Life— Travel n Tour

What happened on board JetBlue’s first NY-London flight

(CNN) — I’ve been a transatlantic avgeek for decades, regularly flying back and forth from the US to the UK. I always welcome a new entrant into the arena. Still, many newcomers don’t have a strong business plan, and their efforts don’t survive the harsh economics of the North Atlantic, particularly in the winter.

That’s not going to be the case with JetBlue. The US airline’s inaugural transatlantic flight landed at London Heathrow on August 12. I was on board, and I reckon this new offering is here to stay, despite the effects of the pandemic.

JetBlue has been working towards this transatlantic flight for the past two years. It’s got a new Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft with an interior imagined explicitly for this purpose.

Onboard, the airline has crafted an experience equal to the competition and in many cases beats it hands down — what’s more, it is comparably cheaper than other products on offer.

Onboard experience

The Airbus A321 is a small aircraft, but JetBlue has ensured it’s a comfortable experience for transatlantic travelers. Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

The Airbus A321 is a narrow-bodied aircraft — a replacement in many ways for the 757, which opened up lots of transatlantic routes between secondary cities; some say these single-aisle planes can feel a bit claustrophobic on six-hour flights — but JetBlue has done an excellent job in making use of the space available.

While the cabin does feel a bit cramped, the airline’s extraordinary attention to detail has delivered an inflight experience that makes it as comfortable as possible, whether in Mint (business) or Core (economy).

Crucially, JetBlue hasn’t just taken its existing domestic service and run it internationally. The team has redesigned the seats, and the result is one of the best business class seats I’ve ever flown on across the Atlantic. The mattress topper built into the Mint seat gives firm support when the chair reclines, without the joins of the heart digging in.

Also, Mint seats are in a reverse fishbone configuration, with plenty of storage — although this configuration is not so good for people traveling together in Mint, as you can’t correctly sit next to each other. On the plus side, there’s also lots of room around your shoulders. There’s also free Wi-Fi for all passengers, which worked well throughout the flight.

The food is delicious too — think restaurant quality. I think they will have to work a bit on the service; it was a bit slow. But it was nice to see food served on plates again. Airlines are moving away from the pre-packaged model they switched to during the pandemic. JetBlue has always striven to be different and calm, and I think they’ve achieved that here. It’s not your father’s airline. It’s not a Chevrolet. It’s something sporty and cool.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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