Effective January 15, 2014, American has removed non-stop service from JFK-Barbados (BGI) from its schedule. You’ll now need to connect in Miami if you intend to fly on AA. This was one of my favorite JFK-Caribbean flights on AA for a bunch of reasons:
- Barbados always seemed to be less touristy than the other Caribbean locals with direct NYC based flights (less US tourists anyway…very big with the UK). Friendly locals,beautiful uncrowded beaches, and a great Hilton as well.
- Award availability was fantastic. My family of four flewDec 24th returning December 30th two years ago, all on MileSAAver awards at35K.
- Since award availability was so fantastic, there was always Avios availability as well. I was able to avoid a NYC blizzard last year and escape to Barbados last minute using an AAdvantage MileSAAver award booked via British Airways Avios. The total cost was $47.50 in taxes and only 12,500 Avios points (instead of 17,500 AA miles) each way!
It seems JetBlue may have put the final nail in the coffin by announcing that a new A321 will operate their JFK-BGI route beginning this December. There’s also a rumor that they may add a second daily flight on peak travel days. That will leave AA with non-stop Caribbean service from JFK to only Antigua (ANU), St. Kitts (SKB) once per week, Port-au-Prince (PAP), San Juan (SJU), St. Maarten (SXM), and St. Thomas (STT).
A far cry from the days when we’d sit down at the table and look at AA’s “Where We Fly” map to pick our next Caribbean winter vacation spot, always a new destination. We’ve had 10 successful years (going on yer 11 now), always redeeming for four awards at the low level during xmas week, mostly on non-stop flights. Luckily, Antigua is still on that list!