I have not had a chance to fly JetBlue in almost a decade! Last week, it was finally time for me to see how the airline has managed to stay in business.
My flights were into Long Beach Airport (LGB) from San Francisco (SFO) and then returning to San Jose (SJC). JetBlue is slot-restricted to 31 operations at Long Beach (all other airlines combined only have 10 operations a day), so I was surprised to see another Bay Area destination added. JetBlue introduced the new service with $19 all-in one-way fares – I needed to take advantage of those!
JetBlue has been quite innovative in domestic travel, adding entertainment devices to every seat and making every seat leather. The company also recently added gate-to-gate WiFi, which is markedly faster than Gogo (and allows video streaming). Overall, I expected a painless and comfortable flight experience.
JetBlue staff are somewhere in-between Southwest and American. They are less jolly than their excellent Southwest co-workers but are still better than most US legacy carriers. Since I checked in online and had no bags, I did not have any interaction with the ground staff (I just scanned my boarding pass at the boarding pass scanner myself).
JetBlue has a quirky boarding process, so it’s mandatory to listen to the announcements about which rows are being boarded. It’s much more easygoing than, say, United, with its needlessly demanding lane system that crawls through an airport.
The A320 planes now seem rather old – like an old Mercedes. Lufthansa is a major investor in JetBlue, so no wonder there is this Mercedes feeling. They are still classy, but certainly dated.
The amount of legroom on JetBlue is amazing, though – many long-haul airlines have less legroom in economy!
Despite the somewhat shaky weather, both flights stayed exactly on time; Delta could have not done it better.
JetBlue is a lovely alternative that I should consider more often. It runs efficiently, you are largely left alone and not bossed around and the seat and entertainment options are dated but comfortable.