JetBlue to cut (profits) back in Long Beach?

If you haven’t taken advantage of JetBlue’s cheap flights between San Francisco and Long Beach, you may want to act quickly. The low-cost airline is considering scaling back service through the latter, which is its hub on the west coast. The slow pace of improvements at the airport, which is city-owned, is the driver behind this decision.

There’s no cause for alarm just yet. JetBlue doesn’t have any formal plan to make the move, but it has announced that it is considering reducing or shifting Long Beach flights. Los Angeles International Airport is among the possible winners, as it would pick up some traffic from the changes.

Of course, Long Beach Airport is protecting itself. Spokeswoman Sharon Diggs Jackson said last Thursday that JetBlue hadn’t indicated that it was heading for the exits. In fact, she noted that the airline is planning to add another flight in May.

Three million passengers pass through Long Beach Airport every year – and JetBlue has the largest presence there. It’s also a profitable spot for the airline.

So, we’re clearly looking at a battle over leverage. Only time will tell the victor.

NYC to San Francisco for the price of a cab on JetBlue

I guess it pays to keep an eye on JetBlue‘s website. Last Thursday, the airline sold 200 seats on its New York-to-San Francisco route at $14 a pop. Unsurprisingly, it only took a few hours. Those living on the west coast still have a shot at a sweetheart deal, though, with 1,600 seats for flights between San Francisco and Long Beach, CA still unsold at mid-day on April 2, according to an Associated Press story on MSNBC.

JetBlue used this promotion to highlight its policy on not charging for the first bag you check. Some airlines are charging $15 a bag, which makes it more expensive for your luggage to take another airline than it would for you to fly yourself on JetBlue.

Financially, JetBlue is taking it on the chin with this deal. As of the fourth quarter of 2008, it cost the airline $300 to carry a passenger 2,900 miles (the distance of a coast-to-coast jaunt).

As always, there’s a catch. The trips have to be taken by April 8, 2009.