Generally reliable, but employees could be more professional
Jul 9, 2005 (Updated May 28, 2006)
Review by cs2005
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Usually on-time, reasonably priced, usually friendly customer service, in-flight entertainment.
Cons:Limited route network, some unprofessional flight attendants
The Bottom Line: Good choice if you are on a tight budget and enjoy live TV while flying. Customer service is hit-or-miss.
Update 5/06: I have taken JetBlue once since writing this review, and I was not very impressed. Each flight was delayed by about 30 minutes, and on-board service wasn't great. Some of the airport employees were friendly, but the flight attendants seemed much less professional than those of Delta, American, United, and Continental. Safety and exit row announcements were especially unprofessional on one flight, and that flight attendant crew didn't seem very well trained or coordinated. I am dropping JetBlue to 4 stars, and I am choosing Delta over JetBlue for my next few flights. The original unedited review follows.
Recommend this product?
JetBlue is a rapidly emerging lower-cost airline that offers relatively inexpensive and reliable flights, with an emphasis on customer service. I have only flown JetBlue between JFK and Florida, but I have made this "round trip" 7 or 8 times since the airline started. I have never had a negative experience with JetBlue, and all of my flights have been relatively similar.
Cities: Based in New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, JetBlue provides service to a limited number of destinations across the country. They also fly to three Caribbean destinations: the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. From New York, you can fly to a wide variety of west-coast states, including Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada. Other possible destinations are upstate NY, New England, Washington DC, New Orleans, the aforementioned islands, and five cities in Florida. There are a few flights among Boston, Washington DC, California, and Florida; however, a large majority of the airline's flights involve New York. Recently, JetBlue also acquired one gate at New York LaGuardia, and the flight is always to Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Airport Service: JetBlue's terminals at JFK, West Palm Beach (PBI), and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) have both curbside and indoor check-in. I generally prefer dealing with the official JetBlue employees inside of the terminal, as curbside is usually operated by a separate company. Lines at JFK always move quickly, and there is an electronic system that tells the first person in line the number of the next available ticket counter. I have never experienced a wait at PBI, as the airline only operates two gates and has plenty of customer service representatives. FLL is slightly more crowded, but still reasonable. I usually request an aisle seat for extra legroom and have always been accommodated politely. Request an exit-row seat (rows 11-12) if you can, as there is more legroom, although they are usually claimed quickly. According to the website, rows 13-26 have 34 inches of "pitch" compared to 32 inches in the first 10 rows, so these are also good choices, if you want extra legroom.
Security: As you approach the security area in JFK, JetBlue employees politely escort you to the checkpoint in order to keep the process moving rapidly. Because the airline has its own terminal in New York, its employees check boarding passes and ID at the security checkpoints. In Florida, however, there is always a long line for security, but this has nothing to do with the airline.
Boarding: The boarding process is very traditional, as they go by increments of five rows, starting from the back of the airplane. I like this better than the "zone" boarding format of some other airlines, but sometimes the airplane is boarded too quickly and there is a line in the jetway. Once on the airplane, the lead flight attendant welcomes everyone aboard and makes announcements regarding carry-on baggage, the flight number, and the destination city. Soon after, a gate agent always enters the airplane, thanks customers, and wishes us a safe flight. Employees always seem to go out of their way to make the customers feel appreciated, which is uncommon at many U.S. airlines.
In-flight experience: JetBlue airplanes are all Airbus A320 with 3 seats on each side and 26 rows. It is all economy class, although seats are leather and there is a little bit more legroom than there is in normal coach. There is Direct-TV service with channels for everyone, including news, sports, movies, sitcoms, cooking, home and garden, children's programming, and music. Also available is a live map with current location, speed, and altitude. This is a very enjoyable aspect of the flight. About 40 minutes into the flight, you are offered a beverage. The choices are Coca-Cola soft drink products, juices, bottled water, seltzer, hot/iced tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages for a fee. You always get a full bottle or can, as well as a cup on the side. Next is a snack, which always consists of your choice of Terra blue potato chips, animal crackers, smoked almonds, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate chip biscotti. Flight attendants will usually offer two choices, but you can ask for as much as you want. It would be nice for them to serve different snacks for morning flights, such as fruit or small cereal containers, but I am always happy with the almonds. I don't consider it a negative that there is no meal service, as I would rather have a decent snack than an inedible airline meal.
Service: I have never seen an unfriendly flight attendant, and they will always try to accommodate your requests. At the end of the flight, they kindly ask you to aid in preparation for the next flight by throwing out all service items and anything left in the seat pocket before landing. An attendant will come down the aisle with a garbage bag, which makes this very easy to do. My only complaint about the service is that although the flight attendants are always pleasant, cheerful, and polite, they sometimes do not seem very experienced or professional. In one case, the two attendants in the front of the aircraft were talking to each other rather loudly and could be heard chatting and laughing throughout the front portion of the airplane during portions of the flight. In another case, the lead attendant kept making mistakes when she was reading instructions from her information card and laughed while she was doing it. Finally she decided to let another attendant make the announcements, and he was a lot more serious and professional.
Reliability: I have probably taken 14 or 16 flights on JetBlue and have never been late by more than a few minutes. For me, it is most important for an airline to depart and arrive on time, and JetBlue does an excellent job in this area.
Prices: I have always found the prices to be reasonable compared to other airlines, especially considering the service and reliability of the airline. Because the prices vary greatly by city, time of day/week/year, and other factors, I cannot give you an exact price for a flight. I did check a round trip from New York to Florida and it came up at about $300, although this is for the summer.
Conclusion: I have had all positive experiences with JetBlue, especially with regard to punctuality and customer service. I will give them a 5-star rating for those reasons, especially because they are a new airline and will continue to expand their network. Furthermore, the few employees who were not that professional were still very friendly, although they just could have taken their jobs a little bit more seriously. Overall, I very strongly recommend giving JetBlue a try for your next trip.
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