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SJU - A new hub to Northern South America?

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Old Jul 9, 12, 3:56 am
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SJU - A new hub to Northern South America?

Thanks to the recent addition of Copa Airlines into the Star Alliance, there seems to be tons of 'Saver' availability to Northern South American cities from San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) via Panama City, Panama (PTY). From SJU, it's only 10,000 MP miles one-way to get to Bogota, Lima, Caracas, Quito, or even La Paz Bolivia - an incredible value if you ask me.

I thought I'd share this in case it wasn't already discussed.

I looked up the following on the United site and they seem to be green pretty much every day for the next 365 days.
  • SJU-BOG
  • SJU-LPB
  • SJU-UIO
  • SJU-CCS
  • SJU-LIM
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Old Jul 9, 12, 6:30 am
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Originally Posted by lrluis View Post
Thanks to the recent addition of Copa Airlines into the Star Alliance, there seems to be tons of 'Saver' availability to Northern South American cities from San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) via Panama City, Panama (PTY). From SJU, it's only 10,000 MP miles one-way to get to Bogota, Lima, Caracas, Quito, or even La Paz Bolivia - an incredible value if you ask me.

I thought I'd share this in case it wasn't already discussed.

I looked up the following on the United site and they seem to be green pretty much every day for the next 365 days.
  • SJU-BOG
  • SJU-LPB
  • SJU-UIO
  • SJU-CCS
  • SJU-LIM
It's not an "official" hub per se but they may be trying to ramp up pressure against AA who had a hub at SJU. I'd like to see more Caribbean flights out of SJU or IAD.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 6:37 am
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Originally Posted by mh3265a View Post
It's not an "official" hub per se but they may be trying to ramp up pressure against AA who had a hub at SJU. I'd like to see more Caribbean flights out of SJU or IAD.
AA has a shell of an operation at SJU today. The real competition there would be B6.

In this case PTY is the hub and CM is the carrier with decent award inventory. What SJU offers is easy access to the PTY hub and a different award chart assuming you route via Central America rather than the mainland USA.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 6:47 am
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Old Jul 9, 12, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by mh3265a View Post
It's not an "official" hub per se but they may be trying to ramp up pressure against AA who had a hub at SJU. I'd like to see more Caribbean flights out of SJU or IAD.
Yes, agree with sbm (a true rarity). Jetblue has created a hub at San Juan airport (SJU) while AA has dismantled its once impressive hub/domination of the market. In the marketplace, many people still think AA dominates SJU. But, unfortunately, that is not reality.

A friend of mine in the airline buiness told me it's very tough making $$ on SJU flights. I doubt there will be any real ramp out of any UA hub.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 9:57 am
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SJU - A new hub to Northern South America?

I should change the title. I meant "hub" in the figurative sense of the word and should have been more careful on these forums, ha. Maybe "gateway" would have been a better option?
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Old Jul 9, 12, 10:06 am
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Even as a gateway it is only mediocre, unless you already live there. The connections from IAD, EWR, ORD and IAH require 3-5 hours of layover in SJU and only can connect to the 6pm SJU-PTY flight. That gets to PTY late enough that onward connections aren't all that great.

If you cannot get to PTY direct from the mainland then SJU is one of a few CM stations worth looking at for the connection, especially as it saves an immigration experience in another country, but the timing isn't great with the connections there.
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