By now readers will be aware that US carrier Jetblue plans to launch transatlantic service to London later this year.
In February the carrier unveiled details of its all-new Mint business class product which will feature on the route, with 24 private suites with sliding doors.
At the front of the aircraft there will be two “Mint Studios” which will offer an extra side table, 22-inch tilting IFE screen, and a guest seat which can be used by another passenger when the aircraft is at cruising altitude.
And now the airline has announced it will offer economy passengers a novel dining experience.
In recent years major airlines have all cut back their economy class offerings in a bid to cut costs.
Jetblue intends to provide economy passengers with a “build-your-own menu” where customers choose from a selection of meals, in partnership with New York’s restaurant group Dig.
The Dig menu provides passengers with the option of choosing one of three main selections including a protein or vegetarian option plus two out of three hot and chilled side options. Drinks (both soft and alcoholic) are free of charge.
While this will be excellent publicity for Jetblue there may be issues with service delivery. Jetblue is operating A321 LRs configured with 114 seats in economy.
But these are narrow-bodied aircraft. Nothing wrong with that but is this a suitable plane for a better than average economy service?
With passengers needing to visit the restroom or maybe stretch their legs to minimise jetlag will they get in the way of the cabin crew attempting to deliver this more personalised service?
And what about those Eastbound overnight flights? Depending on the wind direction these could take six hours or even less in the case of Boston-London which Jetblue will also serve.
Indeed The New York Times reported last year that a British Airways subsonic flight had travelled New York-London in four hours and 56 minutes.
Yes I realise this was just one flight but it demonstrates how scheduled time can be cut when weather conditions are favourable.
With overnight flights I believe many if not most passengers would prefer to get some sleep rather than be kept awake by two meal services.
What are readers’ views on this? Please post your comments at the end of this article.
And putting catering aside, we still await the all-important details including when will Jetblue’s transatlantic service commence, which London airport(s) will be used, and what will the fares and schedules look like?
For now we have no definite answers to these questions. Jetblue has yet to release official details (although it is reported that Heathrow slots have been granted).
Jetblue has also confirmed that the regular economy class pitch on the aircraft will be 32 inches, but there will also be four rows where pitch is 38 inches. Economy seat width will be 18.6 inches.
In other news the airline has selected Panasonic Avionics for its live sports inflight offering on the A321 LR. The service will expand Jetblue’s transatlantic inflight entertainment options to include one channel of live sports through Sport 24.