The first customer-carrying JetBlue flight between the US and the UK touched down at Heathrow just before 10:00 yesterday morning. This is a trip report of that inaugural JetBlue flight between New York and London by Chris Sloan.
“For the first time in JetBlue’s 21-year history we are crossing the North Atlantic and competing in one of the busiest travel markets in the world, well-positioned to introduce our award-winning service and low fares to a new global audience that is ready for a fresh choice in transatlantic flying.”Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue.
“I want to congratulate JetBlue on its inaugural transatlantic flight to London and wish all the crew and customers a safe and pleasant journey. As vaccinated Americans can now come to the UK without the need to quarantine, this route will offer more Americans a path to doing business, holidays and family reunions in the UK” said Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, UK Ambassador to the US.
Schedule between New York (JFK) and London Heathrow (LHR)
|JFK - LHR Flight #007||LHR - JFK Flight #20|
|21:48 – 10:10 (+1)||14:05 – 17:28|
JetBlue will operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
Flights between New York-JFK and Heathrow operate daily in August and four times weekly in September on JetBlue’s new Airbus A321 Long Range (LR) aircraft; with 24 redesigned Mint suites, 114 core seats and the Airspace cabin interior.
The Experience - by Chris Sloan
Not to be a snob, but I was skittish about flying Economy overnight across the pond. Mainly because of my challenges with sleeping whilst sitting up right.
JetBlue’s Extra Legroom product with 36” of pitch and an 18.4” wide seat, which is as roomy as it gets in Economy on any aircraft, fit the bill just fine, even though they are slimline seats.
It’s almost a misnomer to call JetBlue’s Economy product, Economy. In fact they don’t. It’s called Core and it’s far and away the best Economy product I have experienced from any American or European carrier.
The tapas build your meal program, free WiFi and adult beverages on the house reaffirm JetBlue’s position not as low cost, but as a high content carrier with flair and style. This was all accomplished on a narrow body aircraft that one doesn’t normally associate with comfort and passenger appeal on a 6-7 hour flight. One certainly doesn’t feel second class.
Interesting side note, the CEO robin Hayes sat (and slept) in front of me in Core (Economy).
The atmosphere was mostly joyous and informal. Many expected (and feared) a party flight with lots of ceremonies but that didn’t come to pass. This was a short overnight flight, with precious few hours for sleep. Apart from some souvenirs US and UK flags and applause on the take-off landing and roll, there was very little pomp and circumstance. That was reserved for the gate. The Airspace cabin’s lighting scheme and roominess with the larger window bevels and flatter sidewalls added tranquillity to the affair. The very enthusiastic crew was easily the best aspect of the flight.
"Core is instantly the Economy product to beat on the TransAtlantic. I consider it a disruptive product like Virgin was back in the day; and the price certainly is right bringing competitors fares down once it’s tickets went on sale. Call it the JetBlue effect."Chris Sloan, who travels on the inaugural JetBlue flight from New York to London
The A321LR platform, offering the range of a wide-body but with the economics of a single-aisle aircraft, allows JetBlue to compete effectively with low fares on flights between the US and London. JetBlue have converted 13 aircraft in their existing A321 order book to the LR version in April 2019, with the ability to convert more. Additionally, JetBlue has converted another 13 aircraft in their existing order book to the Extra-Long Range (XLR) version of the A321.
JetBlue remains on track to add additional services between the US and the UK; with flights between New York-JFK and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) starting September 29th 2021. JetBlue will be the only carrier to offer service to the US at Gatwick – the UK’s second busiest airport.
London service from Boston is planned to start in summer 2022.
This was reported by Chris Sloan/AirChive.net.
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