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One of the reasons I love points/miles is because (in normal times at least) they allow me to travel in comfort and style, without paying vast sums of cash. That said, unless I’m starting in Spain, I can hardly ever justify using points to fly Business/First Class to the East Coast of North America. The amount of points required is often high, the flights are relatively short, and good value Economy fares are usually available.
With the demise of Norwegian, you might have thought there would be less pressure on airlines to keep fares low. Fortunately JetBlue are stepping in to fill the gap – and their new Economy product sounds very decent.
Jayne O’Brien, head of marketing and loyalty at JetBlue, explains the plan as follows:
“From generous personal space, to our innovative build-your-own dining concept, every detail has been thoughtfully designed and will be made even better with the attentive service standards that a single-aisle aircraft allows… We know all too well the pain points of international flying – the dreaded center section, the ‘choice’ of assembly-line chicken or beef, and the lack of connectivity. JetBlue is ready to change all that with our take on transatlantic travel where you are well taken care of and fully connected if you want to be.”
In real terms what that seems to mean is:
- 114 seats with 32 inches of legroom and an expanded width of 18.4 inches – wider than most seats found on wide-body aircraft today – offering customers more space and comfort in an economy experience than any carrier in the transatlantic market.
- Four rows of Even More® Space seating with up to six inches more legroom.
- Seats will feature enhanced cushion comfort and adjustable headrests
- Easy-to-reach in-seat power, featuring AC and USB-C ports
- 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screen at every seat.
- A curated selection of international live TV channels focused on news and sports.
- Robust library of on-demand content including full seasons of shows, hundreds of movies, and premium content from HBO & SHOWTIME.
- Unlimited, free high-speed Wi-Fi on all transatlantic flights, providing customers with the ability to connect devices and stream, surf, or chat during the entire flight, from gate to gate.
What about food & drink?
Again, it sounds great:
“Unlike the traditional meals being served on other airlines today, JetBlue’s transatlantic food offering will put the customer in control, allowing them to customize their own meal right on their seatback screen. Customers will have the option to choose one of three main selections including a protein or vegetable that comes with a base, and two out of three hot and chilled side options. Menu items will feature hearty offerings, such as roasted chicken thigh over a base of brown rice with herbs and spiced eggplant over coconut cauliflower quinoa, with sides including Dig’s beloved mac and cheese and a mixed heirloom tomato salad.
In addition, passengers can also enjoy:
- Specially designed onboard Pantry with a self-serve grab & go snack basket for customers to enjoy throughout their flight.
- Complimentary soft drinks, coffee, tea, beer, wine and liquor.
- A dessert for a sweet treat post-meal, and a light bite prior to arrival.
If the price is right (and I think it will be), JetBlue’s transatlantic flights between London Heathrow and New York/Boston (scheduled to start this summer) look like a compelling proposition.