Last October I sadly posted about American Airlines canceling their long running JFK-Barbados flight – American Axes One of my Favorite JFK Routes – Caribbean Left with Just a Few Flights. I lamented that 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 and new Radisson as well.
- Award availability was fantastic. My family of four flew Dec 24th returning December 30th two years ago, all on MileSAAver awards at 35K. We’ve done that to several other Caribbean location each and every year on AA for 11 years now!
- 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!
That left 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 kitchen table and look at AA’s “Where We Fly” map to pick our next Caribbean winter vacation spot, always a new destination on miles.
Well, according to this airliners.net thread, it looks like AA may now be further reducing their NYC-Caribbean flying, with the St. Kitts once daily flight completely disappearing in September and the JFK-SJU route being cut to only once per day! Take a look at this AA schedule from July 2001 with 11 daily flights from JFK to their then hub in San Juan! Of course, the competition is a bit different now. This September JetBlue will have 6 daily flights to SJU, Delta will have 4 , and United will have 1.