FYI: I wrote this post before the incident with Flight 191, but I still stick with the opinions I've given, as I think that pilot having a mental breakdown could have easily have been on any airline.
This last month we took a wonderfully relaxing trip to St. George – of course, you’ll think I’m lying when you read that we were vacationing with a family of 6, but it’s true – and it was our first time flying JetBlue. I was pretty excited that we got a better deal on them than even on Southwest or Spirit (both were charging some crazy prices to Vegas), because I have heard good things. Before, I could never get their website to work if there were no seats available to where I wanted to fly on the days I wanted to fly. This doesn’t’ seem to be the case anymore and you can also find them on airline aggregators now (like Travelocity and Orbitz), which makes it way easier to book an available seat.
Even though it’s been around for a while and people have been using it coast-to-coast for great prices for years, I thought it would be interesting to do a post for those that don’t need to fly across the country and want to save money going somewhere closer to home. Because it’s technically a discount airline the routes are limited on JetBlue. They have a whopping 7 hubs in the U.S.: Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International (FLL), Long Beach (LGB), New York (JFK), Oakland (OAK), Orlando (MCO) and Washington Dulles (IAD). This may make some creative flight patterns and fly you totally out of the way in order to get to and from your final destination. If it saves you money though, there are a lot of pluses to flying JetBlue.
- First bag flies free. In this day and age when airlines charge an arm and a leg for everything, it’s nice to know someone isn’t trying to steal everything you own. On JetBlue, your first checked bag is always free. You don’t have to use it, but it’s there. I like it as insurance that if I buy too much, I can use it on the way home. (That’s $15-35 saved!)
- Flights are never overbooked. Remember when we talked about overbooked flights and how you can get bumped and screwed over (even if you do get compensated) because you got to the gate 5 minutes later than you wanted or your got stuck in traffic or security took forever? Well, JetBlue doesn’t oversell seats, so you will never be without one.
- They are partnered with some of the best airlines in the business. It’s true. Now you can also fly on Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, CapeAir, American, South African, Emirates, El Al, LAN, Virgin Atlantic, Iceland Air, Qatar Airways, TAM, Jet Airways, Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian, Japan Airlines and Korean Air. It’s a whole network of savings, plus you can gain mileage points for any of these airlines by flying with any of the others. I flew JetBlue and earned American AAdvantage miles.
- Awesome customer service. Okay, it may have just been my experience, but everyone I dealt with was super nice and courteous (and helpful!). From the ticket agents to the ground crew to the flight attendants. Top notch.
- Free DirecTV on all flights. Again, JetBlue doesn’t try to pinch every penny they can from you. Every seat has its own TV monitor (albeit small) and you can watch anything on 36 channels of DirecTV. I had the Europa Fútbol League on mine so I could watch soccer and also learn some Spanish in between playing a game on my handheld.
- Free Sirius XM radio on all flights. Not into TV, but want to listen to some tunes other than those you brought (or forgot)? JetBlue gives you the choice of over 100 music channels. If you didn’t bring a set of earphones? Don’t worry. They will sell you some nice ones for just $2 (either from the fancy do-it-yourself bin at the gate or after takeoff on the
- Unlimited free snacks and beverages. Again, you don’t get stuck with a tiny cup mostly full of ice and a bag containing 3 salted pretzels. On JetBlue, if you want 9 Diet Cokes and 3 bags of cookies, you’ll get it. They’re cool like that.
- Convenient mobile app. Want to book all your flights from your phone? JetBlue has a new-fangled fancy app that will let you do just that.
- Free snooze kit for overnight flights. Flying overnight and don’t’ want to look like a complete wreck, follow these tips and then take advantage of JetBlue’s snooze kit that contains a snazzy eyeshade and earplugs and wake up to a hot towel and coffee, spring water or orange juice (or all three, because you can).
- Finally, an airline with a sense of humor. Usually, I find airlines try to be fun, but miss the mark. JetBlue does it successfully, from their cute sayings on their planes (i.e., You and Me and a Plane Named Blue, Fancy Meeting Blue Here and Major Blue) to their adorably retro and clever adverts to the humorous staff (“We are now boarding all rows, 1-25. If you are in row 26, you are not on this flight.”). Flying should be fun, and they do their best to make it so. “You Above All” is a wonderful slogan that they seem to do well.
- No first class cabin. Don’t you hate it when you have to walk by all those smug first-classers and you maybe intentionally don’t carry your bag as close to you as possible and possibly you hit a few of them on the way through you your crappy seat that is one quarter of the price and one quarter of the luxury? I do. I have two wishes: 1 – The first class passengers get to board last. Have their glass of complimentary beer, wine or champagne in a fancy VIP area while us “cheap” people get on. 2 – The boarding door isn’t right up front, so I don’t have to walk through first class and be bitter before I’m even in the air. One or both of these options would be preferable to me. JetBlue doesn’t believe in segregation. The only difference between good seats and better seats is the amount of legroom. You can pay a premium (depending on the flight, but averaging around $30 each way) to sit in the Even More Space seats. On all flights, rows 1-5 and 10 and 11 are EMS seats. Your legs don’t cramp up from not being able to stretch out and, while it’s not super lounge-y, it’s great for tall people or those that need a little extra space. I was lucky enough to sit in row 1 for no extra charge and was pretty pleased with my seat. Just think, you already saved that much by not having to pay to check a bag!
Are you a fan of flying JetBlue?