We all flew here on JetBlue. Thank you, thank you.

IMG_3645The title of this post is a line from a song in Legally Blonde: the Musical. I only know that, because when I said to Queenie that we were flying with JetBlue between New York and Orlando and then back from Orlando to Washington DC, she started singing it. She then texted her friend back home in Australia with the message, “Guess what airline we’re flying today? Think…Legally Blonde” and her friend immediately texted back, “JetBlue!”.  So, I guess I’ll always think of JetBlue as the Legally Blonde airline.

In addition to that worthy title, JetBlue is also known as an American low-cost airline, with its main base Terminal 5 at John F Kennedy airport in New York. It serves 40+ destinations in the United States, and also has flights to the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Puerto Rico.

On our recent trip to the USA, JetBlue was the airline we used for domestic flights, once we’d got ourselves to New York via Qantas.

Fairlie flight notes

Routes flown

Flight 383: New York (JFK) to Orlando (MCO)
Flight 724: Orlando (MCO)  to Washington DC (DCA)

Types of planes

A-320 (JFK to MCO)
Embraer 190 (MCO to DCA)

Seating configuration

A-320: 25 rows, three-by-three
E190: 25 rows, two-by-two

Seats

7A, 7B, 7C & 7D (both flights)

Comfort

Both aircraft we flew on had comfy leather seats. For an additional fee, we could have upgraded our tickets to seats called ‘Even More Space’ which give a bit of extra legroom and also allow early boarding and (therefore) early access to overhead bins. For our relatively short flights we didn’t think it was worth it, and stuck with the core JetBlue Experience seats.

Although it had less legroom, I preferred the Embraer 190 plane, for its two-by-two configuration, which allowed the Fairlie Entourage to sit right across one row, with two of us one side of the aisle and two the other.

Legroom

A-320: 86cm (34″) in the JetBlue Experience seats; 96-99cm (38″-39″) in Even More Space seats
E190: 81cm (32″)  in the JetBlue experience seats; 99cm (39″) in Even More Space seats

Seat width

A-320: 45.2cm (17.8″)
E190:  46.4cm (18.25″)

Baggage allowance

Unlike some other low-cost carriers, with JetBlue, the first checked piece of baggage per person is free. After that you are charged a $40 fee for checking a second bag and a $75 fee for a third bag. All checked bags must not exceed 157.48cm (62″)  in overall dimensions (length + width + height) and cannot exceed 22.73kg (50 pounds).

The weight limit wasn’t a problem for any of us, as this was the start of our holiday and we’d packed lightly anticipating lots of shopping on the way. Flying with them at the end of the trip may have been a bit of an issue…however you can pay an overweight bag fee of $50 up to about 30kg (70 pounds) and $100 up to 45kg (99 pounds). However, you’d be cheaper in that instance checking a second bag for $40, which would give you two pieces of 22.73kg (50 pounds) each.

All passengers are allowed to carry on-board one personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop, etc.) plus one carry-on bag.

In-flight entertainment

With 36 channels of free live entertainment from DIRECTV screening in the seat-back TVs, we were all in our element. Queenie and I watched episodes of Million Dollar Listing New York on one flight, and Real Housewives of New York City on the other, via the Bravo Channel. Meanwhile, The Poolboy was engrossed in ‘documentaries’ about yetis and aliens. The audio was available via a regular headseat port, but I didn’t have any headphones with me, so bought a set on board for $2.

On flights longer than two hours there are additional channels showing newly released films and unique content, including programming from the New York Times. These cost $5.99 to view. We passed on that opportunity, as we had aliens and housewives to entertain us.

In-flight refreshments

In additional to being known (at least by teenagers with a penchant for musical theatre) as the Legally Blonde airline, JetBlue is also infamous for its blue potato chips. A wide selection of complimentary snacks and hot and cold beverages are available on every flight, including the somewhat bizarre (but very tasty) Terra Blues Potato Chips, made from naturally blue potatoes.

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There’s also ‘Eat up’ boxes available for purchase ($6). On our second flight, Queenie tried the Beef Up box which contained salami, white cheddar cheese, a parmesan peppercorn cheese cup, mini almond cranberry bar, rosemary crackers and pita chips.

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And I munched on a Shape Up box (hummus, olives, roasted chickpeas, multi-seed crackers, raisins, a mint ball and a ginger cookie.) Not bad for in-flight snack food.

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Service

Boarding was done strictly by rows from the back forwards (after the Even More Space passengers had boarded) and was handled efficiently.

The first flight took off 20 minutes late, but picked up ten minutes along the way. The second one was delayed by almost 30 minutes, but arrived just 13 minutes after the scheduled arrival time.

There was a great vibe on board both aircraft. The cabin crew were cheerful and friendly, and worked very efficiently to take the complimentary drink and snack orders from every passenger, delivering the right items a few minutes later. Towards the end of the flight, they walked though the cabin with two garbage bags – one for land-fill and one for recyclables.  A cabin announcement asked passengers to separate and toss their trash into the two bags appropriately as the crew walked past.

Sales of items such as headphones, snack boxes, and  alcoholic beverages were all processed via debit/credit card. There is no cash handled on board.

Overall

I was very impressed with both of our JetBlue flight experiences, and would definitely fly with them again. Great value for money – particularly if you can snag a super cheap airfare during one of the JetBlue sales promotions. It’s worth following the Twitter or Facebook feed to be alerted to any sales as they come up.

 

 

 

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