Just like sports, air travel is a game of inches. In economy, the margins are increasingly tight, but JetBlue is looking to change that for its new London flights.
If you watched the play by play over the last decade, you saw most seats go from 32” standard legroom to some tight squeezes dipping below the 30” mark, and seat width reductions even glamour models fret.
Ahead of a highly anticipated launch for their first transatlantic foray, JetBlue is done teasing about the new experience aboard their Airbus A321LR, and is sharing tangible details which make flying economy sound dignified again. The economy legroom is back, the booze and meals too, and there are a few new extras as well.
JetBlue Economy On Airbus A321LR London Flights
JetBlue is launching transatlantic flights from both Boston and New York to London. The flights will be operated by a single aisle aircraft, the Airbus A321LR, which is one of the newer planes in the sky, and already features a new ‘Mint’ Business Class.
The airline was quick to note one immediate benefit for economy passengers: the complete lack of a dreaded center row in economy, which is found on two aisle planes. With one aisle you’re never far from the window or the aisle.
What makes JetBlue’s new economy experience on transatlantic flights worth shouting about though, is the redesigned way food will be served, and the complimentary bells and whistles – or rather wifi – that comes with every ticket, not just some.
JetBlue Economy Meals On London Flights
On flights between New York, Boston and London, JetBlue will bring features from its highly touted domestic ‘Mint’ business class experience to the transatlantic economy meal experience, giving people more than the standard fare.
This includes ‘mix and match’ options, where you’re not just locked into “meat or fish” with often irrelevant or uninspired sides all thrown together. Instead you’ll be able to choose a protein or vegetable entree, and separately choose a variety of hot or cold sides to pair with your main. You can choose up to 3 sides, two of which can be hot.
In Mint business class, this has always been a great joy and will allow people to curate their own tastes, such as a side of warm mac n’ cheese, or cold heirloom tomato salad to go with an entree of herbed chicken over rice, or spiced eggplant with cauliflower rice. You can probably even ditch the main and enjoy snacking from the sides instead.
For the eco conscious, meals will be served on reusable plating and all silverware will be made from natural materials, rather than plastics. Oh and one fun thing: you can order meals directly from your seat back screen.
Free Wifi For Everyone
There’s been a catch 22 with wifi, but JetBlue seems to have solved it. New planes and new tech may have helped. Free wifi for all has been a dream of many passengers, and even airlines too, but once everyone is streaming and online, the routers connecting to the satellites tend to fail, or be painfully slow.
JetBlue will offer complimentary wifi to all economy passengers, which *could* be fast enough to stream from your own device. If not, there’s 10” screens at every seat fully loaded with entertainment and also live TV, a day one signature of JetBlue.
Fantastic JetBlue Economy Legroom And Extras
The airline industry calls legroom – “pitch”, and JetBlue will offer at least 32” of pitch at every seat in economy on their Airbus A321LR transatlantic flights.
Most airlines have now dipped below 31” as the economy standard. Take away that 1+ inch over 30 plus rows, and you get to add a whole extra row of profit – but JetBlue is holding true at 32” or more. Most airlines also dipped below 18” width, but all JetBlue’s London economy seats will feature at least 18.4” of width.
Going further, there will be rows with up to 6” of extra legroom, which will rival many premium economy cabins in terms of space to stretch out. It’s unclear whether Mosaic frequent flyers in JetBlue’s True Blue loyalty program will receive these as a perk, or if it’ll all be paid access.
Each JetBlue economy seat on flights to London will also have standard AC power ports as well as USB connectivity. Adjustable headrests and extra padded cushioning will all be standard.
Beer, Wine And Liquor Is Free Too
Quite a few airlines, including Virgin and BA still offer complimentary wine in economy, but many in the USA do not. JetBlue is bringing “tipsy” back, with complimentary beer, wine and spirits for all economy passengers on their flights to and from London.
On short overnight flights, which all eastbound departures will be, it’s rarely a good idea to get too cheery, since 5 hours of jet lag will be upon you all too shortly, but a nice glass to accompany your mix and match meal is a nice option to have.
JetBlue Taking Economy To New Heights
Economy, or coach, may never be what it once was. But then again, that also meant people smoking in the cabin, and people wearing suits just to fly. Sweatpants for the win on overnight flights, right?
For a modern economy experience, JetBlue is reclaiming ground and legroom which seemed like it may forever be lost, and that’s very exciting news for travelers.
If JetBlue competes on price but offers a superior experience, it’ll only be a matter of time before we see other competing airlines wondering what they can’t add back to the experience, to get people back on their planes. It’s exciting times for air travel to London in the near future, indeed!
Do you think they will fly from South Florida to London soon? Departure from Miami or Fort Lauderdale?
I’d say unlikely, for now. Hard enough getting one route right, let alone two or more. South Florida just hasn’t historically had the demanding business travel needs to London that NY and BOS have, but that’s always subject to change as businesses shift and leisure travel does too. Cheers!
Looks great. Can’t wait to give it a try. Will be especially be interesting to see the price point for their Mint offering and how that compares to the likes of BA and Virgin.
Indeed, Ben! I, for one, cannot wait to see what impact B6 (JetBlue) brings to the transatlantic market. I’m holding out for some matched fares!
Not that many care but Jetblue is creating a difficult work and pay environment for its flight attendants on this particular route and we are livid! Also, strong winter headwinds will no doubt cause this small, narrowbody aircraft to divert for fuel when coming home. Of course they will deny all of this.
Bryan, thanks for the comment. Very troubling, if true. Please feel free to reach out via email with anything that might shed more light on the subject.
Forget price, I hope this might end the deception of many “full price” yet lcc service legacy carrier. Certainty turning right it’s difficult to see why anyone would choose BAs degraded and badly delivered yet more costly products.
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