JetBlue made a name for itself as an all-economy class airline that provided better service than the usual low-price competitors. Now the carrier is hoping to appeal to those passengers willing to pay some more money for a little bit of extra luxury on longer flights.
The airline announced this morning that it will in installing lie-flat seating on new Airbus A321 jets starting in the middle of 2014. These seats will first begin popping up (or rather, lying down) on some nonstop flights between NYC and L.A., and NYC and San Francisco.
Even more upmarket will be single suite seats, complete with closeable door “for increased privacy.” While the crude folks among you will jump right to “mile high club” jokes, we believe the real purpose of these isolated suites is to allow for traveling billionaire CEOs to fall asleep on the plane without having to fear that Leo DiCaprio and that girl from Juno will try to enter their dreams and steal corporate secrets.
According to JetBlue, this pairing of lie-flat seats and individual suites will occupy the first five rows of the plane. Rows 1, 3 and 5 will have the lie-flat seats — two on each side of the aisle. Rows 2 and 4 will have the suites, only one of which can be placed on either side of the aisle.
All these seats have built-in massage function, a 15″ TV, and an indicator that basically tells the flight attendant “I might be sleeping, but if you’re taking dinner orders, wake my butt up.”
“Our customers have requested more premium options on our transcontinental flights and we listened,” said JetBlue CEO Dave Barger. “We decided to enter the premium transcontinental market in a way that only JetBlue can: with an intense focus on offering the best possible product for the best possible price.”
Of course, what these seats will cost is still TBD, though JetBlue is confident it can compete with transcontinental carriers who offer business and first-class seats.
“We expect to invigorate the market with our competitive price,” Mr. Barger said. “Building on our original strategy of serving the under-served with a unique product and service-focused culture, we believe this new product will be very popular with current coast-to-coast customers, and may motivate new customers to choose JetBlue.”