Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Ideas

IDEAS: Community-Driven ‘Great Hall’ Experience Planned for JFK’s Terminal 8

7 months ago

Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy Airport is set to undergo a $125 million commercial redevelopment program with a focus on bringing the local community into the airport, thanks to a new partnership between American Airlines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) Airports.

Following the completion of the $400 million expansion of the terminal, which saw American Airlines and British Airways move in at the end of last year, the new commercial redevelopment aims to enhance the retail offering within the terminal. 

According to American, the redevelopment will focus on bringing locally owned and diverse businesses to the airport in order to boost economic opportunities for the local community. This includes the introduction of a small business accelerator program for locally based businesses to take up space in the terminal. 

The new project will be built around a ‘Great Hall’, and will host more than 60 new shopping and restaurant facilities, alongside a performance space and enhanced duty-free shopping. 

Credit: American Airlines

The redevelopment will also see a new partnership launch with The Green Restaurant Association, with the aim of ensuring all new tenants become Certified Green Restaurants. 

“We look forward to working with our project partners, the Port Authority and the local community to deliver a transformative dining and shopping experience that represents the dynamic New York region,” said Amanda Zhang, vice president of airport affairs and facilities at American Airlines.

You can find out more about the development on the official website here.


At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

United Airlines to Leave New York JFK, Again

1 year ago

United Airlines is leaving New York’s JFK International Airport again just 20 months after it returned to the New York City gateway.

“Given our current, too-small-to-be-competitive schedule out of JFK — coupled with the start of the winter season where more airlines will operate their slots as they resume JFK flying — United has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend service at JFK,” the Chicago-based carrier told staff in a memo on Friday viewed by Skift. United will operate its last flights to and from the airport on October 29.

The move comes despite pressure by United on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ease capacity constraints at JFK so the airline could operate more flights. The carrier says that its four daily flights — two to Los Angeles and two to San Francisco — are not enough to offer a competitive alternative to the likes of Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and JetBlue Airways that all operate the routes.

United resumed flights to JFK in March 2020 five years after it first suspended flights to the airport. In 2017, the airline’s then-president Scott Kirby (now CEO) called the move the “wrong decision,” even as he took responsibility for it in his prior role at American.

United continues to fly between Newark Liberty airport to the west of Manhattan and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Airlines

JetBlue Adds Blade Helicopter Flights to Loyalty Program

2 years ago

Getting a quick lift on a Blade Air Mobility helicopter from New York’s JFK airport to Manhattan? Soon travelers will also get perks in JetBlue Airways’ loyalty program, TrueBlue, on their flight.

JetBlue will offer top tier Mosaic TrueBlue members a “limited number” of free seats on Blade’s flights between its heliport on East 34th Street in Manhattan and JFK airport, and all TrueBlue members will have access to “preferred pricing” for their first Blade airport flight. What is not clear is whether Blade flights will earn TrueBlue members points in the loyalty program. Blade will be “integrated” into the TrueBlue program — suggesting more benefits are to come — by early 2023.

(Blade)

“This partnership with Blade will help us further evolve and enhance our TrueBlue program so our
most loyal customers can enjoy more perks more often,” JetBlue Vice President of Loyalty and Partnerships Chris Buckner said.

The JetBlue-Blade partnership evokes a similar image to that of the electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft the likes of American Airlines, United Airlines, and others see as the future of connecting people to a major airport in a large metropolitan area. However, Blade, which operates traditional gas-powered helicopters, is very much of the past generation of polluting, noisy, and exclusive urban air transport that the eVTOL industry is trying to distance itself from. Tickets on Blade flights from either JFK or Newark airports to Manhattan begin at $195 per person; the cost of a train ride from either airport ranges from $15.50 to $18.75 per person.

Blade will begin offering “continuous” service 13 hours a day, six days a week between Manhattan and JFK on June 27.