JetBlue has finally made the leap across the pond. After initially announcing its first-ever transatlantic flights in April 2019, the airline opened up reservations this past spring for its long-awaited service to London Heathrow airport from New York–JFK, which officially launched on August 11, 2021. Prefer flying into Gatwick? Nonstop service to that London airport from JFK starts September 29.
The new flights come just as the British government announced on July 28 that as of August 2, vaccinated Americans can enter England, Scotland, and Wales without a mandatory quarantine.
Fully vaccinated Americans arriving into England, Scotland, and Wales are required to submit a predeparture negative COVID-19 test taken prior to arrival and will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test on day 2 after arrival. Those vaccinated in the U.S. will also need to provide proof of U.S. residency. Everyone entering the United Kingdom from abroad must fill out a passenger locator form before arrival, on which they will provide U.K. border control with their contact details, including their phone number and the address of their U.K. accommodation.
Children age 11 and younger are exempt from the U.K.’s testing requirements for international arrivals.
Unvaccinated Americans arriving in the U.K. and all Americans arriving in Northern Ireland are required to quarantine for 10 days and take three COVID tests—one within 3 days prior to departure to the U.K., and two (reserved in advance) after arrival, on day 2 and day 8 of the 10-day quarantine.
Here’s everything you need to know about JetBlue’s first transatlantic flights:
As of August 11, daily flights are taking off from New York–JFK at 10:10 p.m. and landing the following morning at London Heathrow (LHR) at 10:10 a.m., local time. For those flying from LHR to JFK, the daily flights depart at 6:10 p.m. and put you into New York the same evening by 9:43 p.m.
- JFK-LHR: 10:10 p.m. – 10:10 a.m. (+1)
- LHR-JFK: 6:10 p.m. – 9:43 p.m.
For those who need to make an early morning meeting—or prefer a full morning of exploring before checking into their hotel—the flights to London Gatwick (LGW) from JFK launching on September 29 may be for you. These nonstops depart New York at 7:50 p.m. and land the next morning in London at 7:55 a.m. The return LGW-JFK flights take off at 12 p.m. and land in New York by 3:33 p.m.
- JFK-LGW: 7:50 p.m. – 7:55 a.m. (+1)
- LGW-JFK: 12 p.m. – 3:33 p.m.
So far, JetBlue has yet to announce specific dates or schedules for the upcoming Boston-London flights, which will launch in summer 2022.
The flights on both routes are being operated on JetBlue’s new Airbus A321LR planes, which have the longest range of any single-aisle plane and can fly on routes up to 4,600 miles. These new jetliners look similar to the planes JetBlue flies on its transcontinental routes, but they come with 93 “core” or economy seats, 24 “Even More Space” or economy plus seats, plus 22 private Mint Suites and 2 Mint Studios in JetBlue’s newly reimagined version of business class.
In February 2021, JetBlue unveiled its first complete redesign of its Mint class since it originally launched in 2014. Each of the 22 private lie-flat Mint Suites on these flights come with a sliding door for privacy, a seat cushion by Tuft & Needle, a tilting 17-inch seatback screen, and wireless charging capabilities.
The first row of each of these new planes features two Mint Studios, which come with a 22-inch tilting seatback screen, an extra side table for getting work done, and a guest seat that can accommodate an additional Mint customer while at cruising altitude. When fully reclined, these feature the largest lie-flat bed of any U.S. carrier.
(A 16-seat layout of the new Mint class also debuted on limited flights between New York and Los Angeles in 2021.)
The (low) fares
Sale fares on the new Heathrow and Gatwick flights are as low as $599 round trip, and Mint fares start at $1,979 round trip.
With new competition from JetBlue, it’s likely fares could be lowered dramatically on the three other major U.S. airlines—Delta, United, and American Airlines—that also cover these same routes.
According to JetBlue, that’s kind of the point.
“JFK-LHR, the single largest international air travel market from the U.S., has long suffered from outrageously high fares for far too long, especially in premium cabins,” said Robin Hayes, the chief executive officer of JetBlue. “We’re ready to change that.”
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article. This article originally was published on April 10, 2019; it was updated on August 11, 2021, with current information.