JFK Premium Transcon Market: One Competitor Bows Out, Sort Of

The United name will soon disappear from JFK

By Jonathan Spira on 16 June 2015
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Four airlines – American, Delta, JetBlue, and United – have competed in the premium transcontinental flight market, offering flights that link New York City with San Francisco and Los Angeles with trappings that rival overseas flights.

The competition for first- and business-class passengers is nothing if not heated.

JetBlue is the upstart in the Gang of Four, having launched its Mint premium service last year.  Mint offers passengers a premium cabin with a fully lie-flat seat.  Four seats in the cabin are private suites with doors.

United's Global First lounge at JFK

United’s Global First lounge at JFK

Earlier in 2014, American Airlines relaunched its premium transcon service with a specially-equipped subfleet of Airbus A321 aircraft that have three cabins including a first-class cabin with 1-1 seating. (American Airlines is the only airline offering a first-class cabin in addition to business.)

By that time, United Airlines had completely reconfigured its p.s. premium transcon service fleet, taking out its first-class cabin and replacing it with BusinessFirst fully lie-flat seats in a 2-2 configuration.  Delta began operating some transcon flights on the Los Angeles and San Francisco routes with 767s equipped with fully lie-flat seats with direct aisle access.

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