JetBlue Airlines has announced that it will begin offering flights between Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale in January 2024, the first step in company plans to widely expand their services in Florida as their intended merger with Spirit Airlines approaches.
“We commend JetBlue for expanding and providing more direct flights between the capital and South Florida,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press release issued by JetBlue. “These new low-fare flights will further benefit Florida’s thriving economy by bringing more jobs to our communities, and adding more choices for affordable air travel within the state. We look forward to JetBlue’s continued expansion in Fort Lauderdale.”
Florida’s capital city has long sought greater flight options out of Tallahassee International Airport, having led the “GetBlue” campaign starting in 2015, which saw over $3 million pledged to JetBlue by various organizations in Leon and Broward counties to attract the airline to the city.
The announcement could be an exciting prospect for the thousands of local students who call South Florida home, as the existing travel options to the area have been less than desirable for some.
Jordan Forbes, a Florida A&M student from Broward County, regularly travels home for school breaks and is anticipating JetBlue’s arrival as a time and cost-effective travel alternative.
“I definitely think JetBlue offering this service will be a major help to those who may not have 6-8 hours to drive,” Forbes said. “When these flights become available, I will definitely take advantage of them when needed.”
Planes between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Tallahassee International Airport will begin on Jan. 4, 2024, with fares starting at $99 for a one-way Blue Basic ticket, with rates of $124 and $157 for the general Blue and premium Blue Extra packages, respectively.
JetBlue’s fares between Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale compare favorably to both local and neighboring alternatives for the same time period of January 2024, as their $99/$124/$157 spread is less expensive than comparable offerings by Silver Airways and American Airlines out of Tallahassee, as well as JetBlue flights out of Jacksonville and Atlanta.
Tallahassee International Airport has been known to have abnormally high ticket prices— with the Tallahassee Democrat reporting in 2018 that flights out of Tallahassee cost 68 percent more than the national average.
JetBlue’s lower prices may allow for more Tallahassee residents and students to take advantage of convenient flights, instead of driving directly to their destination or to a nearby airport with budget-friendly fares — a phenomenon referred to as “leakage.” Tallahassee has struggled with losing local customers to adjacent airports due to high prices and limited destinations, leaking over 1,100 passengers each day to airports located throughout Central and North Florida, according to a July 2019 report by the City of Tallahassee.
For more information on announced flights, visit JetBlue’s website.