Showing posts with label SJC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SJC. Show all posts

Friday, June 21, 2024

New airline for dogs flying out of San Jose International Airport

You read the headline correctly. BARK Air is a new airline flying out of SJC that caters to those travelling with dogs (and deep pockets). Flights are through a charter company with Gulfstream G5s, twin-engine business jets. That means you fly through San Jose Mineta International's Private terminal.

Instead of going in a crate, travelers and pets are greeted an hour before their flight by a concierge that helps get your pet ready for the flight in a spacious cabin. That includes providing things to help dogs stay calm like pheromone sprays, music, and scented refreshment towels. You also get a "just in case" bag filled with calming treats, leashes, poop bags, etc. 

On the flight itself, dogs get served water or bone broth during ascent and descent to ensure they don't experience discomfort due to change in cabin pressure. That's followed by BARK-branded treat, snacks and surprises throughout the flight.

Currently only two routes are offered: SJC to Chicago or New York. However, first class service equals first class prices. Each one-way ticket for a pet plus their owner is $6,000 for Chicago and $6,500 for NYC. 

BARK Air also serves LA, London, Paris, Phoenix, and Miami.

Source: KRON4

Friday, May 24, 2024

SJC is finally getting nonstop service to Washington DC

When it rains it pours. Earlier this week Frontier announced they are coming back to San Jose with five nonstop routes. Now, it looks like Spirit Airlines is launching one of San Jose's most requested routes of all time.

San Jose is one of the few big cities without a direct connection to DC. Given how important AI, semiconductors, and technology in general are to the United States--this makes no sense. Fortunately, Spirit Airlines is working on a nonstop flight to Ronald Regan Washington National Airport (DCA).

If it goes through, it will be the only low-fare airline option between Silicon Valley and Washington DC. The route is currently pending approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

I fly quite a bit but have yet to experience Spirit Airlines. That will be changing very soon. I knew they were categorized as an "ultra-low-cost" airline that slots below Southwest, but I didn't realize just how inexpensive they could be. You can book a business-class-sized seat to Vegas from SJC for less than the Southwest fare on several dates. If you are travelling light, the cheapest option can be half the cost of Southwest--which I already thought was pretty reasonable.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

SJC regains an airline and five more nonstop routes

San Jose Mineta International Airport had some pretty big news yesterday. Frontier Airlines is returning to San Jose! It's always exciting to get a new airline, or in this case regain one. Frontier previously flew to San Jose in 2018 and 2019.

Frontier will add five daily nonstop routes this summer in two parts. Service to Denver and San Diego begin on July 22nd. Service to Las Vegas, Los Angeles (LAX), and Phoenix begin on August 13th. It also looks like they have a code-sharing agreement with Volaris for flights to Guadalajara, Mexico.

I'm happy with any addition of flights to San Jose, but all five of these routes already exist at SJC. Actually, all of them have not one but at least 2-4 other airlines flying those routes. Competition does means lower prices and more departure/arrival time options. Also, Frontier is an ultra-low cost carrier like Spirit Airlines, so their prices are already low to begin with. They even have some flights as low as $19 to promote the launch of the new San Jose service.

If they are successful with their initial offering, hopefully they will bestow some new nonstop routes as well.

Monday, April 8, 2024

SJC is getting new flights from Spirit Airlines

Commercial aviation still hasn't fully recovered from the pandemic, but it's heading in the right direction at SJC. Spirit is the latest airline to add new flights from San Jose. They started service less than a year ago with service to Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Diego.

Starting June 5th, Spirit will add flights to LA (twice daily), Portland (once daily), and Baltimore (four times per week). 

LA is also serviced by Alaska, Delta, and Southwest while Portland is serviced by Alaska and Southwest. However, Baltimore will be an exclusive route at SJC for Spirit Airlines. The last time San Jose had a Baltimore route was in 2019 with Southwest.

It's always great to see new destinations, but even increased competition on existing routes will help keep prices low and options plentiful for San Jose travelers.

For some bonus good news, Spirit will add increased service to Las Vegas and San Diego in the summer.

Source: SVBJ


Monday, March 25, 2024

SJC celebrates 75 years with a giant chick in Terminal B

If you have flown out of San Jose recently, you might be wondering why there is a giant inflatable baby chick at baggage claim. The bird is there to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary. The first commercial flight at SJC arrived in 1949 with two pilots, seven passengers, and 2,550 baby chickens. Only the chickens exited at SJC, the rest of the passengers continued on to LAX.

For the full history of the airport and a contest to win some swag by taking photos with the chicks (there are multiple throughout the airport) fly over here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

ZIPAIR adding more flights from San Jose to Japan

Finally some good news for SJC. After a series of cutbacks from airlines, we have an international expansion. ZIPAIR is planning to add a sixth weekly flight from San Jose International to Tokyo between June 1st and September 30th. 

This means that San Joseans will have a nonstop to Tokyo every single day except for Tuesdays during the peak summer season. This is also ZIPAIR's second expansion as they initially started with three flights per week and then moved to five.

Increases in international flights are significant as international tourists have a larger positive financial impact to the local economy than domestic ones.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Robot shuttles coming to San Jose, SJC and beyond

Autonomous transportation is a lot closer than most people think. It's coming in two forms: multi-purpose where autonomous cars are sharing the road with non-autonomous vehicles (Waymo, Cruise, Tesla FSD) and via dedicated pathways (Las Vegas Loop, autonomous trains/pods). 

San Jose has been struggling with how to connect SJC to Downtown San Jose's Diridon transit center just three miles away, which is destined to become the Grand Central of the West Coast. Plans have been brewing for more than 20 years, and tax dollars have already been collected. Finally, a solution has been approved using a local startup specializing in AVs (Autonomous Vehicles) called Glydways.

These autonomous pods can go up to 31 miles per hour, so they would take about 8 minutes to go from Downtown San Jose to SJC via a dedicated and potentially grade-separated path. Today the ride takes about 30 minutes on local buses. The vehicles themselves carry up to four passengers plus their luggage and are wheelchair accessible. 

The initial route would go between Diridon and Terminal B, with plans to potentially include Terminal A, nearby parking, and other future destinations in Midtown/Uptown San Jose like Valley Fair. Phase 1 would have 200 autonomous pods.

This would be a public/private partnership with the city taking on some costs and an investment group (Plenary) taking another portion. The investors would recoup their investment by charging a fee on each ride. 

The model sounds very similar to the Las Vegas Loop, which will actually be almost entirely funded privately except for a fare-less section at the Las Vegas Convention Center. That project will eventually have over 80 stations serviced by autonomous pods larger in size than what Gyldways is planning. Unfortunately, the Boring Company never responded to San Jose's RFI.

Now for the real bad news. The Glydways project is not expected to get underway until 2028 and could take years to complete--a timeline that may render the whole system obsolete by the time it arrives given how quickly transportation solutions are changing. 

We are already pouring billions into systems that are decades old (Light Rail and BART) so it's critical that this next step is something that will be scalable and move the needle on San Jose transportation for the decades to come. Hopefully there is some way to get this project going much sooner and with flexibility to incorporate innovation as the project is in motion.


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Spirit Airlines begins flying from SJC today

Super low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has officially begun service from SJC's Terminal A. They are starting with two flights per day to Las Vegas, one to San Diego, and another to Dallas Fort Worth. Unfortunately these are all routes that are currently being served by other airlines at San Jose International, but the competition will help drive prices down.

Ironically, travelers on San Jose's lowest cost carrier will have easy access to airport lounges as both of them at SJC are in Terminal A--One by gate A8 and another on the way to Terminal B around gate A15. You can enter for free with Priority Pass or buy a day pass to enjoy a meal and cocktails before your flight.

Spirit flights start at only $39 each way, but there are many potential upcharges such as baggage, selecting a seat, and even overhead-bin access.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

SJC airport getting a new name and logo

San Jose's airport is getting a long overdue rebrand. The official name of the airport was the "Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport." Now it will simply be the "San Jose Mineta International Airport." The name is much cleaner and puts San Jose first and foremost while still honoring Norman Mineta, the first Japanese-American mayor of a major US city.

The logo itself is everything that you could hope for in a modern rebrand. It's simple and clear at any resolution, the abstract shapes signify flight, the colors are a nod to the San Jose flag, and I think it will age very well. I love it. Similar to the new SJDA logo, I think they nailed it.

This is in sharp contrast to the VTA logo which after five years I still think is still the single worst rebranding I have ever seen in my entire life.

Without further ado, have a look at the old and new logos below and judge for yourself.

Source: SVBJ



Tuesday, December 6, 2022

SJC passenger traffic is up plus other great news! ✈️

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is finally showing real signs of recovering from the Covid pandemic. October had over a million passengers passing through the airport, which is 32% better than October the previous year. This is still down 28% for 2019, but is a very positive trend. If you look at the data year-to-date (actually year-to-October) then traffic is up 64% from 2021 and only 38% down from 2019--which was the best year ever for San Jose air travel.

Looking forward to 2023, there is a lot of great news that will keep the momentum going. ZIPAIR is launching their nonstop flights from SJC to Japan this month. It might sounds like a random discount airline, but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL). The route will use a newer 787-8 plane with free WIFI and 290 seats, 18 of which are full-flat business. It will fly out from San Jose at 10am on Mondays, Thursday, and Sundays and arrive at Tokyo Narita at 2:30pm the next day.

In addition to ZIPAIR, there is a rumor that ANA will return to SJC in March with one big change. It will fly to Haneda instead of Narita in Tokyo. What's the difference? Narita is much closer to the city center, so it is generally preferred for travelers with a final destination of Tokyo.

Last but not least, Southwest has launched a six-day-per-week service to Palm Springs. Alaska was the only carrier doing this route before, so with Southwest joining prices have dropped significantly. Palm Springs is a great way to escape the cold in the winter and has one of the most interesting airports in the United States.

Below is a list of all of SJC's current international destinations. With service to 9 different destinations, we're still a bit off from our all-time high of 11 destinations. However, with people returning to travel in a post-pandemic world, I'm optimistic San Jose will score new routes in 2023.

SJC International Flights

  • Asia
    • Tokyo, Narita (ZIPAIR)
  • Europe
    • London (British Airways)
  • North America
    • Vancouver (Air Canada)
    • Guadalajara (Alaska Airlines, Volaris)
    • Cabo San Lucas (Alaska Airlines)
    • Puerto Vallarta (Alaska Airlines)
    • Morelia (Volaris)
    • Zacatecas (Volaris)
    • Leon (Volaris)

Sources: SVBJ, Wiki, ZIPAIR

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

New flights coming to SJC

Thanks to COVID, we went from having the fastest growing airport in the country and 11 international flights to a ghost town with only six international flights, all to Mexico.

Our fortunes may be slowly changing, the first new international route since COVID has just been announced by Volaris. They are adding a new nonstop between Mexico City and SJC that will fly three times per week (Mon, Wed, and Fri). This is the first time we'll have a direct flight to Mexico City in about two years.

Below is our revised list of international flights:

As an added bonus, Alaska Airlines is adding a seasonal nonstop to the ski town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming on December 19th. This will be a twice-weekly flight until April and will be the first time this route has ever appeared at SJC.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)

Monday, May 4, 2020

SJC moves ahead with expansion despite downturn in travel

Before COVID-19, San Jose International was one of the fastest growing airports in the country. To keep up with demand, 8 temporary gates were added to Terminal B, and a major expansion plan was put into motion to create 14 new permanent gates, a 300,000 SQFT hotel with 330 room, and 5,300 new parking spaces.

As traffic was down 97% at the airport compared to last year, I think most people assumed the expansion plans would be on hold. However, the San Jose city council unanimously approved the plans.

Eventually, things will get back to normal. When they do, it is better to build in a downturn then when resources are extremely expensive. It's clear that Silicon Valley isn't going away anytime soon and our abundance of work-from-home-friendly tech jobs means we will likely recover faster than other parts of the world. The airport is a critical resource for us, and I'm glad we're still going ahead with this important long-term investment.

Source: The Merc

Monday, February 24, 2020

Diridon-SJC People Mover concepts

Last year, Mayor Sam Liccardo started collecting innovative ideas for connecting Diridon to both SJC and Stevens Creek (Santana Row, Valley Fair, Apple HQ, etc.). He received several interesting proposals ranging from autonomous pods, monorails, handing trains, and hyperloops. The goal would be to use a system with significantly lower costs than the current mass transit options and a shorter deployment time.

The only option that I think is truly feasible at a low cost would be a loop (not hyperloop), which the Boring Company is currently building in Las Vegas to connect various parts of their sprawling convention center. It might be possible for a couple hundred million (including stations) and everything would be underground, minimizing conflicts with other modes of transportation and completely taking weather out of the equation. It would also be scaleable to other parts of San Jose with much additional effort.

Our current transit options are failing us, so I have to applaud the city for thinking outside the box to make these two transit hubs together as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SJC Terminal C

The San Jose Airport expansion is starting to get more interesting. Instead of just extending Terminal B, it sounds like the current idea floating around is an entire terminal with 14 permanent gates. That would mean additional check-in counters, baggage claim facilities, and security lanes. A "Terminal C" plan could help expedite getting in and out of the airport and balance congested areas.

The new terminal would also get the SJC's first onsite hotel and a 5,000 space parking structure. The cost could run as high as $1.1 billion, but would be self-funded by additional flights.

I think an interesting idea would be to move international flights to Terminal C and really make a world class facility. Those are lucrative flights that greatly benefit the business community and overall economy.

As a little bonus, SJC also ranked the 11th best large airport in the world for on-time flight performance. Way to overachieve!

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Iconic Boeing 747s are coming to SJC

SJC has been able to handle the famous double-decker 747 for quite some time and has even accepted and handful of emergency landings when the weather has been bad at SFO. The reason why we haven't had regular service using double-decker 747 planes isn't because of the size of our runways or noise (common myths), it's simply because of demand.

Thanks to the astronomical passenger growth at SJC, we are getting our first route using a 747!  British Airways is swapping out the Boeing 787-9 for it's nonstop flight to London with a Boeing 747-400. This will add 60 additional seats to the flight. Generally the 2nd floor is business class seats in a 2+2 configuration.

Even though the flight will revert back to the 787 in late October, this is a great sign that our carriers feel confident enough that they can start expanding service and use the largest class of planes available (only the Airbus A380 is larger).

Source: SVBJ, SBJV (2)

Monday, December 16, 2019

Modular hotel coming soon to North San Jose

There hasn't been the same level of innovation in construction over the past several decades as other industries such as computers and health care. One of the major innovations that will greatly reduce construction timeliness and bring down costs is modular construction. Most of the project is built off-site in a factory and the pieces are then assembled like Legos on site.

A new Hilton Garden Inn in San Jose is being built in this fashion by stacking 88 modular units on top of a podium near the airport at 101 east Gish Road. The units even came fully furnished. When complete the five-story hotel will have 150 room spread across 95,000 SQFT. The grand opening is currently slated for Spring 2020.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

SJC gets their first daytime nonstop to Boston

Next summer, you won't need to take a redeye if you're travelling to Boston. JetBlue is adding a daytime nonstop starting June 11, 2020. If you don't mind the redeye, don't worry that is sticking around.

JetBlue will also start flying to London from Boston in a couple years, so this will likely provide a nice alternative to British Airways from San Jose when those flights kick off in 2021. I've taken the British Airways SJC flight and it's fantastic, but can be expensive.

Speaking of cost, it looks like San Jose International is now the fourth most affordable airport in the country. This is based on average airfare and food costs. Our neighbor up north, SFO, is the 4th most expensive in the country. Something to keep in mind next time you fly.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

SJC's second lounge is now open

San Jose International has an amenity it has never had before--a second travel lounge! The Club SJC has been around for several years and has won a handful of international awards. It's located on the 3rd floor across from the international gates (Gate 15) and has a full bar, food, nice restrooms and showers, and even a great view. It just has one issue... it's doing so well that it is often very full.

The solution was to build a second "The Club SJC" in front of Gate A8. Ironically this is the same space as San Jose's only previous airport lounge, the American Airlines Admirals Club, which was only around when American had a hub in San Jose. Unlike the former Admirals Club, the new lounge is open to anyone for a fee ($39 per person I believe) and provides MUCH better amenities.

The food and snacks at The Club SJC are very good by lounge standards and there is an open bar for visitors with cocktails (bourbon and ginger-ale is default drink there). The new lounge has plenty of comfortable seats, an area with desks and power outlets for work, and a quiet/napping zone. I also found the service to be excellent when I used the lounge a couple weeks ago. There is no better place to hang out in SJC while waiting for your flight.

My only request, would be for them to build another lounge on the other side of the airport in the middle of the B gates. It's an especially long walk between the six temporary gates Southwest is using to either of the lounges. Even then, it's worth it for a snack, drink, and some relaxation before your flight.

If you want to get access to these lounges for free, I highly recommend the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card. Every time you fly, you get access for up to three people into either of the San Jose lounge as well as lounges in just about any major airport in the world (SFO and Oakland included). It has a high annual fee, but you get annual perks easily worth double the fee even if you just travel two or three times a year. If you're interested, here is the link.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, October 21, 2019

SJC getting a new flight to Puerto Vallarta

Alaska Airlines will bring us an 11th international destination early next year. Our first nonstop to Puerto Vallarta starts on March 19th, 2020. I've actually been there several times and it's one of my favorite vacation spots.

Alaska will use an Airbus A320 for the route with 12 first class, 24 premium, and 108 economy seats.

Below is our revised list of international flights:

  • Asia
    • Beijing
    • Tokyo
  • Europe
    • London
  • North America
    • Toronto
    • Vancouver
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Guadalajara (served by two different airlines)
    • Leon
    • Morelia
    • Puerto Vallarta
    • Zacatecas

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

SJC is getting a new international flight in 2020

New gates, passenger records, and now we are getting our international flight roster back on track. San Jose International is on a roll!

Air Canada is adding SJC's 10th international route on May 4th, 2020. Nonstop service to Toronto will be provided in an Airbus A220-300 with 137 seats. 12 of those are business class and the rest are economy in a comfortable 3+2 seat layout (fewer middle seats!).

Each day the flight will leave Toronto at 8:55am and arrive in San Jose at 11:28am. The return flight leaves SJC at 12:15pm and arrives in Toronto at 8:10pm.

Below is our full list of international flights. Unfortunately the Shanghai and Frankfurt routes have been cancelled. Toronto is likely to be a successful route given it was the 12th most requested by business travelers.

  • Asia
    • Tokyo
    • Beijing
  • Europe
    • London
  • North America
    • Vancouver
    • Toronto
    • Guadalajara (served by two different airlines)
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Morelia
    • Zacatecas
    • Leon

As an added bonus, Southwest is doubling their nonstop Hawaii destinations by adding flights to Kauai and the Big Island this January. The Kauai flight will run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting January 19th, 2020 while the Kona flight runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting January 21st 2020.

Sources: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)