This Popular Airline Just Made It A Little Harder To Fly Into These 14 Major US Travel Hubs

Business and leisure travelers alike have long been turning to JetBlue as a low-cost U.S. airline option to get where they're going without the soaring price point included. Based out of the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, JetBlue first debuted on the aviation scene in 2000. Since that time, the airline has grown to become the seventh-largest domestic airline in the U.S., according to Statista. The team at JetBlue reports servicing over 40 million customers and providing passengers with access to 1,000 daily flights.

For avid JetBlue fliers with routes focused on the East Coast, those daily flight numbers are on track to dwindle drastically starting in the new year. The aviation analytics company Cirium recently confirmed significant route adjustments slated to begin in January 2024 for JetBlue, which will continue through March. In total, 14 routes are planned to be cut from the airline's service lineup. The vast majority of those flight routes will affect passengers flying out of JFK, LaGuardia, and Boston Logan International Airport.

One of the most drastic cuts being made in 2024 is the airline's decision to pull services out of Burlington, Vermont. According to The Citizen, JetBlue announced that as of January 4, 2024, the airline would no longer run their two daily round-trip flight options between the Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport and JFK. The change is particularly stunning, considering JetBlue has operated in Burlington for over two decades.

Eliminated routes and reasons for cuts

The reasons behind the route changes are likely two-fold. Many cuts are linked to the recent dissolution of the Northeast Alliance. This partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines was formed back in 2021 to enhance access across Boston and New York. The alliance was designed to provide both airlines with increased routes and customer loyalty perks. However, the Department of Justice subsequently filed an antitrust lawsuit claiming the alliance was non-competitive. In May 2023, a federal judge ruled in favor of dissolution.

Air Traffic Control staffing challenges are also a possible reason behind the drastic route cuts at JetBlue. In June 2023, the U.S. Department of Transportation released an audit report confirming the Federal Aviation Administration was still struggling to fill roles at critical facilities. As current air traffic demands climb toward pre-pandemic numbers and no solution is in place, temporary slot waivers at both LaGuardia and JFK continue to allow airlines to reduce their flight numbers significantly without losing value or assets in return.

The list of 14 canceled routes will be felt heavily among JetBlue travelers. Routes from Boston Logan International Airport to Newark Liberty and Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport are slated to be eliminated in 2024. The Newark to Miami International route is canceled, as are routes from JFK to Burlington International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Travelers will also no longer be able to fly the JetBlue route from Los Angeles International Airport to Charleston International Airport.

LaGuardia route cancellations and alternate options

Travelers who typically book their flights out of LaGuardia will want to pay extra close attention to the many changes coming to JetBlue routes in 2024. Between January and March, routes will be phased out between LaGuardia and L.F. Wade International Airport, Nashville International Airport, Charleston International Airport, and Denver International Airport. Additionally, flights will no longer run between LaGuardia and Cape Cod Gateway Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, Portland (Maine) International Jetport, or Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

Many who already have tickets booked on these flight routes for travel in 2024 are likely wondering what to expect in the way of compensation. While the cancellation is certainly disappointing, JetBlue won't be leaving their passengers in the lurch. Alternate flight options will be offered to travelers who have already purchased tickets. If passengers prefer, they can opt for a full refund instead.

Interestingly, while JetBlue has begun to cut back drastically on domestic flight routes with a heavy focus on the Northeast, the airline continues to expand internationally. Seasonal services to both Edinburgh and Dublin were officially announced in 2023. Flights will depart from JFK and Boston Logan International Airport to Dublin beginning March 13, 2024. Flights from JFK to Edinburgh are scheduled to begin on May 22, 2024. This could be a surprisingly bright spot for travelers disappointed by JetBlue's disappearing domestic routes.