Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review: JetBlue

(Somewhere between Little Rock and Memphis, 37,969-ft.)
I am sitting over the starboard wing root of an Embraer 190 airliner operated by JetBlue, enroute from Houston to New York’s JFK. The sun is streaming through an over-sized crystaline window, framing a scene of brilliant, blue sky padded by a fluffy layer of clouds below. The wind is whispering past at over 500-mph.

This is my first time on a JetBlue flight, and I must admit I am favorably impressed. I bought the seat over the wings because it promised extra leg room.
Boy howdy, this is nice.

I’m a fairly compact dude, reaching the ground a little more than 5 ½ below my noggin, and no longer the contortionist I once was as a young, flat-belly. The last time I flew a commuter “puddle-jumper” jet, it took an hour to unfold me.

The seats are arranged in pairs, nice, wide, comfy chairs “in rich Corinthian leather,” as the pilot joked in his pre-flight remarks.
Real or faux, they’re nice and wide.

The Captain stood in the aisle before we pushed off from the gate, extolling the virtues of the aircraft.
By the way, he’s north of 6” tall, and had plenty of headroom above him to the cabin ceiling.
This jet is no flying cigar tube.

We left the terminal and taxied quickly to the runway, and lifted smoothly into the sky. On the seat backs, a crisp LCD TV screen with DirectTV, and my favorite channel, the electronic map showing speed, altitude, and general position of the aircraft on a Google-branded color map.

The other remarkable thing about this trip—it’s cheap.
Okay, inexpensive is a better word, perhaps.
But I climbed aboard with my luggage and three additional boxes of Radio gear for significantly less than my ticket from Houston’s hometown air carrier was going to cost.
My CFO is pleased.

The only semi-negative with JetBlue for me is that I must fly from a less-convenient airport, and they don’t go all the places I might need to go. But…with a co-worker dropping me off at the curb, inconvenience is a relative thing.
JetBlue may be onto something.

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