I flew on JetBlue founder’s David Neeleman’s new airline and saw how it’s nothing like his old one – but it isn’t supposed to be

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

  • Breeze Airways is the latest brainchild of JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman.
  • The two airlines couldn’t be any more different, however, despite having the same founder.
  • Breeze’s strategy is completely diffeent from JetBlue but still works even though it offers a different product.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue Airways revolutionized air travel in the US when it launched in 2000, at the turn of the century.

JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways planes.

Read More: JetBlue revolutionized low-cost travel when it first flew 20 years ago — here’s how it beat the odds to become a major US airline

 

Seat-back television screens, complimentary snacks, and low fares were the airline’s norm, and customers loved it.

JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways is known for in-flight entertainment.

Behind the now 21-year-old company was David Neeleman, a serial aviation entrepreneur with successful airline startups in three countries.

David Neeleman JetBlue
JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman.

Four airlines later, Neeleman’s latest endeavor is Breeze Airways, an ultra-low-cost carrier looking to fill the gaps left by the nation’s largest airlines. Breeze launched its first flights in May and has been steadily expanding up and down the East Coast and inland as far as San Antonio, Texas.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read More: How JetBlue’s founder plans to offer low prices without a low-end experience on his newest airline, Breeze

Despite Neeleman at the wheel, Breeze is nothing like JetBlue. You won’t find seat-back screens or the famous Terra Blues chips on Breeze’s shiny blue planes, but that’s not the point of the airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I took a flight on Breeze Airways and found out why it’s not supposed to be JetBlue 2.0.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze Airways launched in late May with an opening salvo of 39 initial routes from bases in Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Norfolk, Virginia.

The Breeze Airways route map.
The Breeze Airways route map.

Unlike JetBlue, Breeze’s strategy targets underserved cities and primarily creates new air routes where none currently exist.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The very first Breeze flight flew from Tampa to Charleston, for example, on a route that sees limited service by only one other airline. Flying between these two cities solely on JetBlue would require a stop in New York or Boston.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze’s bread and butter, at the moment, are routes that are less than two hours in duration. Convenience is the name of the game and connecting flights are non-existent.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

In terms of pricing, Breeze’s introductory fares start at $39 for a basic fare that only includes a ticket to ride and a personal item to carry onboard the plane. It’s comparable to JetBlue’s basic economy fare.

Breeze Airways fare structure
An overview of Breeze Airways’ fare structure.

While not all tickets will be sold for $39, the idea is to keep fares low to stimulate demand.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But Breeze’s low prices come with trade-offs, primarily in the onboard and customer service experience.

Breeze Airways
Breeze Airways pilots.

Breeze, most notably, doesn’t have a phone number. Customers are encouraged to send a message or email the airline but calling isn’t really an option.

Breeze Airways app

The strategy helps keep costs low by reducing Breeze’s overall infrastructure and staffing, which is typical for an ultra-low-cost airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Technology also plays a large role with nearly everything able to be done from the airline’s mobile application. Neeleman initially described Breeze as a “high-tech company that just happens to fly airplanes” and this is one way of scaling back on staff levels.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The tech-focused strategy does help keep costs down, which are passed on to the consumer in low airfares, but experts say it might not jive well with less tech-focused customers.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

JetBlue, alternatively, does have a phone number in addition to a messaging feature on its mobile application.

JetBlue Airways baggage
JetBlue passengers checking in luggage.

In another ultra-low-cost trade-off, in-flight entertainment on Breeze is currently only available through mobile device streaming, and the service isn’t yet offered on the Embraer E195 fleet.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

In-flight WiFi, another JetBlue staple, also isn’t available on Breeze’s Embraer fleet. That will come when the Airbus A220s arrive but it likely won’t be free, as JetBlue’s is.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But again, that’s part and parcel of flying an ultra-low-cost airline. You get what you pay for.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze is offering snacks for the time being but the airline will move to a buy-on-board program where all snacks and drinks will require a purchase. The current offering includes Utz chips and a Kind bar.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

One thing that was surprisingly similar between the two airlines was Breeze’s choice of aircraft for its first flights. The Embraer E190/E195 family of aircraft was tapped to initially power Breeze’s fleet, with second-hand models coming from Air Canada and Neeleman’s Azul Brazilian Airlines.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Frequent JetBlue flyers will surely recognize the aircraft as the E190 variant powers JetBlue’s short-haul network. The E195 is near identical, albeit slightly longer.

JetBlue Embraer E190
A JetBlue Embraer E190 aircraft.

Breeze will soon fly the Airbus A220-300, an aircraft type that just joined the JetBlue fleet in December.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Read More: I flew on JetBlue’s brand-new Airbus A220 and saw why it’s the perfect plane to lead the airline into its next era

On the inside of the E195, it was hard to tell the difference from JetBlue’s interiors on the aircraft.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Standard legroom seats had nearly the same look as those found on JetBlue. There was one glaring omission, however, in the form of seat-back entertainment screens.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Legroom varies from aircraft to aircraft on Breeze and standard economy seats on the E195 aircraft do match JetBlue’s 32 inches of pitch in economy. That may soon change, however, as Breeze standardizes its seat product.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

E190 aircraft offer 29 inches of pitch in a standard offering for an ultra-low-cost airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The seats also had the same feel as a JetBlue Embraer E190 seat. I’ve spent a lot of time flying on that aircraft and if it weren’t for the lack of televisions, I probably couldn’t tell the difference.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But perhaps the most important difference between the two airlines is that Breeze and JetBlue don’t compete on the same routes. Breeze primarily flies to underserved cities and routes such as Oklahoma City-San Antonio; Norfolk-Columbus, Ohio; and Hartford, Connecticut-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

JetBlue, for its part, primarily operates a hub-and-spoke network with bases in East Coast cities like New York, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Most Breeze customers don’t even have JetBlue as a choice for those routes without connecting somewhere.

JetBlue Airways Long Beach
JetBlue aircraft in Long Beach.

So while the offering might be bare-bones, customers in underserved markets are getting cheap access to non-stop flights, something that JetBlue isn’t currently offering at a widespread level.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

And for many, trading high-tech planes for convenience is a compromise worth making, especially when the price is right.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I went on JetBlue’s newest aircraft, the Airbus A321neoLR, that’s taking flyers to Europe next month and now I’m ready to book a ticket

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

  • JetBlue Airways is launching its first flights to London next month and using a new plane to do it.
  • Only 138 seats are offered with a sizeable business class cabin to draw in premium passengers.
  • In-flight entertainment, in-flight WiFi, and hot meals will be complimentary for all flyers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue is going to London, UK next month, and powering its transatlantic debut will be a brand-new aircraft to its fleet, the Airbus A321neoLR.

JetBlue Airways taking delivery of its first Airbus A321neoLR
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neoLR.

Read More: JetBlue is promising London-bound passengers free meals, wider seats, and more when service finally starts this summer — take a look

The next-generation and “long-range” version of Airbus’ largest single-aisle jet offers JetBlue a 4,000-nautical mile range while also burning less fuel on the overseas journey.

JetBlue Airways taking delivery of its first Airbus A321neoLR
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neoLR.

Passengers accustomed to flying the New York-London route will note that it’s the smallest aircraft to service the busy transatlantic corridor that’s generated billions in revenue for some airlines. But JetBlue is giving the plane a fresh new look compared to its other jets to help bring more travelers across the pond.

Mint business class on JetBlue Airways' Airbus A321neoLR
Inside JetBlue Airways’ Airbus A321neoLR.

Take a look inside the jet that will take JetBlue passengers to London starting in August.

Boarding JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

From the outside, JetBlue’s newest plane looks like any other in the leisure carrier’s fleet. On the inside, however, is a technological marvel jam-packed with passenger-friendly amenities.

Inside JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Only 138 seats are offered on an aircraft that can normally seat around 200.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Mint business class is also making its transatlantic debut with brand-new seats to boot.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

A total of 24 business class seats are angled towards the aisle in what’s known as a herringbone pattern.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

There’s one seat on each side of the aisle in a 1-1 configuration, as opposed to the alternating 2-2, 1-1 configuration on JetBlue’s first-generation Mint planes.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The arrangement is ideal for solo travelers as they offer complete privacy from the rest of the aircraft. JetBlue told Insider that privacy was the greatest request that it received from Mint flyers.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

And to that effect, each seat will have fully closeable doors that block passengers off from the rest of the plane.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

JetBlue is traditionally a leisure airline but is enticing premium customers the most business class seats it has ever offered on a single plane. And it shows, the cabin is so deep that it stretches all the way to the aircraft’s wings.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Each seat offers an abundance of privacy since flyers don’t have to share the row and high walls create a feeling of exclusivity. This seat is referred to as the “Mint Suite.”

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Wireless charging pads are also available in yet another unique touch.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Lighting in the suites is offered through a personal reading lamp and a larger lamp with customizable mood lighting.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

A pillow and comforter kit is left on each seat before boarding. JetBlue tasked Tuft & Needle with designing a new comforter complete with a “foot nook” to keep feet warm during the flight.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Vegan leather material was used to create the seat, which is actually a mattress also crafted by Tuft & Needle. Flyers seeking maximum sleeping time can also flick on the “do not disturb” light and flight attendants will know not to bother them or serve them meals.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Standard at each business class seat is a 17-inch entertainment system. One of the features unique to JetBlue is that the screens can be extended during taxi, takeoff, and landing.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The in-flight entertainment system can be controlled by touch or by using one of the tethered remotes that also act as game controllers. Device-pairing is also an option so flyers can use their phones as a remote.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

In-seat power is offered with 110V AC power outlets and USB charging ports, as well as a hook on which to wrap cords.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Each business class flyer will receive an amenity kit from Wanderfuel with the essentials to survive a long flight.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The other type of seat in Mint is the “Mint Studio,” located in the first row of the cabin.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

There are only two of these seats, both in row one, and JetBlue is selling them at a premium because of the extra space they offer.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The Mint Studio is ideal for those wanting more space or traveling with a companion. There’s more living space and even a cushioned bench for a companion to use.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

JetBlue ran with this idea and even installed another tray table so flyers can work side by side or share a meal.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

There’s even an additional power outlet in the seat.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Other perks of the Mint Studio include a larger 22-inch in-flight entertainment screen.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

There’s also more storage space in the Mint Studio with additional compartments throughout.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

A personal storage closet, ideal for a handbag or other small items, is yet another perk of booking the Mint Studio.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The remaining 114 seats house the economy section in a standard 3-3 configuration.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Seats are split between 24 extra-legroom “even more space” seats and 90 “core” seats with standard legroom.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Even more space seats, denoted by their orange headrests, offer 35 inches of legroom.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Seat width in the section is the standard 18.4 for inches that every economy seat has.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

These seats are also among the closest to the front so flyers can get off of the plane sooner than most, while also enjoying early boarding privileges compared to the rest of economy.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Beyond extra legroom and being closer to the front, there’s not much more that these seats offer.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Even more space seats are nearly identical to standard core seats, with both offering adjustable headrests, in-seat power, and seat-back entertainment screens.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

But the extra legroom may make a bigger difference to some on the longer eastbound transatlantic crossings.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The first row in economy is actually an exit row seat that isn’t listed as part of JetBlue’s “even more space” product because it doesn’t recline. The legroom, however, is quite generous.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

And with only four rows of seats for the entire plane, there are not many to be had.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

The remaining 90 seats are the domain of JetBlue’s core product.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Each seat in this cabin offers 32 inches of pitch and the standard 18.4 inches of width.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Each seat in economy will offer 10.1-inch seat-back screens with JetBlue’s latest entertainment product.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

A selection of movies, television shows, games, and a moving map will be available during the flight.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Armrest remotes aren’t being offered by the screens can be controlled by touch or by pairing a device.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

In-seat power in economy is available both through 110v AC power outlets and USB charging ports underneath the screens.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Complimentary in-flight WiFi will also be available for all passengers throughout the entire flight, with JetBlue the only carrier on the route to offer it.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Hot meals will be offered in economy, with JetBlue tapping Dig to provide the service. Examples of some main courses are charred chicken and brown rice, meatballs and tomato farro, and spiced eggplant and quinoa.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

In the back of the plane, available for economy flyers, is the “pantry.” The self-serve station will have drinks and snacks for passengers to take at their leisure.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

All flyers in economy will receive a blanket but no pillow as part of the initial launch offering.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

All the armrests go up in economy rows so flyers can use the row as a bed if one is entirely free.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

There are some economy seats to be avoided, however, and those are the ones in rows 22 and 23 as the windows are misaligned.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

London’s Heathrow Airport is famous for its approaches that fly right over iconic sites as Canary Warf, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Palace of Westminster. But flyers in those rows won’t get to see them.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Otherwise, there are no truly bad seats in the cabin. One of the last rows in economy is also reserved for the flight crew to rest so fewer flyers will be relegated to what is often regarded as the worst place to sit in economy.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

One Mint seat is also blocked for flight attendants to rest.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Above the cabin, mood lighting will help shape the ambiance in the cabin with a variety of settings depending on the phase of flight.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

At night, for example, relaxing colors will ease flyers to sleep and then gently wake them up.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Flights to London begin on August 11.

JetBlue advertising inside Terminal 5 - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew on JetBlue’s brand-new Airbus A220 and saw why it’s the perfect plane to lead the airline into its next era

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

  • JetBlue Airways is the latest US airline to fly the Airbus A220, a next-generation aircraft to replace the airline’s Embraer E190s.
  • The 140-seat aircraft is configured in a unique 2-3 arrangement and gives flyers more seating choices based on preference.
  • JetBlue plans to fly the aircraft across the country thanks to the aircraft’s 3,400-nautical mile range and fuel efficiency.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue Airways has a new chariot awaiting its passengers, the ultra-modern Airbus A220.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

It’s among the rarest passenger aircraft flying in the US and JetBlue joins Delta Air Lines in flying passengers on the aircraft. Unlike Delta, however, JetBlue went straight for the larger model, the A220-300.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Read More: I flew on Delta’s newest jet, the controversial Airbus A220-300, and it’s my new favorite airliner in the US

JetBlue will soon take customers across the country with the A220 thanks to its impressive 3,400-nautical mile range. But for now, it’s flying on popular routes between Boston and Florida.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I flew on JetBlue’s new Airbus A220-300 from Boston to Tampa, Florida. Here’s what it was like.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

JetBlue has been flying the A220 since late April and the Boston-Tampa route has been its mainstay. Four daily flights between the cities were being flown by the aircraft at the time of my flight.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I arrived at gate C9 at Boston Logan International Airport and there it was, one of JetBlue’s newest fleet members.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

At first, it was jarring to see this aircraft in JetBlue colors. I’ve been flying JetBlue for years and had gotten used to its two fleet types, the Embraer E190 and Airbus A320 family, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

A brilliant blue galley wall greets customers with JetBlue branding and the name of the aircraft. JetBlue named its first A220 after Rob Dewar, the vice president and general manager of the CSeries program for Bombardier. Much like the aircraft, Dewar now works for Airbus.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

A total of 140 seats make up the all-economy cabin that’s split between what JetBlue calls “even more space” extra legroom seats and standard economy “core” seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

One of the best features of the A220 is that there’s something for every type of traveler thanks to the 2-3 seating configuration of the aircraft.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Larger groups traveling together, for example, can sit on the three-seat row side of the plane.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Alternatively, couples or solo travelers might want to sit on the two-seat row side.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 FlightJetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Read More: JetBlue just unveiled the ultra-modern cabin of its latest plane — take a look inside its brand-new Airbus A220 jets

Modern aircraft don’t typically feature this type of configuration. It’s a setup that the McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 and Boeing 717 series of aircraft are known for but those jets are being phased out by most airlines.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Read More: What it was like on the last fight of a Delta McDonnell Douglas ‘Mad Dog’ jet which were all just sent to an early retirement after 33 years in the sky

Having two-seat rows also means that there are no middle seats on one side of the aircraft.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

That’s why I chose a seat on the two-seat side. It gave me easier access to the aisle from the window seat.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

The aircraft’s mood lighting was in full effect for boarding. Flyers that hadn’t noticed they were booking a seat on a new plane certainly did once seeing the colored interior.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

We boarded at around 4 p.m. but it seemed like it was 10 p.m. by how dark it was on the inside. Having the windows shut did help to keep the plane cool, however, and the mood lighting gave the plane a futuristic feel.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Legroom for core seats is an above-average 32 inches. It’s not as much as JetBlue’s older Airbus A320 aircraft but it’s still quite spacious.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I had no trouble getting comfortable in the seat.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Seat-back pockets also offer multiple pouches to store a multitude of items.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

In-flight entertainment is offered at every seat via 10.1-inch touch-screen systems.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

But for more natural entertainment, it’s hard to miss the enormous windows on these aircraft that were larger than my head. Getting a good view was no problem at all.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

In-flight power is also doubly offered on this aircraft. Passenger-facing 110v AC power outlets are located under the seats and USB charging ports are also found under the screens themselves.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Our aircraft was conveniently parked next to the Embraer E190, the jet that the A220 is replacing. JetBlue never bothered to update those aircraft and it shows when flying them.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

After pushback, the cabin was illuminated for takeoff in a required safety feature. I preferred this lighting compared to the mood lighting, at least while we were on the ground.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

We departed from Boston on time and blasted off toward Tampa. One of the A220’s selling features is its low noise levels and I was impressed at just how quiet it was on engine start and takeoff compared to other aircraft.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

We settled in at a cruising altitude of just 36,000 feet and flight attendants then began the in-flight service. I’d flown JetBlue before and knew to expect something close to normal in terms of snacks and drinks.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Flight attendants serve drinks from a trolley on this aircraft. One starts from the front while another from the back to minimize wait times.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I was all set to enjoy the service when I opened my tray table and found the tray table in an utterly disgusting state. Spilled coffee and crumbs topped the table and I could feel the grime.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

It was surprising to see this not only because we had just come from JetBlue’s hub in Boston, where cleaners are supposed to go through the aircraft with a fine-tooth comb, but because this plane was less than one month old.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I managed to get a few napkins and wipe off the table before enjoying my meal. First the drinks were offered and all standard soft drinks were available and served in normal-size cans.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Snacks came next with four of JetBlue’s signature snacks available. Passengers have to request which one they’d like instead of taking from a basket.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Once the in-flight service was complete, I decided to dive into a movie for the rest of the three-hour flight.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

There’s no remote to control the in-flight entertainment system but flyers can pair their devices or simply use the touch-screen functionality.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

This system is JetBlue’s newest and greets customers with their first name by matching seats with bookings.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

The home page is quite intuitive and provides a flight tracker as well as an overview of what the system offers.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

On tap for the flight was countless hours of movies…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Television shows…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Live television through DirecTV…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

And games.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

A moving map also lets flyers keep track of the flight’s location.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Complimentary in-flight satellite WiFi is also offered on the aircraft through Viasat. Flyers can use the service from gate-to-gate and the satellite aspect of the services means fewer outages while over water.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I wasn’t too impressed with the movie selection but did settle in on an old favorite, “Atomic Blonde” with Charlize Theron.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

A cool feature of the system is the picture-in-picture functionality that allows flyers to view the moving map while watching a movie. The flight’s progress is also displayed.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

We pressed on down towards Florida and I saw firsthand just how busy the East Coast was as other aircraft left contrails and were visible from the plane. Quite a few aircraft also buzzed past us heading back north.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

The aircraft truly lived up to its reputation for quietness and the cabin volume was incredibly low compared to other jets.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Our routing had us flying towards Miami while over the Atlantic but then a right turn had us cut across the state, making for an interesting sight-seeing adventure.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

We made landfall just north of Cape Canaveral, cutting through the center of Florida.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

We started down towards Tampa and made a 180-degree turn over Tampa Bay on the approach. The three-hour flight soon reached its conclusion thereafter.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

I was already a fan of the A220 but JetBlue really packed it full of great features to make the aircraft even better.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew on JetBlue founder David Neeleman’s new Breeze Airways for $39 and found it was cheap and friendly but surprisingly basic

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

  • Breeze Airways officially launched its first flight on Thursday from Tampa, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina.
  • It’s the fifth airline from aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, who started JetBlue Airways, with a focus on hub-skipping leisure flights.
  • Fares are as low as $39 with 39 new routes starting between May 27 and July 29.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
David Neeleman has done it again.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze Airways made its long-awaited debut on Thursday, flying two of its 39 planned routes that will launch between May 27 and July 29.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

It’s the fifth airline launched by Neeleman, a serial aviation entrepreneur that was the man behind JetBlue Airways and Morris Air in the US, WestJet in Canada, and Azul Brazilian Airlines in Brazil, as well as a stint with TAP Air Portugal.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read More: How JetBlue’s founder plans to offer low prices without a low-end experience on his newest airline, Breeze

Just in time for the summer travel season, consumers from the East Coast to as far as San Antonio, Texas will soon have Breeze as another option for air travel. Fares start at just $39 and routes are mostly leisure-focused, taking flyers while bypassing busy airline hubs.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read More: The founder of JetBlue is finally launching his new airline this month with 39 routes and $39 fares — but it won’t be JetBlue 2.0

Convenience is a key selling point for the airline, in addition to its low fares. Flights are point-to-point and don’t require routing through airport hubs.

The Breeze Airways route map.
The Breeze Airways route map.

“Connecting flights,” for example, isn’t a phrase in Breeze’s vocabulary, as part of the airline’s strategy to be “seriously nice.”

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I flew on the very first flight of Breeze Airways from Tampa, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina. Here’s what it was like.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze chose Tampa, Florida as its main from which to start flights. A total of 10 routes are planned for the city to destinations like Charleston, South Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Louisville, Kentucky.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I arrived at the airport the night before Breeze’s inaugural flight and caught a look at the airline’s check-in counter. It was very bare-bones and the airline didn’t have any check-in kiosks.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But that’s all part of Breeze’s tech-focused strategy to have flyers use its mobile application instead of relying on airline employees. It helps keep costs down by hiring fewer airport staff.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The Breeze app itself is very intuitive but there were some glitches. Users, including myself, reported not being able to book flights or check-in via the app.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze doesn’t have a phone number so flyers will have to text or message the airline, which also isn’t yet available on the app. Clicking “support” will redirect flyers to the airline’s mobile website.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But I was able to get my mobile boarding pass eventually and was all set to jet.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I arrived back at the airport the next morning for the first flight, Breeze Airways flight 1 with service from Tampa to Charleston, and went up to the counter to get a paper copy of the boarding pass.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze agents were “nice” and didn’t charge the $3 fee to print a boarding pass but I assumed that was because this was the first flight. A boarding pass fee is common among ultra-low-cost carriers but very few actually charge the fee in practice.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

And in a nice treat, Breeze had already been accepted into the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Before the flight, Neeleman popped open a bottle of champagne and christened the aircraft. Breeze Airways was officially ready for takeoff.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Boarding then began for the historic flight, with the airline boarding in zones. The Breeze app also doesn’t interface with Apple Wallet or other digital wallets, so flyers can’t yet save their boarding passes to their devices for easy access.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I walked onto the plane and was truly shocked at how basic it was. Breeze’s aircraft are incredibly flashy on the outside, in perhaps the most colorful airline livery in the skies, but the interior was mostly devoid of color.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

There was not a hint of blue on the plane except for the safety cards, flight attendant uniforms, and the Breeze placards on the beverage carts.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The seats were plush and comfortable, however, and that was the most important part.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The Embraer E195 -which most JetBlue flyers will recognize since its smaller sibling, the E190, currently flies for the New York-based airline -is arranged in a 2-2 configuration.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

It’s all aisles and window seats with no middle seats in sight.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The first five rows of the aircraft, as well as the exit row, feature between 34 and 39 inches of pitch, depending on the row. Breeze calls these seats “nicer” seats.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Standard seats on the E195 offer 31 inches of pitch. Breeze calls them “nice” seats.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

When booking a ticket, there are two choices: “nice” and “nicer.” Nice fares only come with a ticket to ride and a personal item while a “Nicer” fare comes with a free extra legroom seat, one free checked bag, free carry-on bag, and priority boarding.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I was on a nice fare in a nice seat with 31 inches of pitch and it was quite comfortable with lots of cushioning. Seats also recline but there are no adjustable headrests.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

These seats, unfortunately, will not stay. New, slimmer seats will replace the comfortable and plush ones that we experienced on the inaugural flight.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Once those seats installed, the Embraer E195’s capacity will jump from 118 seats to 122 seats.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Flight attendants warmly welcomed us aboard and they, too, had to be nice. Once again, Neeleman had billed this airline to be seriously nice and the cabin crew would play a large role in that.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

After all were settled, the boarding door was closed and we pushed back for an on-time departure. Tampa International Airport gave Breeze a water cannon salute to send the first flight off, and then it was on to Charleston.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Takeoff was smooth and we quickly turned north over Tampa Bay towards South Carolina. The flight time was only 57 minutes.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Flight attendants came around with wooden baskets to start the in-flight meal service. On offer were Utz potato chips and Kind bars, as well as small bottles of water.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

There was nothing overly exciting about the snacks. No local flair or blue chips, but anything is better than nothing, especially when the ticket is so cheap.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The complementary offering will only be temporary, however, and a buy-on-board program will be rolled out over the summer.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Once the service ended, there was nothing else to keep a passenger entertained besides the view out of the window.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

In-flight entertainment was supposed to be available through a streaming service, but it won’t be ready until later in the summer.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The flight attendants and pilots, however, were spectacularly kind. They were the breath of fresh air on this airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Before we knew it, we had touched down in Charleston, and a new airline was officially brought into the world.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

All in all, flying Breeze was not anything truly special. The flight and cabin crew were impeccably nice but the rest was of the experience was average considering the lack of the tech that was promised.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

There’s not much people can’t put up with on a flight that’s less than two hours for $39, even more so for a flight between, say, Tampa and Charleston that’s only 57 minutes. But David Neeleman promised a “high-tech company that just happens to fly airplanes.,” as well as extras like in-flight entertainment, and that’s not what the first flyers received.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze’s biggest issue, from a passenger perspective, may be the fact that it is still a work-in-progress. The app isn’t all the way there, aircraft aren’t fitted with the final seat products, and in-flight entertainment isn’t available.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

And repeat customers will ultimately notice. “The core component of a brand promise is consistency,” industry analyst Henry Harteveldt told Insider in a prior interview.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

In its current state, I would absolutely pick Breeze over other ultra-low-cost carriers and even some full-service airlines if the price was right. Though, that might change if the airline’s product changes for the worse.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The founder of JetBlue is finally launching his new airline this month with 39 routes and $39 fares – but it won’t be JetBlue 2.0

David Neeleman with Breeze Airways Embraer E190 aircraft
David Neeleman with a Breeze Airways Embraer E190 aircraft.

  • Breeze Airways is finally taking to the skies with its first flight scheduled for May 27.
  • The airline’s bases will be in Tampa, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Norfolk, Virginia; and Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Flights will be mostly bare bones with Breeze charging extra for baggage and seat assignments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

America has yet another brand new airline.

JetBlue founder David Neeleman has taken the wraps off of his fifth airline venture after more than a year of waiting since it was first announced. Breeze Airways will finally start flights on May 27 and aims to put a “seriously nice” and tech-focused spin on ultra-low-cost flying just in time for the summer travel season.

The first flight will depart from Tampa, Florida bound for Charleston, South Carolina, and continue on to Hartford, Connecticut. It’s the first of 39 routes that Breeze will launch between May 27 and July 22, connecting underserved cities throughout the US with non-stop flights to the places leisure travelers want to be.

Read More: JetBlue founder David Neeleman reveals how his new airline can succeed by flying weird routes for low prices

But if followers of Neeleman are expecting a 2021-reboot of JetBlue, they’ll be sadly mistaken. Breeze will operate under an ultra-low-cost business model where nearly everything from a seat assignment to checked baggage will cost extra. It’s slated to be almost the complete opposite of JetBlue.

Here’s what travelers can expect from Breeze.

A route network spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to San Antonio, Texas

Breeze Airways Embraer E190 aircraft
A Breeze Airways Embraer E190 aircraft.

Breeze plans to take advantage of the leisure travel boom in the US by connecting smaller, underserved cities with non-stop flights to vacation and tourist destinations.

The cities of Tampa, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana will be the first four bases for the airline from which most of its flights will either start or end.

Here’s where Breeze is flying:

Between Tampa, Florida and:

  • Charleston, South Carolina starting May 27;
  • Louisville, Kentucky starting May 28;
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma starting June 4;
  • Norfolk, Virginia starting June 10;
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas starting June 17;
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio starting June 26;
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma starting July 1;
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 3; and
  • Huntsville, Alabama starting July 22.
  • Richmond, Virginia starting July 22;

Between Charleston, South Carolina and:

  • Hartford, Connecticut starting May 27;
  • Tampa, Florida starting May 27;
  • Louisville, Kentucky starting May 28;
  • Norfolk, Virginia starting June 10;
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio starting July 8;
  • New Orleans starting July 8;
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 8;
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting July 8;
  • Richmond, Virginia starting July 8;
  • Huntsville, Alabama starting July 15; and
  • Providence, Rhode Island starting July 22.

Between Norfolk, Virginia and:

  • Charleston, South Carolina starting June 10;
  • Tampa, Florida starting June 10;
  • Hartford, Connecticut starting July 15;
  • New Orleans, Louisiana starting July 22;
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 22;
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting July 22; and
  • Providence, Rhode Island starting July 29.

Between New Orleans and:

  • Charleston, South Carolina starting July 8;
  • Louisville, Kentucky starting July 15;
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio starting July 15;
  • Huntsville, Alabama starting July 15.
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas starting July 15;
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma starting July 15;
  • Richmond, Virginia starting July 8;
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma starting July 8);
  • Norfolk, Virginia starting July 15; and
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 16; and

Breeze will also fly between many of the cities it serves outside of its four main bases. Those routes include:

  • Between Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas and San Antonio, Texas starting July 15;
  • Between San Antonio, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma July 15;
  • Between Tulsa, Oklahoma and San Antonio, Texas starting July 15;
  • Between Hartford, Connecticut and Columbus, Ohio starting July 22;
  • Between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Hartford, Connecticut starting July 22; and
  • Between Providence, Rhode Island and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting July 29.

Don’t expect JetBlue levels of legroom

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220 Tour
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A220-300 aircraft.

Breeze plans to operate two types of aircraft this summer: the Embraer E190 and Embraer E195. Both are near-identical and will offer a lot of the same amenities but will differ in their seating arrangements.

The aircraft will only feature economy seats and will be split between standard legroom “nice” seats and extra-legroom “nicer” seats, which come at a premium.

Breeze’s smaller Embraer E190, which many JetBlue flyers will recognize, will carry 108 seats. Nice seats on the E190 will offer 29 inches of legroom, compared to JetBlue’s 32 inches, and nicer seats will offer between 33 and 39 inches of legroom.

The larger Embraer E195 aircraft will carry 118 seats and legroom at each will be greater. Nice seats on the aircraft offer 31 inches of legroom while nicer seats will offer between 34 and 39.

Seeking out the E195 aircraft won’t be easy as there are only three of those aircraft versus 13 E190s.

Navigating Breeze’s fee structure

baggage claim airport
Checked baggage fees are only $20 on Breeze.

Breeze plans to charge incredibly cheap fares for its flights, and that means there will be lots of fees to pay for extras.

Flyers will have to pay to bring a bag larger than a purse or backpack. The fees, however, are lower than most airlines charge at only $20, regardless of carrying on or checking a bag, but increase to $25 if the flight is longer than three hours.

If a bag is checked at the airport, it will incur a $50 fee. And another $50 fee will be charged if a bag is added by Breeze airport staff.

Securing an advance seat assignment will also incur a fee, with prices starting at $10. But there are no middle seats on Breeze’s Embraer aircraft so those that don’t pay up will either be assigned an aisle or window seat for free.

Families with children under 12 can also select advance seats for free.

Bringing a pet onboard will also incur a $75 fee.

Printing a boarding pass at the airport will incur a $3 fee per customer and a $9 fee per customer if helped by Breeze airport staff.

What won’t incur a fee, however, are changes and cancellations. Breeze fares are fully changeable and cancelable up to 15 minutes before departure.

Travelers that cancel a ticket will have up to 24 months to use its value.

Flight attendants will be degree-seeking college students

College student graduation
Many of Breeze’s flight attendants will also be earning their college degrees.

Breeze started a unique work-study to recruit its flight attendants that saw the airline partner with Utah Valley University and allow its online students to work as cabin crew. The degree-seeking students will work the airline’s flights by day and take online classes by night.

In return, the students-turned-cabin-crew will earn $6,000 in tuition reimbursement, a monthly stupid of $1,200, and only have to work for 15 days out of the month, among other benefits. What they won’t be given is a full-time job at Breeze at the end of their academic career, and will have to reapply for a full-time position or find work elsewhere.

But not all of Breeze’s cabin crew will be students. The airline opened up the program to non-student applicants after lower than expected recruitment numbers.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, told Bloomberg that the program could pose safety issues due to the potential age of the applicants. Breeze’s minimum age for hiring flight attendants is 18 years old.

But the airline stood by its flight attendant training program that has been approved by the Department of Transportation, saying that all of its flight attendants will be trained and capable of performing the required duties.

“If you’re a fully trained flight attendant, you’re a fully trained flight attendant,” airline spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones told Insider. “It’s not like if you’re 18 years old, you can’t be a flight attendant.”

Entertainment will be available through mobile devices

LAX Day Trip Alaska Airlines
Breeze is offering in-flight entertainment through mobile devices.

Breeze aircraft will not feature the seatback screens for which Neeleman made JetBlue famous. But in-flight entertainment will still be offered through mobile devices, powered by Global Eagle.

On-demand television shows, games, and a real-time flight map will be offered. Live television will not be available.

More than 150 shows will be available to watch and content will be updated quarterly.

In-flight WiFi won’t be available on Breeze’s Embraer aircraft but the service will be offered in the fall on the airline’s Airbus A220 aircraft.

Premium snacks will be offered onboard

Kind
Kind bars and Utz pretzels will be offered onboard Breeze flights.

JetBlue is known for offering brand-name snacks and so will Breeze. Kind bars and Utz pretzels will both be served onboard but the airline hasn’t said whether they’ll be free of charge.

Breeze has also not given any information on whether a drink service will be offered.

Fares will be low, but not the lowest

Breeze Airways Embraer E195
Breeze’s lowest fares are $39 but they won’t stay that way.

Breeze is launching its first 39 routes with fares as low as $39. There’s no competition on 95 percent of Breeze’s routes so direct comparisons aren’t available but other ultra-low-cost carriers routinely offer flights for lower fares.

Frontier Airlines, for example, offers fares as low as $15 sometimes on its East Coast flights. Spirit Airlines similarly offers fares less than Breeze’s introductory rates.

And only a certain number of $39 fares will be available. Once they’re gone, fares will jump depending on how many seats have been sold.

Read the original article on Business Insider

JetBlue’s first flights to London this summer are now on sale and round-trip fares are under $600

big ben london england
JetBlue will soon touch down in London.

  • JetBlue Airways has set August 11 as the start date for flights to London, UK.
  • The New York-London route will start first while the Boston-London route will come in 2022.
  • Both Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport in London will see daily flights from New York.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JetBlue Airways is finally ready to make its London debut.

August 11 is the official launch date for JetBlue’s flights between New York and London, UK, the airline announced Wednesday.

It’s JetBlue’s first time crossing the Atlantic in its 21-year-history, having announced the service in April 2019. And while the pandemic delayed the inaugural flight until August, the airline is keeping its promise of a 2021 debut.

JetBlue will first stretch its transatlantic legs by flying two routes to London’s two major airports, Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Chief executive Robin Hayes said in a statement that the pandemic actually “opened the door” for JetBlue to access its airports of choice in the London area.

“We’ve always said that JetBlue would serve multiple London airports, and we’re pleased to have secured a path at Heathrow and for long-term growth at Gatwick, which offers speed, low costs, and convenient accessibility into Central London,” Hayes said.

Heathrow will receive the first flights from JFK on August 11. A daily round-trip service will be offered, with the outbound departing New York as an overnight flight at 10:10 p.m. and arriving at 10:10 a.m.

The return flight departs London the next day in the early evening at 6:10 p.m. and arrives back in New York at 9:43 p.m. A likely homage to James Bond, the flight number for JetBlue’s Heathrow-bound flight will be 007.

Flights to Gatwick will then begin on September 29 with similarly daily flights from New York but a slightly different schedule. The outbound flight departs from New York at 7:50 p.m. and arrives in London at 7:55 a.m. while the return flight departs London at 12:00 p.m. the next day and arrives in New York at 3:33 p.m.

Serving the routes will be a never-before-seen aircraft in JetBlue’s fleet, Airbus’ A321LR, or Long Range. JetBlue plans to have three of the next-generation aircraft in its fleet by the end of the year, with all of them flying between New York and London.

Bostonians will have to wait until 2022 to fly non-stop to London on JetBlue when more of the aircraft arrive.

Inside the aircraft will be JetBlue’s newest products in economy and business class. London-bound aircraft will feature 24 business class seats and 117 economy class seats.

New Mint business class seats intended for London flights were debuted by JetBlue earlier this year. Each seat is a private suite with an enclosable door, a fully lie-flat seat, and new amenities like wireless charging pads and laptop drawers.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo’s with new Mint business class.

Mint Studio seats, found in the first row of the cabin, are the highlight of the aircraft. The larger spaces offer greater room for passengers and can even accommodate a second passenger with a separate cushioned seat that comes with its own tray table.

Access to premium lounges in New York or London, however, has not yet been announced. The perk is a key benefit of flying transatlantic business class.

Economy class will see JetBlue’s standard mix of standard legroom “core” seats and extra-legroom “even more space” seats. Core seats will offer 32 inches of legroom and 18.4 inches of width.

The airline’s newest in-flight entertainment system will also be featured offering on-demand movies, television shows, games, and more. High-speed satellite WiFi will also be available for free.

Flying JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 New Phase 2 Interior
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 with a new interior.

Complimentary meals crafted by the New York City-based restaurant group Dig will also be served in another first for JetBlue. The JetBlue “pantry,” a self-service snack bar, will also be available to all passengers.

JetBlue’s announcement comes as more countries open their doors to Americans but entry to Europe this summer is far from guaranteed for all tourists.

The European Union also announced on Wednesday a plan for vaccinated travelers to be let into the region, the New York Times reported, just in time for the summer. But the UK, no longer a member of the European Union, has still held off on giving a timeline for vaccinated Americans to visit.

Read More: 7 airlines poised to win big now that Norwegian Air exits the lucrative transatlantic market it once dominated

Fares for London flights start at $599 round-trip in economy while business class fares can be had for as low as $1,979. The low fares are part of JetBlue’s goal of disrupting the market by offering affordable pricing combined with a high-frills offering.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew America’s leading mid-tier airlines, JetBlue and Alaska, and saw some of the best options for pandemic flying

Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways aircraft
Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways aircraft in Los Angeles.

  • JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines have taken similar approaches in returning to normal.
  • Both have restored in-flight snack and drink services, board normally, and no longer block middle seats.
  • But returning to normal doesn’t mean abandoning health and safety protocols, as I found on recent flights.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines are mid-tier US carriers, sandwiched between the big four – American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines – and the ultra-low-cost carriers.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321
A JetBlue Airways Airbus A321.

JetBlue primarily serves the East Coast, with its main hub in New York, while Alaska serves the West Coast with its main hub in Seattle.

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320
An Alaska Airlines Airbus A320.

The two have rebounded quicker than most to pre-pandemic offerings, such as offering in-flight drinks and snacks, we well as normal boarding and seating procedures

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still taking precautions to protect flyers.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I flew on both airlines in March on the way home from Seattle with a quick stop in Los Angeles to see how the two are handling the pandemic a year in.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The first flight of the day was on Alaska from Seattle to Los Angeles, one of the airline’s busiest routes. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was among the busiest I had seen, but Alaska had a good setup of health and safety measures at check-in.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

Hand sanitizer stations were scattered throughout the terminal and placed next to check-in kiosks.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

Social distancing floor placards guided the path towards check-in desks, which were fitted with plexiglass partitions.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

The only downside was that self-serve kiosks weren’t spaced and it seemed like I was right on top of the person checking in next to me.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

Ticket in hand, I headed to the gate for the quick flight down the coast. The same setup that I had seen at check-in was also at the gate with more floor placards, plexiglass partitions, and hand sanitizer stations.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

So far, I was impressed. Boarding then began and Alaska placards lined the jetway reminding passengers to social distance as they wait.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

Alaska doesn’t board from the back of the plane to the front and normal boarding procedures applied. First class boarded first, and so on.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

Flight attendants welcomed passengers onboard the aircraft but didn’t offer anything in the way of hand sanitizer or a sanitizing wipe, as others like United and Delta are.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

But the aircraft was impeccably clean, so I wasn’t worried. This was also a brand-new Boeing 737 Max that had just been delivered to the airline, so I was expecting it to be clean since it had only flown a handful of flights.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

Read More: I flew on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max weeks before it was grounded again — here’s what it was like

I did notice, however, that first class passengers were given sanitizing wipes at their seats. Economy passengers could request them.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

My seat was 28F, a window seat in the back of the plane. And like the rest of the plane, it was spotless.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

The tray table had no crumbs or stains whatsoever.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

I was feeling very good about this flight and felt even better once boarded ended and my whole row was open. But in the interest of social distancing, a flight attendant put someone in the aisle seat so another row could have an open middle.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

Alaska was previously blocking middle seats until January 7, the second-longest of any airline behind Delta. Flights can now be filled to capacity.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

A pamphlet in the seat-back outlined Alaska’s onboard health and safety measures, which was a nice peace-of-mind reminder for skeptical passengers.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

Flight attendants began the in-flight service shortly after takeoff, starting with a bag of snack mix.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

But I was surprised to see the airline offering a choice of soft drink, as well. The cans are miniature but it’s better than nothing.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

Flight attendants also distributed Purell wipes, and a reminder to wear a mask in between bites and sips was also printed on the napkin.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

The rest of the flight continued uneventfully, with most passengers abiding by the mask rule. I didn’t see any passengers receive Alaska’s dreaded “yellow card.”

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

Read More: See the yellow card Alaska Airlines will give to passengers who refuse to wear masks on its flights

Alaska isn’t afraid to ban flyers for not wearing masks and its most recent count is 467 passengers banned, as of April 1.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

Finally, we landed in Los Angeles. Alaska did a great job at keeping us safe, from what I saw.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic

But as we deplaned, passengers all social distancing measures went out the window, despite a reminder to mind our distance from flight attendants after we landed.

Flying on Alaska Airlines during pandemic
Flying on Alaska Airlines during the pandemic.

After a few hours in Los Angeles, it was time to fly home to New York on JetBlue.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read More: I visited the newly designed private terminal at LAX and saw why wealthy travelers are spending thousands for a membership

Los Angeles is a hub for JetBlue but the airline doesn’t nearly have as much space as Alaska does in Seattle. There were still plenty of protocols in place for social distancing, including floor placards, plexiglass partitions, and signage reminding travelers to wear masks.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Even the check-in kiosks were staggered and had floor placards with distancing reminders.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

There were hand-sanitizing stations by the checked bag drop point.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The gate had similar measures, but no sanitizing stations.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue had stopped back-to-front boarding earlier in the month, so the normal boarding procedure was followed. The airport had installed social distancing reminders in the jetway, as well.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Flight attendants welcomed us onboard but did not offer any sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer. I later found out that they were available but only on request.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

But, as with Alaska, the aircraft was impeccably clean and I wasn’t concerned at all.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

This overnight flight to New York was moderately full but empty enough that most aisles had the middle seat open. JetBlue stopped blocking middle seats in October.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

My seat was 25A, a window seat towards the back of the plane.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

It was spotless and completely free of stains or crumbs, a great sign for the flight ahead.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

All JetBlue planes have seat-back entertainment screens, and they’re being put to good use during the pandemic with new messaging on the airline’s health and safety measures.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

There was a “dos and don’ts” on what to do when flying JetBlue, including when to wear a mask and when it can be taken off.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And there were reminders not to crowd aisles.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

We took off into the Los Angeles night, bound for New York, and flight attendants quickly started the in-flight snack and drink service.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

A full selection of full-size soft drinks were on offer…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

As well as JetBlue’s famous snacks.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The rest of the flight continued smoothly, and soon enough, it was time to land in New York.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Just like with Alaska, other passengers’ desire to get off the plane was greater than the desire to social distance.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

But while walking through Terminal 5, primarily used by JetBlue, I saw more of the airline’s safety features. First, social distancing placards in the jetway…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

…and a hand sanitizer station in the gate area…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Automated boarding gates…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And blocked off seats.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

It was an impressive setup, on par with Alaska’s in Seattle.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Flying to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket is surprisingly cheap this year as wealthy people look for summer escapes

Martha's Vineyard
  • Travel between New York and the vacation spots of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard is heating up.
  • Smaller carriers like Cape Air, Tradewind Aviation, and Elite Airways offer semi-private flights.
  • JetBlue, Delta, and United also plan to fly to the New England coast.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s the time of year again when wealthy people flee the concrete jungle of New York City in search of beaches and wide-open spaces.

New England hot spots like Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island are primed for an influx of summer visitors as COVID-19 restrictions wane. But with the coronavirus still a threat, wealthy people are more likely to dig deeper into their pockets and splurge on a more exclusive means of travel.

Airlines and luxury private operators are gearing up to accommodate any and all travelers – with new flights in addition to their usual services that can transport flyers in as little as 45 minutes.

Read More: Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population – and airline CEOs say it’s proof that flying is safe

Here are all the options travelers have when flying between New York and the Massachusetts Islands this summer.

Flying commercial

JetBlue Embraer E190
A JetBlue Embraer E190 aircraft.

Three major airlines serve Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket from New York’s three area airports and Westchester County Airport north of the city. Flying commercial is often the least expensive option, especially with a mix of carriers on the routes.

JetBlue Airways offers the greatest variety of service to the islands with flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Westchester County Airport. Flights use JetBlue’s Embraer E190 aircraft, and one-way fares can be as low as $75.

Delta Air Lines also offers flights from JFK and LaGuardia to both islands on regional jets. One-way fares are as low as $85, and first class is offered for a premium on some days.

United Airlines is offering non-stop flights only between Newark and Nantucket. It also uses regional jets, and schedules show United will deploy its swankiest of them all, the Bombardier CRJ550, with 10 first class seats, 20 “Economy Plus” extra-legroom seats, and 20 standard economy seats.

Elite Airways

Elite Airways
An Elite Airways Bombardier CRJ200 regional aircraft.

Elite Airways is the newest carrier to offer service between New York and Massachusetts, with flights from Westchester to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard starting Memorial Day weekend. The carrier is set to use Bombardier regional jets on the routes with fares starting as low as $129.

The airline also boasts complimentary amenities like a free checked bag, advanced seat assignments, and onboard snacks and drinks.

Cape Air

Cape Air Boston Logan International Airport
Cape Air aircraft at Boston Logan International Airport.

One of America’s largest independent regional airlines, Cape Air, offers a semi-private experience between New York and the New England coast.

Five routes are offered from New York – three from Westchester and two from JFK. Both airports offer flights to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, with service to Provincetown, Massachusetts also available from Westchester. Service differs depending on the departure airport.

Flights to and from Westchester use a private terminal away from the airport’s main commercial terminal. At JFK, flights use Terminal 5, which JetBlue also uses.

Cape Air flights between New York and Massachusetts use Cessna 402 twin-engine piston aircraft with no WiFi or in-flight entertainment, and often no co-pilot. It’s truly a back-to-basics experience but does the trick on short flights. Passengers can also request to sit in the cockpit if there’s no co-pilot.

But even with the basic aircraft and a single pilot, one-way fares for the summer often run more than $200.

Blade

Blade helicopter
A Blade Bell 407 helicopter.

Helicopter company Blade offers weekender flights between Westchester and the Massachusetts Islands using Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft starting May 27. Flights to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are available and use private terminals on both ends of the journey.

One-way fares start at $725 plus tax and do not require a membership.

Wheels Up

Wheels Up
A Wheels Up Beechcraft King Air 350i.

Wheels Up, a membership-based private aviation firm, is resuming its Nantucket shuttle from Westchester starting Memorial Day weekend. Travelers can purchase seats on its Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprop aircraft for $795, with flights departing on Fridays at 5 p.m. and returning on Sundays at 5 p.m.

Flights use private terminals at both ends of the journey, so flyers can skip the security checkpoint. One carry-on bag, or a set of golf clubs, is permitted.

However, the shuttle is only available to Wheels Up members. There are three tiers of annual memberships, with the most basic “connect membership” costing $2,495 per year and a one-time initiation fee of $2,995.

Tradewind Aviation

Tradewind plane
A Tradewind Aviation Pilatus PC-12.

Private aviation firm Tradewind Aviation is also resuming shuttle services between Westchester and Massachusetts.

The company uses single-engine Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft with luxurious interiors that feature executive-style leather seats. Tradewind flights use private terminals on both ends of the journey.

Prices and flight times vary day to day, but one-way fares are often between $400 and $1,000.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew on JetBlue for the first time since it began filling planes to capacity and found it’s still doing more than most to keep flyers safe

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

  • JetBlue Airways has been slowly returning to normal and abandoning pandemic-era protocols.
  • Middle seats are no longer blocked and back-to-front boarding was recently discarded.
  • I still felt perfectly safe on the airline and was impressed with its array of safety measures.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue is firmly on the road back to normal as the pandemic enters its second year.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321
A JetBlue Airways Airbus A321.

Flights are being filled to capacity as the airline stopped blocking seats in January following the Christmas travel rush. Middle seats had been blocked until October 15, 2020, around the time Southwest Airlines also announced an end to its policy.

Flying JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 New Phase 2 Interior
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 with a new interior.

Read More: JetBlue will soon fill its planes to capacity and is offering refunds for travelers who don’t want to fly on the airline as a result

But it didn’t stop there, JetBlue has been gradually moving away from pandemic-era safety measures like back-to-front boarding and has brought back fan favorites like soft drinks and more snacks in the in-flight service.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After flying JetBlue during the summer at the height of its safety efforts, I decided to take JetBlue home from Los Angeles to New York in March on one of its flagship routes. Here’s what flying JetBlue Airways is like in 2021.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Los Angeles is JetBlue’s new West Coast hub, having moved operations from nearby Long Beach during the pandemic.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue doesn’t have an entire terminal to itself as it does in New York here at LAX but it makes the space work.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Check-in kiosks were spaced and JetBlue even installed social distancing reminders on the floor.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Hand sanitizer stations were available next to the bag drop station.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And even the regular check-in line had multiple social distancing and face mask reminders from both the airline and the airport, in addition to plexiglass partitions at check-in counters. It was the most impressive setup I’d seen in the terminal.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue, like many US airlines, now requires customers to acknowledge a health declaration at check-in. I had to affirm that I didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, been exposed to the virus, or tested positive for the virus.

Flying JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I also had to agree to JetBlue’s face covering policy and affirm I didn’t have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.

Flying JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I used the kiosk to print my boarding pass and was reminded about the touch-free option by using the JetBlue mobile application to do everything from check-in to get a mobile boarding pass. Customers checking a bag could also just scan their boarding pass and the bag tag would automatically print without having to touch the screen.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I booked JetBlue’s version of basic economy for this flight but I was luckily still assigned a window seat. Most of the middle seats went empty on the flight and I was glad to see JetBlue wasn’t randomly assigned seats as some other airlines are for basic economy flyers.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Ticket in hand, I headed to the gate and saw some of the same safety features. Plexiglass partitions were installed at the check-in counter and the airport had installed social distancing placards on the floor but that was about it.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Boarding soon began in JetBlue’s standard procedure based on groups. There was surprisingly no pre-boarding reminder to wear masks

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Passengers boarding first included JetBlue elite status holders, those traveling in Mint business class, active duty military, families with small children, customers with disabilities, and travelers with “Even More Space” seats.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue gave up on back-to-front boarding in early March.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read More: JetBlue is abandoning back-to-front boarding as more travelers take to the skies and vaccinations take off

Inside the jetway, the airport had installed its own social distancing placards, saving JetBlue the trouble. These placards are largely ignored but are still a good gesture.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Flight attendants kindly welcomed us on board but didn’t offer anything in the way of hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes. I later found out that they were available on request.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Source: JetBlue Airways

The aircraft, however, was perfectly clean. I had no concerns whatsoever in that regard.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

JetBlue is beefing up aircraft cleanings and disinfecting planes by means of “fogging” with an electrostatic sprayer, a common industry standard.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read More: Delta, United, and American are ‘fogging’ their planes to make them safe for travel amid coronavirus — here’s what that means

Source: JetBlue Airways

I got to my seat, 25A, and settled in for the overnight flight to New York.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Everything about the seat was clean and I didn’t have any worry there whatsoever.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Health and safety aside, I was immediately reminded why flying on JetBlue is one of the best ways to cross the country, especially when flying on this aircraft.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The Airbus A321 fleet, including the A321 and A321neo, are incredibly modern and comfortable. I’d flown across the US on four different airlines in two days but when I sat down on the JetBlue flight, it felt like home.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

These aircraft feature one of JetBlue’s older in-flight entertainment products but they still offer touch-screen capabilities, high-definition displays, on-demand content, and a map screen.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

It also helped that the airline offers 32 inches of legroom in economy on this aircraft.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The front of the aircraft naturally filled first thanks to the new boarding procedure but the aircraft was empty enough where the back started to fill before too many people were settled up front.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Even though it was an empty flight to New York, flight attendants asked passengers to go to their assigned seats first before moving around the cabin.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Flight attendants also reminded passengers of the safety features of the aircraft including its high-efficiency particular air filters, or HEPA filters, and reassuringly said that the aircraft was just cleaned and disinfected.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

It was also made clear that wearing a mask was required by federal law.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

We departed Los Angeles with around three-quarters of the plane full.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I lucked out and had the middle seat open but not every row was so lucky.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

After departure, the entertainment screens showed a video outlining the health and safety features of the aircraft to reassure passengers. Airlines tend to do this at the gate but I was glad to see it on the aircraft right in front of passengers.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The “dos and don’ts” of flying on JetBlue were explained including wearing a face covering…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And don’t crowd the aisle. This one was interesting considering JetBlue had just removed back-to-front boarding and its middle seat block.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Even more messaging was available on the map channel.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

This kind of messaging goes a long way to reassure flyers returning to the skies for the first time during the pandemic.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

We quickly departed Los Angeles and turned eastbound towards New York. The in-flight service began shortly after takeoff.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that JetBlue had gotten rid of the plastic bag service and was serving actual soft drinks. I even got the full can.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Customers also had a choice of snacks including cookies, chips, Cheez-Its, or a granola bar. I went for the cookies.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The rest of the flight progressed smoothly as most passengers tried to get some sleep in on the five-hour flight.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

New York soon came into view and the flight was approaching its natural end.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

When we landed, there was a reminder to social distance when deplaning but most didn’t heed that warning. It’s only natural for flyers to get up as soon as the seat belt sign turns off.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Walking off the plane, I noticed JetBlue had installed its own safety placards in the jetway.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

The terminal in New York was also way better equipped than in Los Angeles. JetBlue had installed its own hand sanitizers at the gate…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Automated boarding gates were available to reduce contact with the gate agents…

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

And seats in the gate area were even blocked off, in addition to social distancing placards lining the falls and plexiglass partitions installed at the gate.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Overall, JetBlue did a great job at ensuring passengers are safe in both of its hubs, even though it is shedding off some social distancing efforts as more flyers take to the skies. The flight felt closer to a normal experience but there was still a strong emphasis on health and safety at every turn.

Flying on JetBlue Airways during pandemic
Flying on JetBlue Airways during the pandemic.

Read the original article on Business Insider

See inside the first JetBlue plane with all-new Mint business class suites which are set to impress on upcoming flights to London

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo’s with new Mint business class.

  • JetBlue Airways has taken delivery of its first aircraft with the new Mint business class cabin.
  • The private suites offer new fan-favorite amenities like direct aisle access and wireless charging.
  • The long-awaited flights to London from the East Coast are slated to begin in the third quarter of 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JetBlue Airways’ swanky new business class suites have landed.

The New York-based carrier marked another milestone towards launching flights to London having taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo with the upgraded business class seats that flyers will enjoy on transatlantic flights later this year.

Even casual Mint flyers will immediately notice the difference in the new product. Every seat offers fan favorites like direct aisle access and closeable doors that offer the utmost privacy, all in a residential-style designed suite.

The A321neo is one of JetBlue’s newest aircraft and can be found flying JetBlue’s longest routes including New York-Guayaquil, Ecuador thanks to its increased range and cost-saving economics. It’s also known for its quiet cabin and ultra-modern features like mood lighting.

The jet that will take JetBlue to Europe, however, has yet to arrive. The Airbus A321neoLR offers an even greater amount of range and JetBlue plans to pack it with even more business class suites to accommodate the near-endless supply of premium flyers on the route.

And before London flights takeoff, the suites will first make a West Coast debut on the New York-Los Angeles route this summer. JetBlue’s long-awaited transatlantic flights have been delayed due to the pandemic but are set to launch in the third quarter.

Here’s a sneak peek at the business class suites that will soon take JetBlue flyers to Los Angeles, London, and beyond.

The new Mint cabin on the A321neo is comprised of 16 business class suites arranged in a 1-1 configuration.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each seat is angled in what’s known as a herringbone configuration, allowing the airline to fit more seats in the cabin while maintaining privacy. It’s an upgrade from the current Mint product as there are no paired seats in any row.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue offers two types of seats in the cabin. There’s the standard “Mint Suite…”.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And the larger “Mint Studio,” the cabin’s flagship seat.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The cabin has 14 Mint Suites spanning seven rows while the first row has the only Mint Studios, and they come at an additional premium.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Those that pay extra for the Mint Studio get an entire 22.7-square-foot cabin to themselves.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

There’s more room to spread out, especially when the seat is in the lie-flat position.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue even installed a separate cushioned seat here so a companion can share the space.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Other amenities exclusive to the seat include a personal closet that can be used to store anything from a purse to shoes or a jacket. A small mirror is there to help freshen up after, say, an overnight flight to London

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The in-flight entertainment screens in these enclaves are also the largest on the plane at 22 inches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

An additional tray table is built-in so companions can share a meal or get work done together. And if traveling solo, the table can also be used as simply an additional countertop to hold papers, a laptop, or food items.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The screen doesn’t extend all the way, however, so watching a movie together might difficult.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Standard seat amenities are also included like a tethered remote to control the in-flight entertainment…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A large countertop with individually-controlled lighting…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Wireless charging capabilities…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And a laptop holder under the screen, among other unique touches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The regular suites are narrower but still comfortable and spacious when seated thanks to the suite’s curved walls.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

For those that love looking out of the window, however, the angle of the seat makes doing that a bit harder as it requires turning one’s head at least 90 degrees.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Placed on each seat will be the standard business class amenities for the flight. A new service offering was just rolled out in November that includes a new partnership with the Delicious Hospitality Group, Tuft & Needle, Wanderfuel, and Master & Dynamic.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: JetBlue is revitalizing its popular Mint business class as the airline prepares for its European debut — here’s what to expect from Mint 2.0

Among other items, passengers will get a pair of JetBlue-specific Master & Dynamic noise-isolating headphones…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Bedding kit from Tuft & Needle…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And a wellness kit from Wanderfuel.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Privacy-minded travelers at each seat can close the suite door for additional exclusivity.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A blue “do not disturb” sign can also be activated to let flight attendants know to skip certain passengers for the meal service.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

All seats in the cabin were developed by Tuft & Needle, JetBlue’s new sleep partner, and double as mattress pads for when it’s time to sleep. Tuft & Needle also created the bedding that includes a “foot nook.”

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: JetBlue is revitalizing its popular Mint business class as the airline prepares for its European debut — here’s what to expect from Mint 2.0

Screens in the suites are slightly smaller at 17 inches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A fun fact about the in-flight entertainment screens is that they can be extended away from the wall during takeoff and landing, something most other airlines haven’t been able to offer.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

This A321neo only has eight rows of Mint but the London-bound aircraft will have at least four more rows for a total of 24 seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Those riding in the back won’t have their own suites but will still get to experience some of JetBlue’s latest products.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The rest of the cabin is split between extra legroom seats, known as “Even More Space” seats…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And regular economy seats, known as “Core” seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

True to name, Even More Space seats on this aircraft offer between 35 and 38 inches of seat pitch, depending on seat location, and 18 inches of width.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Source: SeatGuru

Regular economy seats, alternatively, offer 32 inches of seat pitch and the same amount of width.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Source: SeatGuru

As for entertainment, JetBlue installed the latest in-flight entertainment product complete with movies, television shows, games, device pairing, and a moving map, among other features.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: I flew on a newly upgraded JetBlue plane and despite less legroom and slimmer seats, the refresh is exactly what the airline needed

These screens clock in at 10.1 inches and offer high-definition content.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A cool feature of economy is the “pantry,” a self-serve snack and beverage bar where flyers can take food items as they please without bugging the flight attendants.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Flyers can also connect to JetBlue’s complimentary satellite WiFI onboard the aircraft, even while over the ocean or above a foreign country.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Mood lighting is a key feature of the aircraft, especially on long-haul flights.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each lighting profile coincides with a specific phase of flight, whether it be the daytime meal service or cruising at altitude at night.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Mood lighting is also intended to link up with a traveler’s circadian rhythm to help adjust to each phase of flight.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Warm colors induce relaxation for when it’s time to sleep and cool colors wake the body up.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each suite has its own lamp with different mood lights controlled by the occupant.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And the Mint Studios are the only seats that come with two lamps.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The lighting extends through the entire aircraft, not just business class.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

On the outside of the plane, keen flyers will also notice a new tail design on the back of the plane. Called “ribbons,” the design uses optical art to create the illusion of movement.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And powering the aircraft are two Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Piloting the A321neo requires minor additional training and pilots will be able to fly it interchangeably with other Airbus A320 family aircraft in JetBlue’s fleet.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue flyers can expect to see this aircraft flying this summer, first between New York and Los Angeles before expanding across JetBlue’s route network.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Transatlantic travelers will then be enjoying this cabin by the end of the year.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read the original article on Business Insider