JetBlue’s hard product for economy has always been far and away, best in class. From being the first airline to offer live television and now being the only airline to offer WiFi to all passengers for free, JetBlue tries to make you forget how uncomfortable you are when crammed into a seat on a narrowbody plane. Besides the E190s they fly on short routes, JetBlue’s fleet is entirely made up of Airbus planes. They’re still flying some old A320s with ancient IFE, which were supposed to be refurbished years ago but they’re still not finished with the project.
While the IFE is worthless, the comfortable seats almost make up for it.
Besides the old and new versions of the A320, JetBlue also has a number of brand new A321neo planes, which are amazing. With state-of-the-art IFE, plenty of places to charge your own devices and a swanky-looking interior, I’m a big fan of these planes.
Stuck between the new A321neo, which comes with all the bells and whistles and the A320s which are getting a makeover, there’s the Jan Brady of the JetBlue family, the A321 “Classic.”
JetBlue knows these planes need an update but not as badly as the A320s still in the fleet that still have the old layout. These planes are stuck with a layout that’s behind the times but not enough to force the airline to make updates, yet.
The bright and large IFE screen makes you think that you’re on a new plane but there’s one giveaway this isn’t a new system. There’s a credit card slot under the screen for you to pay for a movie. Pay for a movie, is this 2005? You might as well have an AirPhone for you to make a call from the plane. (Thank goodness that was so expensive that it never caught on.)
There are also no USB plugs for you to charge your devices. Instead, there are plugs in-between the seats at foot level where you can use your charger. I ended up plugging in my computer and charging my phone from one of its USB ports.
You know you have a problem when the IFE has to flash a message during boarding to let people know where the power plugs are located (by your feet.)
Was JetBlue’s A321 the worst plane you could fly from Orlando to New York? Of course, it wasn’t. You could have been on a Frontier plane with no IFE, no WiFi and a tray table the size of a napkin.
However, JetBlue doesn’t charge a different fare when you’re flying on one of their newer aircraft or if you’re stuck on one which is due for an upgrade but hasn’t made it to the factory yet. And if you’re flying on one of the A321 “Classic” planes, make sure you have a long plug to charge your phone.
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