A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER in the midst of a turnaround at YVR
On the heels of Cathay Pacific retiring the Queen of the Skies from the North American services, they have announced a service expansion to add another US city. As of May 1, 2015, Cathay Pacific will begin service to its sixth destination in the United States with the addition of Boston.
The Boston service also comes fairly quick on the heels of Cathay launching their service to Newark earlier this year and adds another connection to the Northeast. With multiple daily services to New York’s JFK Airport, a daily flight to Newark, and now a four times per week service to Boston, things are picking up for the east coasters.
Why Boston though? Like Newark, it doesn’t seem the most likely of destinations. According to Cathay Pacific, among its connecting passengers to Hong Kong, Boston is the largest market with over 53,000 passengers flying between Boston’s Logan Airport and Hong Kong. All 53,000 of them having to connect somewhere along the way. That sounds like a fairly decent reason to add a daily service to me!
Cheers: Great little bonuses: full soda can, free TV, lots of snacks and one free checked bag.
Jeers: Wish there was some Wi-Fi — it is coming soon.
Bottom Line: JetBlue does not feel like a low-cost airline
Taxiing at NAS towards the runway. There is a Bahamasair Boeing 737-500 in the background.
FULL JETBLUE ECONOMY REVIEW:
Being based in Seattle, I do not get the opportunity to fly JetBlue very often. It has been a few years since I have experienced one of their flights and I was excited to see I was flying them home after a recent press trip to The Bahamas(note: The Bahamas Tourism paid for my ticket on JetBlue).
I have only flown the E-190 once before in a business class flight on Air Canada from Toronto to Seattle. I was impressed with the larger seats up front on my Air Canada flight, but I have been wanting to try out what it is like sitting in the back of the E-190 and this flight gave me the opportunity.
JetBlue E190s are configured with 32″ seat pitch, but if that is not enough for you, then you can upgrade to Even More Space, which gives you (wait for it…) even more space. Rows one, 12, 13 and 14 offer 6-7 inches of additional space and give priority boarding for an extra charge. The aircraft is set up in a 2-2 layout with 100 seats — this means aisle and window seats for everyone.
The E-190 provides a window or aisle seat for every passenger.
The flight was only about half full, so after allowing passengers with Even More Space seats and those who need additional assistance to board, everyone else was allowed to board in one group.
I normally try to take photos of the aircraft before I board, but NAS does not offer great photo angles from the airport. However, the photos after take-off more than make up for it.
The overhead bins on the E-190 are not too large, so I planned ahead and checked my larger carry-on bag. Extra bonus: JetBlue allows you to check one bag for free. Was kind of a pain to haul my camera, laptop and chargers around Boston (where I had my layover), but I managed.
No matter what seat you are sitting in, you will get free TV with 37 channels of entertainment. There are also three additional channels that play movies and for international flights (which mine was), the movies are free. If you are on a domestic flight, the premium entertainment will cost you $5.99 to watch a movie. Make sure to bring your own headphones or purchase one for $2 once you board the aircraft, because the movies start shortly after leaving the gate. I made the mistake of waiting to buy after taking off and I missed 10 minutes of Batman: The Dark Knight (luckily I had seen it previously).
I paid for the beer, but everything else was free and good.
Jetblue offers complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and a nice selection of free snacks including, blue potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, animal crackers and more.
If you want something a bit more substantial, four different “EATUP boxes” are offered for $5.99 each. There is also a decent selection of alcoholic beverages for $6.99 each, except for Bud Light which goes for $5.99. Being a fiscally responsible travel blogger, I went for a few snack selections and the cheaper beer.
If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, you can also purchase a head pillow for $5.99 or a blanket for $4.99 that you get to keep. Make sure to bring a credit or debit cards, since JetBlue does not accept cash.
Each seat has its own TV with free entertainment.
Right after passing 10,000 feet, one flight attendant walked down the aisle selling food and non-food products. After that, another came through to get drink orders. I was confused when I got my beer and was not charged. Turns out that the flight attendant comes through at the end of the flight to do just one charge at the end — makes sense. However, on my next leg from Boston to Seattle, the flight attendant charged me right away for my food.
It was very easy for me to work on my laptop, while watching TV, which is not something I can say on other domestic products. It also helped that the seat next to me was empty.
I had to take this photo in Boston, since NAS did not have any place to take a photo.
Since NAS offers pre-clearence for US Customs, I was able to quickly catch my connecting flight from Boston to Seattle without having to go through much hassel.
What would make the flight more enjoyable would be Wi-Fi. The airline is staying pretty quiet about their game plan, but are publicly stating that Wi-Fi should start showing up in JetBlue’s fleet starting in “early 2013.” JetBlue is planning to provide a Ka-band satelite solution through their own subsidiary, LiveTV.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the E-190/JetBlue combination and can’t wait for my next flight on either.
David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder. David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.
On Saturday April 22nd, Japan Airline (JAL) started their first flight using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Flight JAL008 lifted off from Narita, Tokyo (NRT) and then were met with a crowd at Boston Logan (BOS). Not only is this the first route, using the 787 Dreamliner, to the US, it is also the first time the aircraft has been put on a brand new route.
JAL’s first Boston flight was 100% booked and about 98% filled for the rest of April, showing positive demand for the new route.
JAL's 787 at Boston. Image from JAL.
“We are honored to see the 787 Dreamliner begin its first commercial service to the U.S. with the launch of JAL’s Tokyo to Boston route,” said Boeing Japan president Mike Denton, who was on the flight. “The 787 brings new levels of flexibility to airlines in their network development, and this is exactly the kind of long-haul point-to-point route the 787 was designed to fly. Congratulations to JAL and all their passengers participating in this exciting, pioneering flight.”
According to Bloomberg, the airline is also looking at using the Dreamliner on flights to Madrid, Berlin and Dusseldorf. JAL is also considering the possibility of re-opening routes using the 787 that were not profitable with the larger Boeing 777 from Nagoya and Osaka’s Kansai airports.
I love a good time-lapse video. This one is brought to you by the very busy Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). The author recorded one hour and ten minutes of video and reduced it down to about two and a half minutes.
On his YouTube posting he stated he would have preferred to record a bit longer, but local law enforcement thought it might not be such a great idea (even though what he was doing was not illegal). I think it is interesting to see how the aircraft don’t go 100% straight when taking off. Enjoy!