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Damien's Blog

Jet Blue – A Better Flying Experience for Less

By Damien Patton, (820 words) Posted in Corporate on October 7, 2009
There are (43) comments permalink

I am the definition of frequent flyer, always earning more than 100,000 air miles a year and 3 years ago hit almost 300,000 in one calendar year. I have tried most major airlines around the world and enjoyed visiting over 75 different airports in the last 5 years. Using this as my frame of reference, I feel I am a pretty good judge of airlines and airport facilities.

Yesterday I took my maiden voyage on Jet Blue from New York City’s JFK airport back home to Las Vegas. This was a major departure from my typical airlines that I fly to accumulate miles (USAirways, Delta and Continental).

Jet Blue

Admittedly I was expecting an experience more like the "cattle call" of Southwest and certainly not up to the standards of one of the majors. The verdict: One of the best flight experiences I have ever had. This blog comes on the heals of a great flight I wrote about on USAirways, but that was all about the staff, and one attendant in particular. That still remains the best flight of all time for staff. Jet Blue however surprised me at every turn with the amenities on board for a low cost airline.

First, I paid the extra $40 for a seat near the front of the plane with more legroom, not expecting much. What I got was a seat that had more room than first class on USAirways. But I am getting ahead of myself and should start from the beginning. The Jet Blue terminal at JFK is one of the most modern I have been in. The restaurant selection alone puts most airports to shame. You can prepare a fresh salad from a Whole Foods Market style bar, get freshly made sushi, eat Kobe beef burgers, shop at clothing stores often found in a mall and not at an airport. Throughout the terminal were computer stations and outlets for travelers needing to charge their laptops or mobile phones.

When we boarded they started in the rear of the plane just like in the good "ole" flying days. The gate attendants stuck to their guard not allowing "uncalled" rows to jump ahead in line. I was a little worried that boarding last would mean that I wouldn't find space in the overheads for my bag. On most sold out flights these days I hear the flight crew calling to check bags before boarding has been completed. Such was not the case on Jet Blue. When I finally got on board to sit in row 5, I found that no one was seated in rows 1 thru 5 yet and the flight crew and left the bins for those rows closed and made the other passengers put their bags in their area.

Finding a seat with this type of extended leg room was more than a surprise. As soon as I got settled I got to enjoy my own TV with DirectTV and XM radio. This made the rest of the boarding time go by in a flash. They did shut the TV's off for the boarding announcement and procedures, but they were quickly turned on so that while waiting on the runway at JFK (and you always wait there), time flew by. If you are one of those people that plan your flight schedules around your favorite tv show or sporting events, then this airline is for you.

During the first 20 minutes of the flight, the crew did a drink and snack service. Granted a 5 hour flight is a long time to go without a meal, but Jet Blue offers a variety of low calorie snacks for free. During the flight the crew made water and snacks available in the forward and rear galleys so passengers could help themselves.

Although I worked most of the flight (big surprise), I did take a few breaks to watch TV (something that is rare for me these days). The entire experience just made 5 and a half hours fly by (pun intended).

The bottom line, Jet Blue is a low cost airline with features that even the highest priced airlines don't have. When I got home last night I immediately started looking through my schedule to see when and where I could switch from USAir to Jet Blue. All I had to see was 2 non–stop flights to Boston from Las Vegas everyday and I am sold. While Jet Blue has had its problems in the past with stranding passengers on the runways for hours at a time, I am going to continue to use them when possible. If you are someone that won't fly without first class, I promise that the experience in extra legroom seats on Jet Blue will rival any domestic first class trip without the food. If you want the dining experience, make your own meal in the terminal and bring it on board. I actually look forward to trying Jet Blue to Boston later this month, and I have stopped looking forward to flights a long time ago. Amazing how a positive experience like this can change your outlook.

Icon: author blog About the Author:
Damien is the Founder and CEO of FindAnyFloor.com as well as several other technolgy businesses specializing in social media and search.
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Comments (43)

Emilia Robinson posted on: October 7, 2009

Great blog on Jet Blue. I live in Boston and they fly out of here but I have yet to experience them. I was going to book my flight to California on USAirways, but now I think I will take your advice and try Jet Blue. If I don't love it, can I blame you? Just kidding. But really, thanks as I just looked and Jet Blue has lower prices and I always avoided them thinking it was just another Southwest airlines.

Elliott Shapiro posted on: October 7, 2009

First class in the US is nothing what it used to be and you are 100% on point. Jet Blues extra leg room seats are bigger than most domestic first class seats. They aren't as wide but the leg room is great but the DirectTV trumps all.

Most domestics don't even show a movie on a 5 hour flight anymore because no one was watching them.

If Jet Blue would just add WiFi, I could get all my attorney colleagues to switch to Jet Blue. Come on JB, give us WiFi and become a leader in domestic air travel.

Sasha Johnson posted on: October 7, 2009

One of the few airlines that come in and out of Long Beach, CA. I use Jet Blue constantly and have always been more than satisfied with the service. Top notch every time! Im just glad I don't have to drive to LA every time I need to fly directly...

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