American Axes One of my Favorite JFK Routes – Caribbean Left with Just a Few Flights

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Award availability was fantastic. My family of four flewDec 24th returning December 30th two years ago, all on MileSAAver awards at35K.
  3. 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!

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  1. I am one of a handful of SJU-based Executive Platinums with a total of over 20 million miles seriously considering switching our loyalty to another airline, as it is increasingly difficult to find flights to or from SJU with AA’s cutbacks, which are not related to JetBlue’s rise but to AA’s dehubbing SJU several years ago.

  2. And now American comes up with another anti-Caribbean policy: As Delta, they do not plan to open up domestic flights to/from Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands to their new Personal Electronic Devices (PED) gate-to-gate use policies.

    I’ve already told them that they better fix that before my next vacation trip with them. If not, I will inform the flight attendant that I’m not turning off my non-cellular PED because I don’t bow to discriminatory rules, just as Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus.

    If you fly to/from Puerto Rico or the USVI, join the Operation Rosa Parks by refusing to allow American or Delta (Jet Blue announced they’re treating us equally, so no problem with them) to make you turn off your non-cellular PED.

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