jetting into the blue.

I enjoy stumbling upon great brands, so I quite pleased to almost literally fall into the seat of JetBlue when flying to and from Seattle on vacation. I’d known it for its good prices, but never flown it … and I was particularly impressed with the brand’s emphasis on user experience.

The brand’s tagline of Happy Jetting! won’t win any awards for cleverness, and their advertising makes the point that you aren’t flying with them, you’re Jetting. Beyond playing on their name, the point of their branding is differentiating from the average flying experience. And in that they do succeed.

Like with 36 DirectTV channels, which allowed me to watch U.S. Open golf and the U.S. soccer team’s tough 3-2 loss to Brazil in the ConFed cup (the number of whoops and fists in the air when the U.S. scored its second goal showed how many on the flight were watching). Or 100 Sirius XM stations — the grunge-era rock of Lithium when I wanted to stay awake, and the mellow electronica of Chill when I wanted to relax. The headphone jack works with any iPod or similar earbuds, though if you don’t have headphones, they’ll sell you one for the high price of … $1. An airline not taking advantage of a captive audience! Inconceivable!

JetBlue doesn’t serve major meals, just snacks such as chips and cookies. Though not only are they good chips and cookies, but after meal service you can just walk back to the flight attendant ask for more. As many times as you like. Again, differentiation from the normal experience of getting a small meal and that’s it for the flight. Generous legroom and plush seats plus ample restrooms (three) also help with the comfort factor.

The attendants handled issues pretty well. One row had TV screens that didn’t work, just flickered annoyingly, but those passengers were given the opportunity to move (on a nearly full flight) if they wanted. Overall, there seemed to be a why not? attitude instead of the usual why? when they received a request. That’s a great customer-service ethos. And a day after the trip out to Seattle, an email asking for my feedback and opinions on the flight appeared in my inbox.

I’m not exactly sure how JetBlue, like fellow price-hawks Southwest, manages to deliver both low fares and a great user experience. But needless to say I’d happily fly with them again. Er, correction, I’d happily Jet with them again.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “jetting into the blue.

  1. wranglingmodifiers

    I’ve only had the pleasure of flying JetBlue once, but from what I remember, it was spiffy. Yeah — I just described an airline as spiffy. Weird…

  2. Melissa

    After you’ve flown JetBlue, you’re pretty much spoiled. Their service is terrific, especially since nobody feeds you a meal that’s worth eating anyway. If you’re going west from here, you can only get home from many of their western destinations on a red-eye (which I actually don’t mind, since I’d rather sleep on the plane than pay for a hotel room), and unlike other airlines, they’re really good about not bothering you while you snooze. My only quibble with them is that they neglect large chunks of the middle of the country.

  3. Laura

    The trick is cost savings in maintenance, by having limited routes and uniform fleet. JetBlue flies the A320, Southwest the 737-300, -500, -700. My favorite airline in this vein is Virgin Atlantic, which flies a combination of 747-400s and Airbus planes, but promotes simplicity and modernization in operations. Of note are failed low-cost airlines of this model, namely Delta Song.

    These companies lease all new airplanes from large leasing corporations, and almost all new airplanes come with fantastic in flight entertainment (IFE, yes, there’s an acronym) systems. With the crunch in consumer spending, the airlines have all gone out of their way lately to make the flight an experience, not just a way to get from point A to point B. … as well as a way to market entertainment systems to you, for your home experience.

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