New fuel-efficient planes mean longer (read: more nonstop) flights.
Airlines are not slowing down when it comes to connecting the dots in the new year with new routes. This can mean potential sales and greater mileage ticket availability for travelers as airlines build demand for each new route. These new flights are also the result of airlines implementing more fuel-efficient aircraft that can fly longer distances. As a result, cities that were once only reached via a change of planes are now linked with a nonstop flight.
These exciting new routes could be ripe for the picking when it comes to finding award seats or a good deal. Plus, be sure to take advantage of any loyalty program promotions that surround them!
Look out for these flights across North America
Alaska was the first airline to connect Cuba with the U.S. West Coast when it launched nonstop Los Angeles to Havana service earlier this month. Don’t forget that members of Virgin America’s Elevate program can transfer points to Alaska’s Mileage Plan loyalty program now that the airlines have merged. Virgin America Elevate points transfer 1 to 1.3 Alaska Mileage Plan miles.
JetBlue made headlines when it operated the first commercial flight between the United States and Cuba. It is now adding more routes, this time between Fort Lauderdale and Aruba. The airline is also going head-to-head with American, Frontier, Delta, United, and Virgin America on the family-friendly Los Angeles to Orlando route. JetBlue enjoys an advantage thanks to its fast, free wireless Internet for everyone on board.
JetBlue is also adding shuttle flights between New York LaGuardia and Boston. The new route is being celebrated by a bonus TrueBlue promotion for as many as 6,000 extra points for flights before the end of January.
Delta is taking on Alaska Airlines in Seattle/Tacoma yet again, adding service to seven cities, including Austin, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Raleigh/Durham. Delta will also fly to Eugene and Redmond, Oregon, from Seattle. This route growth comes on the heels of Delta and Alaska announcing a breakup of their partnership effective May 1. If you want to earn and burn miles on either carrier, be sure to get flying soon. Delta is also looking north of the border with its new service from New York JFK to Halifax, Canada.
Some more rapid-fire route updates: Southwest added Reno/Tahoe to the departure boards at its mega Dallas Love Field hub, plus a new service between Tampa/St. Petersburg and Havana, Cuba (the first Cuban flight for Tampa). United is flying nonstop from Chicago O’Hare to Key West, Florida, once a week.
Go for the long haul
British Airways is now using its Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft to wing across the Atlantic from London Heathrow to Santiago, Chile. This clocks in as the airline’s longest flight at 14 hours and 40 minutes—making it especially worth it to spring for business class. Both British Airways’ and partner American’s websites show availability. Fliers can also earn triple Avios points on this route as part of a promotion available between now and March 31. Be sure to register before the flight.
LATAM is also launching a new route to Santiago, Chile, from Orlando, and award availability is easy to search, ironically, using the British Airways website. If you find award space and want to use American miles, simply call American with the flight availability you found.
SkyTeam loyalists will be glad to learn there is a new flight to Australia on partner China Southern. This means that Delta fliers heading for Australia can connect at the Chinese carrier’s Guangzhou hub and head for Adelaide (in addition to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney). This is great news for those heading down under using miles.
American Airlines and Oneworld alliance loyalists have a new option to reach the Seychelles thanks to Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight between Doha and Mahe. Again, the British Airways website is a great place to search for award space, even if redeeming American miles.