jetBlue (B6) is to become the sixth airline in the already crowded Orlando (MCO)-Los Angeles (LAX) route.
United (1x daily), American (2x daily), Delta (3x daily), Virgin America (1x daily), Frontier (1x daily) already fly the route.
It makes sense for the airline and plays to their market, but it will be a challenge for them to start the route with so many airlines already flying to MCO from LAX and already have an established market share for even airlines such as Virgin America (though with the merger with Alaska they will be leaving the route in 2017).
Flights will be once daily operated by an A320 and here’s what the schedule looks like:
Depart MCO 7:05pm
Arrive LAX 9:39pm
Depart LAX 10:30pm
Arrive MCO 6:10am
If you look at the timings, there isn’t much chance for connections at LAX so this route is obviously aimed at people only flying between Orlando and Los Angeles given the late arrival at least for that segment. The return is a red eye so that gives LA based passengers an option to connect to various southern destinations and Caribbean and Mexico options that jetBlue offers from MCO.
This is a big plus because it means either a huge flight time cut than transiting in JFK on B6 or another option for flyers who don’t want to stick to the traditional AA, UA and DL options that will funnel you through their Houston, Dallas and Atlanta hubs anyway.
jetBlue Mint (the airline’s premium service) won’t be offered on the route initially but the airline has left the door open for future Mint service on their Airbus 321 planes. B6 has also said that Portland and Las Vegas flights might be started from Orlando in the near future after the launch of LAX.
The airline will also likely offer much lower fares than the incumbents on the route as they launch their flights to gain some market share – so look out for some good deals of B6 in the coming months for flights from LA to Orlando and back. With free snacks, more legroom than most airlines and a great reputation for inflight service, they are always a good option to fly across the continent.