First off, we have to say that there will be no award for Best International Airline because we simply haven’t been on all of them to even come close to judging them. However, we have flown every domestic American airline, including many that don’t even exist anymore, so we’re concluding our run of 2010’s Jaunted Travel Awards by declaring JetBlue the Best Domestic Airline of 2010.How did good ol’ JetBlue manage to steal back the title after three straight years of dominance in this category by Virgin America? Well, by keeping it real…but also by making 2010 the year they blazed trails and truly, truly focused on what passengers want.
To tell you the truth, JetBlue has made so many positive advances and announced so much in 2010 that we hardly know where to start with explaining why they’re the best this year, so we’ll go with the standard of bulletpoints:
- JetBlue celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a new plane, some fancy artwork at Terminal 5 at JFK, and $10 airfare sales throughout the entire year.
- In fact, it was perhaps their best year ever for airfare deals, thanks to the success of their Tuesday flash sale @JetBlueCheeps Twitter, some insane $99 Caribbean hotel+flight packages, “sample sales,” and “Top Secret” Getaways.
- Both Taylor Swift and Sarah McLachlan performed concerts in the centre of their JFK Terminal 5, as part of JetBlue’s “Live at T5” series.
- They did not start charging fees for carry-on luggage or your first checked bag. They are one of the very, very few airlines to hold out against these truly annoying extra fees.
- This year, they added priority boarding for those who purchase extra legroom seats. We just spent an extra $45 to get one of these seats on a five-hour flight and believe us, not only is the legroom awesome, but that early boarding means you can settle in and start watching the NFL Sunday Ticket on the seatback TVs even sooner.
- They unveiled at least three special planes with fancy livery: 10th Anniversary, NY Jets and All You Can Jet. We love spotting and riding on special-edition aeroplanes, and they’re just plain fun.
- JetBlue announced that they’d be playing really nice in terms of connections and luggage transfers with American Airlines, Emirates, South African Airways, Aer Lingus, and Lufthansa.
- Jetsetter, Gilt Groupe’s flash sale website for travel deals, got together with JetBlue for super cheap luxury vacation packages.
- JetPRIDE, quite possibly one of the first completely gay-friendly flights ever, took off from San Francisco to Long Beach with comedienne Pam Ann onboard.
- They gave out so much stuff this year that it seems like every month held a big giveaway. They gave out Hanes T-shirts and Wisp brushes on select flights, they handed out free flights in many cities to anyone who could find their representatives first, they gave us AYCJ passes to hand out as a prize to our readers, and random pedestrians in Manhattan spent a summer’s day sampling OceanSpray Blueberry juice thanks to them.
- Speaking of blueberry juice, the airline introduced new snacks to their free selection to keep things interesting, as well as introducing paid premium snack boxes on longer flights.
- AYCJ 2010, ’nuff said.
- JetBlue got interested in public health and fitness, sponsoring the largest yoga class in the world and letting bicycles fly free (no oversize baggage charges) all throughout July.
- They had the exact perfect response to the Steve Slater incident. They showed some humour, but were completely up front and open about how seriously they were taking it.
- JetBlue becomes the first company ever to be allowed to completely co-brand itself with the famous “I <3 NY” logo. Then they launch an NY Jets-themed aeroplane, the first one to sport a livery colour other than blue (it was green).
- They may not have fleetwide in-flight WiFi yet, but in 2010 they announced that when they do, it’ll be the “industry’s best inflight broadband for commercial aviation.” Hallelujah.
- The food at their Terminal 5 at JFK was found to be among the most diverse and appealing airport food in the country. Plus, their fried rice is tasty.
- Their flight attendants will happily sleep with you.
And last, but definitely not least, JetBlue is blazing trails in the Twitter department, again. Only a few years ago, they were the first to really jump on Twitter as a way to connect with and reply to their passengers. Now they have some of the most followers of brands on Twitter, and they’ve gone the important step of assisting travellers with their bookings via direct message, in lieu of making travellers call customer service. If you ask us, this will be one of the most important moves for airlines to make in the coming year, and JetBlue is already on top of it (along with Delta, who have @DeltaAssist and a whole team on-hand as something like Twitter concierges for their travellers).
Congratulations, JetBlue. You deserve it as you obviously had to work triple-time to do everything you accomplished in 2010, but the point is that you did it.
This post originally appeared on Jaunted and was used with permission.