Ever since JetBlue’s founding, the workhorse of the fleet was the Airbus A320. In the beginning, this plane featured a state of the art IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) system. It had a 5.6-inch seat-back monitor on which you could watch live television with DirecTV stations, and listen to XM Radio (eventually Sirius XM).
That was 2003 and now it’s 2020. Most people bring a phone with a screen larger than 5.6 inches to watch movies or TV and that holds their entire music library. This screen wasn’t as impressive as it was a generation ago.
In 2016, JetBlue announced that they’d be renovating all of their A320 airplanes with new seats and modern IFE including a 10-inch screen and 100 channels of live TV.
JetBlue has also focused on keeping passengers fully connected gate-to-gate. With the introduction of its new internet-enabled in-flight entertainment (IFE) system from Thales—STV+—JetBlue will become the first domestic airline offer fully connected seat-back television. The new IFE system will offer 10-inch, 1280p, High-Definition capable touch screens, which is almost double the screen size available on JetBlue A320 aircraft today.
In 2018, I wrote about how I’d miss the old JetBlue cabin when it was gone. While it featured a new entertainment system, the seats on the renovated planes and on JetBlue’s A321’s just weren’t as comfortable.
That project was supposed to be completed by 2019. I was surprised to see JetBlue’s Twitter account send out this picture for #TransformationTuesday
So they’re four years into a three-year renovation and still only about 50% done. And those first four years were in a roaring economy, with full planes and high fares. I’m imagining that the 2nd half of the project is on hold for a while until airlines have money to spend on new interiors. Until then, we’ll probably be seeing these leather recliners on JetBlue flights for a while.
In the meantime, JetBlue might need to invest in some duct tape. That’s how we fixed the tears on the faux-leather recliner in the living room until we could afford to buy a new one.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary