JetBlue’s LaGuardia folly?

JetBlue wants to start service at New York’s LaGuardia airport. Their operations are currently focused at New York’s JFK airport.

Assuming that the flights JetBlue would operate would be relatively short hauls (of, say, less than 800 miles) — long haul traffic is concentrated at Kennedy — and assuming that the routes compete against mainline carriers (a safe assumption, as the move is billed as a shot against American and Delta) rather than regional carriers, this strikes me as a bad move.

As I’ve observed on these pages before, JetBlue’s great advantage in customer preference is on long haul routes where their leather seats and satellite television drive customer preferences (fares being equal). On shorter routes these advantages mean less. (JetBlue has competed successfully on short haul routes, primarily when their major competition is flying turboprops.) The majors will have a decided advantage on short haul routes out of LaGuardia, in this writer’s opinion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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