JetBlue, Flag Carrier Wannabe?

At Tampa ready for my trip to San Juan

Intercontinental air travel within the States is saturated. You have a number of big boys at the top, and then you have a number of Low Cost Carriers (LCC’s) like Southwest, Spirit and JetBlue. On a recent trip to the land of the white spangled banner, I took a few flights with JetBlue; I knew nothing about them and I was expecting little. Oh how I was wrong!!!

So, you hop on your budget flight which you purchased on a budget, you expect to find a budget experience. No, not with JetBlue. Seat back tv’s which are mostly free of charge , coupled with between 32in-34in seat pitch – I felt like I was at a cinema. Oh did I mention free Wi-FI? After take off you receive a complementary packet of Ahoy cookies and a drink…I mean c’mon who does complementary snacks these days… not even BA! Oh and did I spot a business class cabin at the front… yeah I did! They also offer fully lay-flat beds on their new Airbus A321 aircraft, which predominantly fly NYC-LAX – for the business traveller, it’s a phenomenal option. In all 3 flights I took with them, my experience remained consistent and more than pleasant. Ryanair, take note!

On board my JetBlue flight from Sarasota to La Guardia

However, what puzzles me about JetBlue is what are they trying to be? Are they trying to change the face of budget flying or just stand out from the crowd and give the likes of AA and United a run for their money? JetBlue are a LCC as they operate a mainly Airbus fleet, fly into mainly out of city airports, their fare structure runs on a one way ticket basis and you do have to pay for baggage and advanced seat selection. Personally, I feel that they need to re-establish their identity and either be a fully flung carrier like AA, or claw back and adopt a method like easyJet. They are undoubtedly the best cheaper airline I have flown on, but is it really worth it on flights with a maximum flight time of 6hrs? Maybe yes when they start to fly to London but from NYC to Florida… I think not.

I love them… I have made that quite clear, but they need to watch out especially as COVID subsides and we start to see the war-like aviation field left before us. Be budget, or be a pricey big boy…

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Your resident Plane-spotter anorak! I've been interested in aviation my whole life and it was instilled in me by my mum, an ex air hostess for BA CityFly. I am studying Airline and Airport Management and want to work in the route analysis/creation area of an airline.

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