Tuesday, October 11, 2005

JetBlue Coming to Austin!

When Delta announced they were starting nonstop service from Austin to New York's JFK Airport last month, I figured they were doing it to pre-empt JetBlue Airways from coming to Austin once their new 100-seat Embraer E-190 jets were delivered.

As it turns out, JetBlue Airways is coming to Austin - Delta or not - with daily nonstop flights to JFK and Boston's Logan International Airport starting January 19. JetBlue bypassed Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio to make Austin its first Texas destination.

This is great news for Austin air travelers, who will now be able to choose from three airlines (Continental flies into Newark) with nonstop service to the NY/NJ megalopolis. There's probably not enough traffic to support this much service (my money's on now-bankrupt Delta to pull out first), but the competition should yield some good fares in the short term. JetBlue's introductory AUS-JFK fare will be $79 each way for tickets purchased by October 31 for travel between January 19 and February 14.

In just five years, JetBlue has established itself as the favorite airline of coast-dwelling hipsters with blue snack chips and free onboard TV and satellite radio. Passengers aboard a Burbank-JFK flight last month got to watch live MSNBC coverage of their plane's emergency landing at LAX due to a nosegear malfunction. How cool is that?

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