- Flying sucks. That’s something most of us can agree on.
- But some airlines are much, much worse than others. The goal of choosing an airline: to make the process of getting from point A to point B as painless as possible.
- Jetblue has consistently earned sky-high customer satisfaction ratings. So on a cross-country trip from New York to Los Angeles, I chose to fly economy class with Jetblue.
- Although not all aspects of my experience were as smooth as they could have been, my experience was distinguished by exceptional service and more freebies than I could even use.
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No matter what sports team or presidential candidate you support, everyone can agree on one thing after this holiday season: flying sucks.
As much as we may enjoy stepping foot on white-sand beaches or the carpeted floors of our childhood homes, the process of getting there is infamously unpleasant.
Holiday travel has long been the source of the frustration, chagrin, and existential spirals most famously chronicled in John Hughes’ transportation nightmare classic, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.”
But if you’re going somewhere, you gotta get there somehow. And you might as well get there as painlessly as possible. New York-based airline Jetblue was named the best domestic airline for economy class travellers by The Points Guy, and has consistently earned high customer satisfaction ratings.
So on a recent cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles, I flew economy class on Jetblue. Here’s what it was like.
I took a rideshare to JFK airport in New York City. Jetblue’s check-in process is smooth and fairly automated.
All economy passengers get one free carry-on bag, and you can check-in online or via the app. If you don’t have any checked bags, you can zoom straight to security.
I like to spend as little time as possible at airports, so I arrived at my gate as my plane was boarding. All I had to do was scan the boarding pass on my phone.
My flight was fairly full, and unfortunately, I had been placed in a middle seat: 13E.
When I got to my seat, I immediately noticed something encrusted on the seatback. I flagged down a flight attendant, who kindly brought me some wet paper towels.
As the flight continued to board, I stretched my legs — fantastic legroom — and checked out my surroundings.
There was a handy touch screen that looked fairly old. A credit card reader below it indicated that it was once pay-to-use. Not anymore.
There was also a complimentary snooze kit with earplugs and an eye mask — something I’ve never seen before on domestic flights in economy class.
Next, I took a look at the food and entertainment this flight had to offer.
Jetblue is really proud of the fact that it offers two things most airlines don’t: free Wi-Fi. It also has free snacks.
Jetblue offers five kinds of snacks on its flights: Cheez-Its, pretzels, Pop Corners, cookies, and Terra blue potato chips.
It would be a while before the snacks were served. I resigned myself to my middle-seat fate and browsed the screen for entertainment as the flight took off.
There was actually a pretty limited selection of TV, although there was a larger selection of movies. I settled on something random to pass the time.
But alas! My screen kept glitching. It simply wouldn’t play or respond to controls. I looked at my neighbours’ screens, and it seemed only mine was having a problem.
Once we reached altitude, I decided it was time for some mile-high Wi-Fi.
I opened my laptop and turned on my Wi-Fi connection. There was also a three-pronged outlet and USB outlet underneath each seat.
Jetblue’s network is called “Fly-Fi”. You have to go to the network’s website to connect.
Jetblue’s Wi-Fi allows for video streaming, and the airline has partnered with Amazon to bring guests Amazon Prime video in flight. However, the Wi-Fi wasn’t good enough to stream video with for most of my flight. But it was good enough for me to get some work done — albeit slowly.
Additionally, shopping through the Amazon portal on the network site earns extra TrueBlue points. I went on a shopping spree for succulents.
Finally, the drink and snack cart came by. Unfortunately, they were out of the blue chips, which felt a bit off-brand for Jetblue. What was on-brand, though, was the incredible customer service I received from the flight attendants, who were kind and helpful.
There was a “market” next to the bathrooms where you could pick up complimentary snacks and drinks at any time. But sugar and carbs didn’t quite cut it for a five-hour flight.
Finally, the plane began to descend. I was still hungry, cold, and uncomfortable, but less so than I would have been on another airline.
Although the plane wasn’t the cleanest or newest and the Wi-Fi was slow and spotty, Jetblue’s dedication to customer service really shined through. The inclusion of Wi-Fi, the abundance of free snacks, the extra legroom, and the kind flight attendants made me feel less like a hot body crammed into a seat and more like a valued guest.
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