- 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.
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.
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.
Take a look inside the jet that will take JetBlue passengers to London starting in August.
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.
Only 138 seats are offered on an aircraft that can normally seat around 200.
Mint business class is also making its transatlantic debut with brand-new seats to boot.
A total of 24 business class seats are angled towards the aisle in what’s known as a herringbone pattern.
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.
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.
And to that effect, each seat will have fully closeable doors that block passengers off from the rest of the plane.
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.
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.”
Wireless charging pads are also available in yet another unique touch.
Lighting in the suites is offered through a personal reading lamp and a larger lamp with customizable mood lighting.
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.
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.
Standard at each business class seat is a 17-inch (43cm) entertainment system. One of the features unique to JetBlue is that the screens can be extended during taxi, takeoff, and landing.
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.
In-seat power is offered with 110V AC power outlets and USB charging ports, as well as a hook on which to wrap cords.
Each business class flyer will receive an amenity kit from Wanderfuel with the essentials to survive a long flight.
The other type of seat in Mint is the “Mint Studio,” located in the first row of the cabin.
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.
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.
JetBlue ran with this idea and even installed another tray table so flyers can work side by side or share a meal.
There’s even an additional power outlet in the seat.
Other perks of the Mint Studio include a larger 22-inch (56cm) in-flight entertainment screen.
There’s also more storage space in the Mint Studio with additional compartments throughout.
A personal storage closet, ideal for a handbag or other small items, is yet another perk of booking the Mint Studio.
The remaining 114 seats house the economy section in a standard 3-3 configuration.
Seats are split between 24 extra-legroom “even more space” seats and 90 “core” seats with standard legroom.
Even more space seats, denoted by their orange headrests, offer 35 inches (89cm) of legroom.
Seat width in the section is the standard 18.4 for inches that every economy seat has.
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.
Beyond extra legroom and being closer to the front, there’s not much more that these seats offer.
Even more space seats are nearly identical to standard core seats, with both offering adjustable headrests, in-seat power, and seat-back entertainment screens.
But the extra legroom may make a bigger difference to some on the longer eastbound transatlantic crossings.
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.
And with only four rows of seats for the entire plane, there are not many to be had.
The remaining 90 seats are the domain of JetBlue’s core product.
Each seat in this cabin offers 32 inches (81cm) of pitch and the standard 18.4 inches (46cm) of width.
Each seat in economy will offer 10.1-inch (25cm) seat-back screens with JetBlue’s latest entertainment product.
A selection of movies, television shows, games, and a moving map will be available during the flight.
Armrest remotes aren’t being offered by the screens can be controlled by touch or by pairing a device.
In-seat power in economy is available both through 110v AC power outlets and USB charging ports underneath the screens.
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.
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.
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.
All flyers in economy will receive a blanket but no pillow as part of the initial launch offering.
All the armrests go up in economy rows so flyers can use the row as a bed if one is entirely free.
There are some economy seats to be avoided, however, and those are the ones in rows 22 and 23 as the windows are misaligned.
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.
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.
One Mint seat is also blocked for flight attendants to rest.
Above the cabin, mood lighting will help shape the ambiance in the cabin with a variety of settings depending on the phase of flight.
At night, for example, relaxing colors will ease flyers to sleep and then gently wake them up.
Flights to London begin on August 11.