Thoughts on My First JetBlue Flight – The Good & Bad…Plus New Member Promo

Last night marked my first ever JetBlue flight, I flew from Denver to JFK on the 12:48am red-eye. Before I get into my thoughts, a word of advice…a 3 hour and 15 minute “red-eye” does not leave you feeling good the next morning! The time between reaching cruise altitude and the pilot coming on to announce our initial descent was only about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Why my first ever JetBlue flight? Well, I’m addicted to points and with elite status on all three airlines, I’ve never wanted to give up the chance at an upgrade or the opportunity to bump up the balance in one of my frequent flier accounts. To me, a first class seat on one of my preferred carriers (even without a TV) always seemed more appealing than a JetBlue flight.

I was in Colorado Springs since last Friday for the Boarding Area BAcon conference but hadn’t booked my flights until just a few days prior. I found a great fare on United for the outbound from LGA-DEN, but the return flights were all very costly…except on JetBlue where I was able to snag a fare for under $100 on the red-eye flight into JFK. Additionally, I was excited about the JetBlue new member promo, where new members (or members with new email addresses) receive 7,500 TrueBlue points after taking their first flight by June 19th. This flight would qualify me for the promotion and so everything just seemed to fall into place. Especially since JetBlue one-way awards start at only 5,000 TrueBlue points and $2.50 in taxes and fees.

What I liked

1) The captain comes out of the flight deck to welcome everyone and to make his initial announcement.

2) Free snacks –  I didn’t know the JetBlue etiquette but everyone around me seemed to be taking two different snacks, I followed their lead. I also learned that popped corn chips are very tasty.

3) Snooze kits are provided complimentary to all passengers. Granted it’s just ear plugs and an eye mask, but still a nice touch.

4) Upon landing the JetBlue mobile app provides a welcome message and your baggage claim number, very handy if you check bags.

5) Seeing the TWA Flight Center upon exiting T5. Related, see my tour inside the TWA Flight Center here.

6) JetBlue has so many partners at JFK that it takes two screens to list them all…

What I Didn’t Like

1) I had an aisle seat in row 8. The plane was boarded from back to front which meant I was one of the last ones on. Luckily, I was also one of the only people with a carry-on. I missed my legacy priority boarding status.

2) The flight attendants were fine but didn’t seem overly happy to be on-board, though I guess who is at that time of night. They also kept their sanitary gloves on at all times even when not serving. Additionally, our A320 felt a bit tired and maybe a little dirty even.

3) No wifi. The DIRECTV service was nice, but the screen was small at 6.8 inches. I’ve recently had very good luck having new TVs on domestic legs on Delta and United. Unfortunately, this is something that won’t set JetBlue apart forever. Most of the legacies are in the process (or have a plan) for bringing in-flight entertainment to their fleets, though this will of course take the better part of a decade. All new American deliveries will also have built-in in-flight entertainment systems.

Overall, it was a direct flight, at a great price, booked last minute, which qualified me for an excellent new member promotion. I enjoyed my experience, though I don’t know that I’d choose JetBlue over receiving a potential upgrade or legacy miles in the future (with price constant across all carriers).

Are you a JetBlue loyalist? What are your thoughts?

Comments

  1. I’m not a Jetblue loyalist (been on them once) but the following is misleading:

    “Unfortunately, [PTVS are] something that won’t set JetBlue apart forever. …”

    Well…no. Delta has three flights between DEN and NYC tomorrow, none of which feature PTVs. American has PTVs on, what, 0% of their domestic fleet? US Airways is 0%. United is low as well. So where is the logic behind your statement?

  2. Jet Blue used to really be an awesome airline, especially for me as a local NYer. Over the years, they have really fallen behind the legacy carriers in several areas: frequent flier points (this has improved), elite benefits, no first class (this is changing), and an aging ascetic fleet of A320’s and E190’s. They cater to families with children, and at times boarding can take an hour. If you’re toward the back, you can almost guarantee that within 6 feet you’ll have a screaming baby or a hyperactive 6 year old. I have only flown them twice in the past two years, and that was always out of necessity. The extra leg room sets are a must on the older A320s.

  3. I prefer flying JetBlue on domestic routes anytime I can. Love those blue chips (take at least 3 or 4 bags home to stash for hard times)

  4. For me what stands out for JetBlue is their affordable ‘More Space’ options. Flying coast to coast, the More Space upgrade is about $75, and for me, that’s a good price for the ability to get some work done as well as just feel more comfortable. Compare that to Virgin America, which can cost well north of $200 for the same thing. Plus, on many of the flights I’ve purchased the upgrade for, the More Space seats were pretty undersold, so I also had an empty seat next to me.

    The significant downsides are the lack of internet and no power outlets. The former looks to be rectified this year. If not for my Southwest companion pass, I’d probably flight JetBlue a lot more.

  5. I am a jetBlue fan, in part because they are the only airline that flies the domestic route I fly most often (mco-hpn) but also because a) the TVs are on EVERY flight, b) they have more legroom in coach than any of the legacy carriers — even before my usual upgrade to an Even More Space seat (which includes priority boarding privileges), and c) the flight attendants and pilots are routinely warm, funny and kind…and have sometimes gone waaay out of their way for me. Sure, I wish they had F on my route, and had international redemption partners, but if I have to fly coach, I’d rather do it with them. @ Weekly Flyer: jetBlue’s non-alcoholic beverages are free.

  6. I recommend JetBlue to people who rarely travel. It’s consistent in regards to legroom and entertainment and the “Even More Speed” make it easier to get through security (in certain airports) and get on board first.

    No wi-fi is a bummer though.

  7. I am very loyal to JetBlue. I fly them more than any other airline. Stop complaining try flying delta or united or spirit.

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