Let me start by saying this is my first attempt of reviewing an airline and I will try my best to capture my Jet Blue experience and take you along for my ride.
Recommend this product?
I have flown Jet Blue round trip two times now, New York (JFK) to Ft.Lauderdale (FLL) in 2004 and New York (JFK) to Fort Meyers (RSW) this past January 2006. Overall both trips were delightful and smooth flights. On one flight unfortunately I had an inconsiderate passenger which dampened my mood for the entire trip. This is not the airlines fault and the last thing I want to do is start a fight or have words with another passenger at 35,000 feet. The base of this review is going to be from my last trip, New York JFK to Ft. Meyers Florida RSW and thankfully all nice passengers!
Booking your Ticket
Jet Blue bookings are done via the internet www.jetblue.com or you can call them direct to book but I do believe there is a fee involved with booking through customer service. After selecting your flights you then have the option to pick out your seats. Seating configuration is 3 and 3 meaning if you are just traveling couple, you will have somebody next to you. A click here, a click there and that's it! Your booked with Jet Blue. For this trip I really lucked out. Our flights only cost $39.00 each way! I still cannot believe what we paid. It cost us more money to take a cab to JFK airport then it was to fly to Florida. Yes, I got that Jet Blue "Warm & Fuzzy I just flew for free feeling".
Cancellations - if needed
In the event you have to cancel your flight, this too is done online. There is a $25.00 per person cancellation fee and the balance of your ticket money will be held with Jet Blue for up to 1 year from the date of your original flight. Unfortunately I have experienced this first hand last year. Both my husband and I were booked on Jet Blue when we found out my father was diagnosed with Cancer and needed surgery. Due to the illness of my Father, I had his doctor write us a note to which I mailed to Jet Blue. 4 weeks later they waived the $50.00 cancellation fee. Thank you Jet Blue although I wish it was not under these circumstances.
Off to the Airport - Jet Blue JFK New York
When they say get to the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure, they mean it! The check-in lines were so long. It took us about 50 minutes to finally reach an agent to check in with bags. Once past security we made our way to our gate. Seems Jet Blue has over grown their terminal. Not a seat to be found anywhere. Very crowed for a early Sunday morning departure. Our flight was for 8am but we actually did not board until about 9am. We had to wait until an inbound plane arrived, people depart, clean the plane, then start our boarding. I am sure the late arrive was caused by the weather.
As every New Yorker knows, the weather has not been too great here lately and why should my flight be any different. This particular morning of our flight, New York was having high wind, snow, and ice. Perfect flying weather right? We took a chance and went to the airport and were happy to see everything was still showing on time.
Boarding the Plane
Boarding was fine and done via row's from back to front. The plane which was a Airbus A320 was clean and the flight attendants friendly. The seats as mentioned are 3 & 3 configuration for a total of 156 seats. I want to mention that Jet Blue advises that row's 11 and back have a few more inches of leg room. This last trip my husband told me to pick row's up front so when we landed, we could be the first off. Of course I forgot about the extra bit of leg room which I really need since I am tall and all legs. I was surprised that my legs fit just fine and the leather seats were comfortable. I will say that they are not the most widest seat and both my husband and I are not lean and trim either. However, both of us were comfortable for our 2 1/2 hour flight. I also found it better not to store anything under the seat in front of me as this gave me the ability to stretch my legs straight out.
As with all my fights on Jet Blue so far, I like the way the Captains (or even co-pilots) come on the PA system to talk to the passengers. I have not encountered a Jet Blue pilot to just give the standard boring speech (estimate time of landing, estimate altitude, etc . . . ). These pilots really "talk" to you. Prior to our taxiing out, the pilot came on the PA and said that we are lucky enough not to have to be de-iced as that would have prolonged us taking off and that our take-off might be a bit rough due to the high winds but they will try to get us out of the bumps as quick as possible. This is not what I, the nervous flyer to begin with wants to hear but at least I am given fair warning. As it turned out, our take-off was just fine.
In Flight Service
TV - Yippee - Jet Blue feature's Direct TV's with 36 channels in each and every seat. Your sure to find something to watch to make your fight seem a but shorter. Their current channel lineup's are:
CNN Headline News
Fox Movie Channel
Fox News Channel
GSN, Network for Games
The History Channel
National Geographic Channel
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
SCI FI Channel
The Learning Channel
The Weather Channel
The only problem with flying on a early Sunday morning is most of the channels all have paid programming on them. I happened to be glued to channel 13 which is the live Map Quest channel. This channel showed you exactly what State we were flying over, what our altitude was, and cruising speed. I found myself constantly flipping to this channel to see where we were.
Controls for the TV are in your armrest which change channels, adjust the volume, and or darken the screen if you just want to tune out. Jet Blue has free headphones available prior to boarding. You should be able to see a box of them near the gate entrance. They are not the greatest stereo sounding headphones but you will be able to hear. They also have for purchase better sounding headphones for $5.00 available prior to departure. I did not buy their headphones are use their free ones. I always travel with my IPod and my little ear buds worked great. Jet Blue uses a standard small headphone jack so those who travel with portable CD players or IPods your headphones will work fine.
I have also found out that Jet Blue is offering XM satellite radio now on select flights and will eventually be on their entire fleet throughout 2006. Unfortunately both my flights did not have XM. I wish they did as I am a music junkie at heart.
In flight Snacks & Drinks
Right after reaching cruising altitude, your flight attendants will come around and take your complimentary beverage order's. For coffee addicts they now serve Dunkin Donuts Coffee. They also serve tea's, various soda's, Arizona Ice Tea, Juices, and Water. For those who may want a beverage of the alcohol kind, they offer beer or other various cocktails at $5.00 each. On my return flight I tried what else but SKYY Vodka. What can I say, I liked the name.
You also have a choice of snack. I have never encountered a flight attendant who was stingy with the snacks. If you want to try two, just ask! Snack choices are Terra Blues Chips (Blue Potato Chips), Doritos Munchies Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Biscotti, Nut's, or Crackers. In this day and age where most airlines charge you for food now, it's nice that at least you can get a free snack on Jet Blue.
Prepare for Landing
Before we even knew it, we started descending. Once again the pilot comes on, gives us the weather update for Ft. Meyers Florida, and mentions for those seated on the right side of the plane, we were now flying over Walt Disney World.
Our landing at Fort Meyers (Southwest International Airport) was perfect. Off to pickup our bags which all arrived fine.
A Perfect flight on Jet Blue.
Miscellanies Notes and Experiences
As mentioned the above was a review from my last flight on Jet Blue. The return flight home was basically the same. Friendly crew, same snacks, beverages. The Jet Blue Terminal at Ft. Meyers is clean, bright, and non crowded. I have to say it's one of the top 10 terminals I have been to. Prior to our departure from Ft. Meyers the co-pilot actually came out and spoke to us on the PA system that the flight attendant uses. Since I was sitting up front, it was nice to actually put a face to the voice speaking to us.
I would like to mention that Jet Blue is introducing a new type of aircraft to their fleet. A EMBRAER 190 which will only hold 100 passengers with two by two seat configuration. Personally I cannot wait to try and fly on this as I prefer this seat layout better then the airbus 320. Look for a new review in the future!
In conclusion, I have to admit that I am hooked on Jet Blue and they are my 1st choice for traveling to Florida.