toughest thing around. Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly picking routes that are lacking for competition. On June 18, the airline will start two flights a day to both New York/JFK and Boston. This low frequency is not in any way favorable compared to the rest of the competition in the market. It also doesn’t help that Virgin America only recently announced service from LAX to Boston. So there’s just a ton of service here already. Why are they going into this as the frequency laggard?

I suppose it goes back to the JetBlue strategy. They aren’t going for the business traveler here, and if they were they’d be slaughtered. They’re more interested in the leisure traveler, so this allows the airline to reach a greater audience than just at Long Beach and Burbank. Not a bad plan, but the overabundance of flights in those two markets will make it a tough sell.

There could be another reason here. Right now, JetBlue has more flights scheduled at Long Beach this summer than it has slots. So, there are going to have to be a couple of cuts. Could it be that they’re hoping to shift some people to LAX in order to cut back on long hauls from Long Beach? It’s pure speculation, but something has to give over there.

Either way, I tend to think that JetBlue will actually start LAX service this time around, but just in case, you may want to wait until it gets a little closer before booking.

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6 comments on “JetBlue Back at LAX, Should We Believe Them This Time?

  1. “JetBlue Back at LAX, Should We Believe Them This Time?”

    No different than:

    “Southwest Back at SFO, Sould We Believe Them This time?”

  2. Leisure traveler or not they’re setting themselves up to get their clocks royally cleaned. FAR too much lift in these markets filled with discerning, savvy biz travelers and persnickety, discretionary travelers alike. Even those who buy on price will go with an airline that offers 8 flights a day rather than get stuck all afternoon on stand-by waiting for JB to operate the 2nd and last flight of the night.

    DirectTV? Nice touch. No more flights? Hmmm. Rule 240 to AA or UA? Shoulda done that in the first place.

  3. If JetBlue does come to LAX where would they be located? Terminal One? They only have Southwest and US Airways. Or they could take Terminal 8 away from United. hahaha.

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