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Flight Review: Excellent JetBlue Airbus A320-200 from New York JFK to Cartagena in Extra-Legroom seat

JetBlue’s product can be thought of as truly unique, they are said to be a low-cost carrier and yet have a more traditional feel about them. They connect New York and The US both domestically and with destinations in Central America and the Caribbean. I was originally meant to be flying with them in their standard economy seat, however was lucky enough to be upgraded to their extra-legroom seats, something which perfectly demonstrates the friendliness of their staff which I experienced throughout my journey. Join me as I take a look at the on the ground experience, seats, food and entertainment on board this JetBlue flight to the lovely city of Cartagena, Colombia.

Photo by Laurent ERRERA

On the ground

With departure from JFK being my first from a US airport, it was nothing short of hectic, something which TSA and the US have a large reputation for. Once we arrived at JFK, we found that the flight had been delayed by about 3.5 hours, something which was just unfortunate and seemed to be due to a problem with the aircraft in Denver a few days prior, causing the whole schedule for the next few days to shift. The one thing which I would say was the weak-point of JetBlue would be the bag-drop process, which was rather confusing. Checking-in can be done online, but as standard with airlines, bag-drop has to be done at the airport. Unlike what I’ve seen before when flying, the bag-drop was on a screen and seemed to be self service, aside from physically putting the bags on the conveyor. Desks didn’t seem to be open until 8 A.M., and so any flights before that had to find someone to help them. TSA seemed to take a while, with a multitude of different queues and checks, with lots of queues being faster or slower than others, so you had to pick carefully which queue to join. The whole ground process took longer than expected, meaning that I would have come close to missing my flight if it hadn’t been delayed. After many hours of waiting, with Terminal 5 (JetBlue’s own terminal at JFK) having excellent views of Runway 04L and 04R where the planes were taking off and landing, we eventually began boarding the plane.

The Seat

Photo by One Mile At a Time

Seat numbers and necessarily provided when the tickets are printed, something which happened to myself, and got me thinking that the flight might have been overbooked. Eventually when I got my seat number, I found that the airline had given me a free upgrade to their extra-legroom seats, something which I found comparable to premium economy on most airlines. The seat has the most legroom I have ever had on a flight, meaning that I have to fully stretch my hand to reach the in-flight entertainment screen, something I never knew could be a problem. If you look at the other seats, you can see that the leg room there is really good, and beats what you would get on other LCCs like Norse Atlantic or easyJet. The seats all have a USB power outlet from the IFE screen, as well as a proper socket with a multitude of socket types in-between the seats in-front.

In-Flight Entertainment

Flightradar24 is telling me that I’m writing this article directly onto the website from 35,000 feet above Jamaica, somewhat of an indication as to how good JetBlue’s free WiFi is. The WiFi has incredibly good speeds for what you can get on-board a plane, allowing me to do pretty much anything like scroll through social media or listen to music online. In 2017, JetBlue became the first airline to offer free WiFi for the entire flight, across it’s entire fleet, meaning that no-matter where you go you can stay connected. The actual entertainment system was also great, allowing you to pick from a large selection of movies and tv shows, as well as having live tv channels including CNN or Fox, although this only seems to be offered when flying over US airspace. JetBlue does still have some of the features which are typically low-cost, and headphones must either be your own or bought from the airline for $6.

Food and Drink

I was expecting the flight to have food which could only be paid for, however certain snacks and drinks seemed to be free. These snacks were rather small, so if you are looking for a proper meal, food can either be bought on-board (at a fairly large cost) or you can of course bring your own food.

To sum my JetBlue experience, I have to say that its been excellent, despite the delay and chaos on the ground. My only criticism is to make the check-in and bag drop process slightly easier, however I feel as if it might have been slightly less hectic had the desks been open if my flight was later in the day. The general friendliness of the staff, as well as the WiFi and comfiness of the seat lead to making my flight one of the best I’ve ever been on.

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