On Monday, jetBlue released their plans to upgrade the cabins of their A320 fleet. This marks the first design overhaul of their A320s since the airline started operations back in 2000. The full press release from jetBlue can be found here. Here are my highlights:
- While the airline already offers numerous channels of live DirecTV on every flight, they’re upgrading the experience by almost tripling the number of available channels and replacing the 5.6″ seat-back TV screens with 10″, high-definition touch screens.
- The in-flight internet product, Fly-Fi, will also be available for passenger use from the time you board until your plane arrives at the gate. This is a nice change to see, since most airlines disable internet functionality until reaching 10,ft. The Fly-Fi internet is also much faster than other in-flight internet products and will permit streaming video to personal devices.
- The entertainment isn’t the only upgrade. The airline is updating the seats to include AC power and USB outlets at every seat. While they’re slightly behind the industry with these features, it’s encouraging to see them upgrading every existing aircraft, and not limiting it to new deliveries only.
- Next up is my personal favorite – LED cabin lighting. Mood lighting is something I think every airline should invest in, and it’s more than just for style. In addition to having a stylish cabin environment, I believe mood lighting in general helps with travelers anxiety and makes you relax a bit, no matter what kind of day you’re having. For example – if my flight has been delayed several hours and I have that “I just want to finally get home” feeling, I’d much rather board a plane with a comfortable cabin with relaxing mood lighting than a stark, beige, fluorescent-lit cabin.
While these upgrades won’t start until early 2017 and won’t be complete until 2019 across the A320 fleet, I view this as a much-needed upgrade to their hard product to stay ahead of the competition and the US-legacy carriers. While I’d like to have seen this upgrade a year or two ago, their current product is by no means poor. jetBlue is a quality air carrier and this is a worthwhile upgrade that’s certainly worth flying when it enters service starting next year.
This increases the quality of air travel, and TQT considers jetBlue a quality way to travel.