In February 2002, the airline launched its first regional product, Frontier JetExpress, initially operated by Mesa Airlines using CRJ-200 regional jets. Similar to "express" operations of other carriers, Frontier JetExpress was targeted for markets to and from Denver that do not generate traffic sufficient to support Frontier's smallest mainline jet, the Airbus A318, but could still offer lucrative business with a smaller jet.
In 2014, Frontier announced it would be transitioning into an ultra-low cost carrier. Frontier will also cut several flights and jobs at their Denver hub and transition them to different markets. On January 16, 2015 Frontier announced that it will close both its Denver and Milwaukee call centers, laying off 1,300 employees and outsourcing the jobs to call center company, Sitel, which operates a large call center for Frontier in Las Cruces, New Mexico. As part of its transition to an ultra-low-cost airline, Frontier Airlines joined Spirit and Allegiant in June 2015 in removing its toll-free telephone number for customer service.
In November 2012, Frontier started low-frequency service between Orlando International Airport and Trenton–Mercer Airport near Trenton, New Jersey, which, at the time, had no commercial service. Frontier later expanded service several times from Trenton, and as of June 2016 services 11 destinations. Frontier currently bases three aircraft in Trenton. Trenton Mercer Airport lies roughly equidistant between Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
In 2009, jetBlue announced that it was looking for a new headquarters location, and was considering moving either within the New York City metropolitan area or to the Orlando, Florida area. In April 2009, Helen Marshall, the president of the Borough of Queens, said that the City of New York was trying to keep JetBlue in the city; in January 2010, the CEO of JetBlue, Dave Barger, and Governor of Florida Charlie Crist met in Tallahassee, Florida to discuss a possible move to Orlando. A decision was expected by March 2010, although a move would not happen until 2012, when its lease in the Forest Hills Tower expired.
September 21, 2005: Flight 292 en route from Burbank, California, to New York City performed an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport (pictured on the right) following a failure of the front landing gear during retraction when it turned 90 degrees. The plane landed after holding for about three hours to burn fuel and therefore lighten the aircraft. The aircraft came to a stop without incident on runway 25L, the second-longest runway at LAX. The only apparent damage to the plane upon landing was the destruction of the front wheels, which were ground down to almost semicircles, and the tires; the front landing strut held. The passengers were unable to see themselves landing despite the DirecTV service in each seat, as they were instructed to brace.
On August 4, 2008, the Associated Press reported that jetBlue would replace their recycled pillows and blankets with an "eco-friendly" pillow and blanket package that passengers would have to purchase for use. Each package will cost $7 and will include a $5 coupon from retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond. This decision is the latest in a series of moves designed to increase revenue. jetBlue told the Associated Press that it expects to collect $40 million from passengers selecting seats with extra legroom and $20 million from passengers paying $15 to check a second bag. As of September 8, 2008 JetBlue charges passengers $10–30 for an extended-leg-room seat depending on the length of the flight.
Frontier Airlines was incorporated on February 8, 1994, by a group that included executives of the original incarnation of Frontier Airlines in response to the void left by Continental Airlines' 1993 shutdown of its Denver (Stapleton) hub. Scheduled flights began five months later in July 1994 using Boeing 737-200 jetliners on routes between Denver and four destinations in North Dakota: Bismarck, Minot, Fargo and Grand Forks. By January 1995, Frontier had expanded its route network from Denver and was serving Albuquerque, New Mexico; Billings, Montana; Bismarck, N.D.; Bozeman, Montana; El Paso, Texas; Fargo, N.D.; Great Falls, Montana; Las Vegas, Nevada; Missoula, Montana; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tucson, Arizona with 737's. Like the original airline of the same name, the new Frontier operated a hub at Denver (DEN) and for the first nine years used the slogan "The Spirit of the West" which was displayed above the windows and just behind the cursive letters "Frontier" on the fuselage of their aircraft. In 1999, Frontier signed agreements to begin purchasing and leasing Airbus A318 and A319 jet aircraft and had also added Boeing 737-300 jetliners to its fleet as well. Also by September 1999, the airline was serving destinations from coast to coast in the U.S., having expanded its route network to include Atlanta (ATL); Baltimore (BWI); Bloomington/Normal, Illinois (BMI); Boston (BOS); Chicago (MDW, Midway Airport); Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW); Phoenix (PHX); Los Angeles (LAX); Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP); New York City (LGA, LaGuardia Airport); Orlando (MCO); Portland, Oregon (PDX); Salt Lake City (SLC); San Diego (SAN); San Francisco (SFO); and Seattle (SEA), all served from its Denver hub.
On October 22, 2008, jetBlue opened its new primary hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Terminal 5, or simply T5. The mostly new terminal, costing approximately $800 million, partially encircles the historic TWA Flight Center, the former Trans World Airlines terminal designed by Eero Saarinen, which remains closed. According to the plan, passengers will eventually be able to check in for flights in the landmark building, then transfer to the new structure via the original passenger departing-arrival tubes from Saarinen's original terminal and its 1969 addition by Roche-Dinkeloo.
During the last few days of June and the first few days of July 2015, jetBlue began charging for bags in certain booking classes, leaving Southwest Airlines the only major U.S. carrier to not charge for bags. For the classes in which bag check fees are charged (generally the lowest class of fares offered; jetBlue offers 3 classes of fares), the cost is $20 for the first bag and $35 for the second, which is the lowest in the United States besides Frontier Airlines with similar prices.
In 2008, jetBlue partnered with Irish flagship carrier Aer Lingus to allow passengers to switch between airlines on a single ticket for flights with connections in New York–JFK or Boston Logan. Unlike traditional codeshare agreements, the companies cannot sell seats on each other's flights, so customers initiate the purchase on one airline's website and then are transferred to the other site to complete the transaction.
In October 2013, jetBlue introduced Mint, a premium cabin service on transcontinental and select Caribbean flights. The service began in 2014, using the Airbus A321-231 aircraft ordered by jetBlue. These planes are outfitted with winglets, as well as with "lie flat" seats, and moveable partitions that can create small suites on the airplane. Called "Mint" by jetBlue, these planes are configured with 16 business-class seats and 143 economy seats, instead of an all-economy configuration of 190 seats.
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