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JetBlue service coming to Long Island MacArthur Airport

JetBlue coming to Long Island MacArthur Airport
JetBlue coming to Long Island MacArthur Airport 02:02

ISLIP, N.Y. - JetBlue service is coming to Long Island MacArthur Airport. 

Starting in October, JetBlue will fly from MacArthur to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, officials announced Tuesday. 

To celebrate, JetBlue, which is based in New York and is the sixth-largest carrier in the U.S., is offering one-way fares for a limited time from Islip to those destinations for just $49, but they are available for purchase online only

MacArthur Airport - known as ISP - is about 50 miles from New York City, and is served by Breeze Airways, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and now JetBlue. Long Island Rail Road provides service from New York City to MacArthur airport. It's the closest airport for Long Island's 2.8 million residents. 

The airport has struggled to retain big name carriers, but JetBlue has high hopes for it. 

Many passengers have wondered why there aren't more than three airlines there. 

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter says she has pursued carriers for years and hears the same question for residents. 

"Why don't you have more service? Why don't you have more flights? Why don't you have more airlines," 

"Right now, it's a hidden gem for those of us on Long Island," Coram resident Kristen Smith said. 

"Not only is it a game changer for the airport, it's a game changer for the region," Carpenter said. 

"Our decision to add nonstop flights to three popular Florida destinations is a testament to our commitment to providing customers with more convenient travel options to and from the places they most want to go," said Dave Jehn of JetBlue. 

"We know Long Islanders love traveling between Florida and Long Island, and JetBlue's decision to provide more service to three top Florida destinations reflects that opportunity," said Mitch Pally, Airport Advisory Board chairman. 

It has been a tough several years for the airport, and the airline industry, post-pandemic. JetBlue recently cut routes, and was blocked in its bid to buy Spirit Airlines.   

But officials said MacArthur Airport has seen an increase in domestic seats available year over year - up nearly 23% in April '24 over a year prior. 

"It's gotten to the point where we are free to do this. And we probably have wanted to do this for a few years, we just hadn't had that flexibility," Jehn said. 

"Long Island MacArthur Airport strives to provide excellent working relationships with our air carriers, low landing fees, and significant taxi time savings. Airlines are recognizing ISP as a distinct and highly desirable airport to serve New York, and customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties more and more are seeing the benefits of flying from Long Island's convenient hometown airport," said Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken. "These relationships and passenger preferences will become even more important in the years ahead, as we continue discussions in the community about a North Terminal providing true train-to-plane convenience from the LIRR Ronkonkoma/MacArthur Airport Station." 

"MacArthur Airport continues to be a dynamic economic generator for all of Long Island, and the arrival of JetBlue just increases that important role in the future. LIA joins Long Island MacArthur Airport in welcoming this popular airline," Long Island Association President Matt Cohen said.

Plans are underway for Long Island's first convention center to be built nearby, and for a new terminal to be built close to the train station. 

"Hopefully, these flights will be successful, and they'll add other flights in the future," Pally said. "There are three million people on Long Island. If some of them come our way, it would improve traffic congestion." 

Passengers say they need no convincing to avoid city airports. 

"It's a nightmare traffic. Relatives don't want to drive there to pick you up. It's horrible," one person said. 

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