Now Boarding: Air Travel Updates for Week of July 8

United grounded all domestic planes for two hours; Jackson Hole Airport will welcome more flights this winter; and JetBlue to stream live MLB games. Here are this week’s air updates. 

JetBlue Airways operated its first weekly charter flight between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Havana’s Jose Marti Airport (HAV) last Friday. JetBlue is the first major carrier to fly this route since travel restrictions were eased. JetBlue now flies five roundtrip flights to Cuba weekly, including routes from Tampa (TPA) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) with charter partners.

JetBlue penned an agreement with MLBAM to give customers free in-flight access to MLB TV on laptops and supported smartphones and tablets through At Bat mobile app and JetBlue’s Fly-Fi “Hub.” Customers will be able to watch free, Internet streaming of live regular season games.

JetBlue also announced new flights between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Turks and Caicos Islands’ Providenciales International Airport (PLS), subject to government approval. The airline began selling its newest Mint routes, including service Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and seasonal service from Boston to Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI). Additional routes also for sale include New York-JFK and Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), and between Charleston International Airport (CHS) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

Travel Pulse reports that Virgin America will offer high-speed Wi-Fi on its new planes this September. The airline will receive 10 new A320 aircrafts, and each one will be fitted with upgraded technology from ViaSat, offering service of 140 gigabits-per-second. Virgin America is currently the only airlines in the world to offer Wi-Fi on every single plane in its fleet.

Hawaii Airlines was once more the most punctual U.S. airline in May 2015, according to the DOT. Hawaiian Airlines’ flights arrived on schedule 90.9 percent of the time, and only seven out of the airlines 6,434 flights were cancelled.

United Airlines grounded all domestic planes for almost two hours on Wednesday, the second time in a little over a month. Find out why in United Resumes Service After Domestic Ground Stop. According to a statement by United, the disruptions had no connection to the issues with the New York Stock Exchange experienced on the same day, reports CNN Money.

Beginning Aug. 1, United Airlines will offer Soho House’s Cowshed skin-care products onboard in new amenity kits for premium-cabin customers on intercontinental flights, featuring moisturizing hand cream, Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm, and Chamomile Refreshing Towelette. United Global First kits will also receive Cowshed’s Quinoa Hydrating Daily Moisturizer and Jasmine Toning Eye Balm. The Cowshed products will also be available in the United Club and other lounges.


In a report by the DOT, Delta Air Lines excelled against the five airlines in its competitive set, arriving on-time 87.2 percent, having a completion rate of 99.8 percent, lowering complaints by 18 percent, and only mishandling 1.82 bags per 1,000 customers, besting all but two out of all U.S. carriers. (Delta’s competitive set included Alaska Airlines, American Airlines/US Airways, JetBlue Airways, Southwest, and United Airlines.)

Delta will be offering Honeysuckle Gelato on select long-haul North American departures from Atlanta.

Travel Weekly reports that Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) will see an increase in service this winter with American Airlines offering new service from Chicago (ORD) and Los Angeles (LAX), and a second daily flight from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Delta will be launching service from New York-JFK on Saturdays in December 2015, and February and March 2016. United will provide service from its Newark (EWR) hub, but in January, they will only fly on Saturdays. reports that the Russian low-cost carrier Pobeda has imposed a ban on chewing gum as it costs nearly $1,700 to remove the each piece of gum that a passenger leaves.


Last Week’s Highlights

Delta Air Lines will increase service between New York-JFK and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from nine to 10 daily peak-day flights and will upgrade three of its eight daily flights between New York-JFK and San Francisco to a Boeing 767 widebody aircraft.

JetBlue Airways announced new nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU), starting Nov. 5, 2015. The service will be three times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, subject to government approval.

Travel Weekly reports JetBlue also began its new tiered fare structure with a $20 fee for the first checked bag in the least expensive option. The four fare options are Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Flex, and Mint, with Blue Plus fares including one checked bag and Blue Flex and Mint including two. Blue Flex buyers can change or cancel reservations without charge and receive expedited security screening.


Check out this week’s travel news!

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Hotel Happenings: Property Updates – Week of July 8

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