Every time I fly with JetBlue, I’m reminded of why I like flying with them so much. All things being equal, if I had a choice between another airline and JetBlue, I’d pick them every time. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but there are so many small things they get right that other airlines just don’t seem to understand.
I could stop the list here and say why I love JetBlue are Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi.
The fact that JetBlue offers free Wi-Fi to all passengers while other airlines either charge for it or don’t offer it at all speaks volumes.
Delta tried to offer free Wi-Fi to passengers as a test and found that their provider couldn’t handle the volume. Delta’s problem was over-usage by passengers.
Skift quotes Delta CEO Ed Bastian as saying that while Gogo has made big improvements to their inflight wifi, unfortunately they can’t get speeds that support the heavy usage from passengers when offering it for free.
Here’s the catch. It was new for Delta passengers. They’ve always had to pay before. Of course, if I’m flying on Delta, I will want to try the free Wi-Fi. On my JetBlue flight, only a handful of passengers were using a computer. Many others were watching the IFE system or just reading or watching movies on their own devices. When Wi-Fi becomes just another option, you don’t overuse it. I logged into the FlyFi network on my phone to keep up on emails and check on the website, browsing through my Facebook and Twitter feeds along the way.
Any other airline will have to deal with a spike in usage when they open up free Wi-Fi to all passengers. That’s why JetBlue is so far ahead of the curve. For their passengers, it isn’t a novelty, it’s just there.
It’s easy to see the difference between someone who likes going to work and someone who just goes to work.
For example, the flight attendants on JetBlue willingly helped the older passengers on our flight lift their bags into the overhead compartments during the boarding process. One of them also helped a woman who kept banging into every chair with her bag when leaving the plane, asking if they could assist her, which she gladly accepted.
During the in-flight service, they proactively offered passengers items. I ordered orange juice (because JetBlue now serves Pepsi, ew) and she asked: “Do you want two cans? They’re kinda small.”
As usual, they brought around the snack bin and if someone asked for two packages, they smiled and handed over the goods. They didn’t act like they were doing you a favor.
I find the new slimline seats on other airlines to be exceedingly uncomfortable. Even when sitting in a seat with extra legroom, I can’t go more than 45 minutes before my back begins to hurt. I’ve started to travel with a small pillow to provide some support lacking in the seat.
Many of our JetBlue flights are still on their older A320 planes.
While I’ve joked in the past that these seats look like an old, worn-out La-Z-Boy chair, there’s no question that they have more padding than a newer plane’s seats.
There’s also a bunch of legroom, even in the cheap seats. I’ll be sad to see these seats go away when JetBlue finishes retrofitting their entire fleet.
Seat Back In-Flight Entertainment
While JetBlue’s seatback screens on their A320s may be small, you can still watch 36 channels of DirecTV and listen to over 100 SiriusXM stations along with free movies. The newer A321s have over 100 channels on a much bigger screen.
While having live TV at every seat was innovative in 2002 when JetBlue was the first to offer the service, it almost seems more impressive that they’re improving their service almost 20 years later when other airlines are removing screens from planes.
It’s been a long time since I’ve considered JetBlue an LCC (Low-Cost Carrier). The product they deliver is often better than that offered by the big three legacy US carriers and the price they charge for tickets reflects that difference.
It really says something about the US market where carriers like Southwest can offer free bags and JetBlue has free WiFi but those perks will cost you extra on what used to be the best airlines.
JetBlue used to be our #1 airline pre-COVID. They’ve lost a few spots because of their policies when the pandemic started with regards to refunds and I’m not thrilled that they’ve only promised to waive change fees for a while.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary