Just because this blog is named “iFlyMSP” doesn’t mean that I don’t often take note of exciting new services offered from other airports. And the May 19 long-anticipated announcement of JetBlue’s first transatlantic non-stops from JFK International Airport to not only close-in London Heathrow Airport, but also to London Gatwick on the south side of the region, is well worth noting.
While the Twin Cities area and Upper Midwest is fiercely loyal to Delta Air Lines which operates a major hub with hundreds of daily flights from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, there are other excellent airline choices in the local market to consider including MSP-based Sun Country Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit, Frontier, Alaska Airlines, as well as Icelandair, Air France and KLM internationally. And yes, Queens, N.Y.-based JetBlue offers multiple daily flights to New York’s JFK and Boston Logan International from MSP.
With the inauguration of JFK/Heathrow (LHR) flights on August 11 and JFK/Gatwick (LGW) service on September 29, JetBlue will provide another excellent option for travelers not locked into Delta’s Skymiles frequent traveler program, who don’t mind making a connection en route rather than taking advantage of Delta’s daily Gatwick nonstop from MSP, which are expected to return with the airline’s post-Covid flight schedule.
With the New York to London flight announcement, JetBlue also broke the news that Boston to London nonstop flights will take to the skies in the summer of 2022. That route will provide for another option for MSP originating passengers. JFK to Heathrow is the largest single international flight route from the U.S., with seemingly endless options from Delta, American, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. These carriers not only fly the route, but they offer multiple departures each and every day.
JetBlue is highly regarded in the travel industry, known for competitive fares, exemplary service in its premium Mint suites, as well as in the core main cabin. Utilizing new Airbus A321LR (long-range) aircraft, JetBlue anticipates bringing lower airfares to the masses on this highly competitive route, without compromising its top-notch service level. Each of the 24 Mint private suites will feature a sliding door and lie-flat bed. All core passengers will enjoy the most coach legroom of any U.S. carrier, live TV and on-demand seatback entertainment, complimentary internet access (Fly-Fi broadband), plus complimentary meals, beer, wine and liquor. There will also be 24 “”Even More Space Seats” of the total 117 seats in the main cabin.
For those not familiar with the location of the two London airports, Heathrow is located 14 miles to the west of the heart of the city, and Gatwick is connected directly via frequent rail service (every 15 minutes) that takes half an hour to Victoria Station; as well as to the south coast at Brighton (trains depart every 30 minutes and the ride is 25 minutes long). Gatwick is located 30 miles due south of central London and is the second busiest airport in Great Britain.
Initial New York to London flight schedules are as follows:
- Depart New York-JFK 10:10 p.m.
- Arrive London Heathrow 10:10 a.m., next day
- Depart London Heathrow 6:10 p.m.
- Arrive New York-JFK 9:43 p.m. same day
- Depart New York-JFK 7:50 p.m.
- Arrive London Gatwick 7:55 a.m., next day
- Depart London Gatwick 12:00 p.m.
- Arrive New York-JFK 3:33 p.m., same day