Jetblue is offering packages of 10 flights from Long Beach for $999. But is it a deal? It depends.

Jetblue JetBlue Airways is once again offering slightly discounted fares to Long Beach Airport travelers who purchase in bulk through its Gopack program.

For about $1,000 plus $69 in taxes, you’ll be buying 10 separate segments for a handful of Long Beach routes. You can buy until March 31 and you’ll have to use your segments by June 17, though the program is blacked out between April 11, 2014 and April 28, 2014. These are the routes for which the vouchers are valid:

Long Beach, CA (LGB) to/from San Francisco, CA (SFO)
Long Beach, CA (LGB) to/from Oakland, CA (OAK)
Long Beach, CA (LGB) to/from Sacramento, CA (SMF)

This is not really a deal for leisure travelers. If you’re buying in advance, you can find a ticket from Long Beach to San Francisco for $69 each way. But these segments are much more flexible than Jetblue’s typical business-traveler oriented tickets. You’re able book at the last minute or change your flight up to 90 minutes before departure with only a $75 fee. The last minute flights purchased by business passengers are generally a lot pricier than $100 each way.

There’s also a six segment package for $700 plus $39 in taxes. And Jetblue is doing similar promotions with East Coast flights from New York and Boston. See them all here. 

What do you think? Is the Long Beach promotion a good deal for your needs?

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Inside the numbers: Why LAX could be on track for record year in 2014

LAX traffic is on the upswing, airport officials told the city's airport commisison earlier this month. Staff photo by Brad Graverson.

LAX traffic is on the upswing, airport officials told the city’s airport commission earlier this month. Staff photo of new international terminal by Brad Graverson.

A new Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners took over a couple of months ago, and the group — appointed by new L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti — wanted a full update on traffic trends at LAX.

Luckily for us, that report, delivered at the Nov. 14 meeting, is public record. There’s nothing top secret in the power point airport officials delivered, but it might help you better understand some key LAX metrics.

Let’s take a look at what airport commission members learned:

  • Board members were told LAX is unique because it has no dominant airline. Instead four carriers – -American, Southwest, Delta and United — have roughly equal market shares. This pie chart is a bit misleading because American’s tally includes flights operated by its American Eagle subsidiary. United Express and Delta Connection flights, however, are not include in the larger airline’s tally.  (Many of the Skywest flights in the chart, for example, are operated as United Express.) 

LAX Market Share

  • LAX passenger traffic peaked in 2000, but airport officials are predicting 2014 will be a big year. Also, below, you’ll see New York Kennedy got a big traffic bump from Jetblue, which began operations in 2000. 

LAX chart 4

  • As you can see below, LAX officials are bullish on international traffic. In the past six months, airlines have announced new flights to Stockholm, London Gatwick, Oslo, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo.

LAX chart

  • Some of the airport commissioners said they’re concerned San Francisco International Airport is seeking to “steal” many of LAX’s international flights. But this slide below puts the competition in perspective. LAX still has almost twice as many international passengers as San Francisco. 

LAX map

  • In terms of international flights, San Francisco gained on LAX during the middle portion of the 2000s, in part because United and other Star Alliance carriers increased schedules at SFO. But since 2010, LAX has been holding steady against SFO, according to airport officials. 

LAX chart 2

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United Airlines flight attendants in California share lawsuit settlement

More than 4,000 United Airlines flight attendants based in California are sharing about $1 million, minus legal fees, as part of a settlement in which employees alleged relatively minor violations of the state’s Labor Code.

California has strict laws about when and how employees should be paid, and they can trip companies up, even if all employees received their full wages. The law, for example, requires that employees receive a  specific and detailed accounting of pay and deductions.

United flight attendants working in California between Oct. 4, 2010 and Feb. 19, 2013 are eligible to recover money. For more on the settlement, which I learned of from the Association of Flight Attendants website, read this article from 

Here’s a statement from United spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm:

It was alleged that we were partially out of compliance with California state law regarding certain printed information on pay stubs, and have since complied with the standards. This lawsuit specifically addressed information on pay stubs and not compensation; employees were compensated accurately.

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United Airlines adds flight from LAX to Minneapolis

One of the things I love about the airline business is the intense competition.

And Vinay Bhaskara, who writes for the website,, found something interesting over the weekend in a United Airlines schedule update.

As L.A. Airspace readers know, Delta has been making a push to add West Coast customers by adding a bunch of flights in L.A. and Seattle. United has typically been the market leader among network carriers on the West Coast, with hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. American is generally No. 2.

United added some flights over the weekend that Bhaskara found interesting. Starting in April, United adds two daily flights between Los Angeles and Minneapolis and two daily flights between San Francisco and Atlanta.

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United Airlines wants to fly from SFO to Chengdu, China on a Boeing 787

United Airlines wants to add service between San Francisco and Chengdu, China on the Boeing 787.

United Airlines wants to add service between San Francisco and Chengdu, China on the Boeing 787. Photo courtesy of United Airlines.

The world is getting smaller.

United Airlines took a major step forward toward global connectivity on Thursday, announcing that it wants to begin flights between San Francisco and Chengdu, China starting in June 2014. The route, pending government approval, would be the first nonstop flight on an American carrier from the United States to a secondary mainland Chinese city – that is, not Shanghai or Beijing. It will fly three times per week.

Of course, “secondary” is relative here, as Chengdu has more than 14 million residents in its metro area. But it’s a big deal because it’s the type of route the Boeing 787 was built for. The fuel efficient airplane can fly long distances, but it’s not as big as some of the other aircraft flying between the U.S. and China, like the 777 and 747. United 787s are configured with 219 seats.

The whole idea of the 787 is to open new markets that had not previously been financially viable. So far, with a few exceptions, that hasn’t really happened. But United’s move could portend well for the future.

Los Angeles could benefit from this change, but that’s far from a sure thing. While Los Angeles could get its share of new 787 flights to secondary cities, other airports – like San Francisco and Seattle – will be fighting for them as well. Many cities view international flights as vital for their economic well being. And for all the excitement about the Airbus A380, most aviation analysts believe smaller more efficient aircraft like the 787 and A350 are the real future of aviation.

The CAPA Center for Aviation has an excellent, if a bit wonky,  analysis of the U.S.-China market. 

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