The Bahamas puts the "blue" into JetBlue.

The Bahamas puts the “blue” into JetBlue.

Airline: JetBlue
Aircraft: Embraer E-190 N317JB, Deja Blue
Departed: Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS)
Arrived: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
Stops: None
Class: Economy
Seat: 7D
Length: 3hrs

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

Taxxing at NAS towards the runway.

Taxiing at NAS towards the runway. There is a Bahamasair Boeing 737-500 in the background.

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 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 adn nummers.

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.

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.

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.

[nggallery id=31]

This story written by…

David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder. David started 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.

@AirlineReporter | Flickr | YouTube

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
American Airlines Takes Delivery of First 777-300ER

One bit of pedantry: all the things you say are free are not in fact free. They are just no additional charge over what you already paid for the ticket.

Free to me at the time?


The important point is that they are not free. You definitely paid for them.

This seems to be an Americanism, like how people claim local phone calls are free. They aren’t – you paid for them in the base monthly price. They are no additional charge over what you already paid. Or some hotel breakfasts are free – again not the case. Or that free copy of USA Today …

Yes Jet Blue is a decent airline and much better than its domestic competitors. However, not wishing it an negatives, it is less impressive compared to other international airlines – I think the US airline traveler is so poorly served now that Jet Blue shines even brighter!

Agreed. It is hard to compare any domestic airline with international service (although Virgin America comes the closest).

But compared to my experience with Bahamasair ( I have to say JetBlue was a bit better.


Fair enough David but I also meant other country carriers on domestic service. By way of comparison I took SAA on a few domestic flights in S Africa recently and they were excellent and much better than US carriers, low cost or otherwise including Jet Blue, and the price was quite low – certainly low cost.


People who quibble over “free” vs not charged seem silly. Given what I just paid for my Jet Blue ticket vs other carriers and the myriad of “up charges” I think Jet Blue is entitled to use the word ‘FREE’. Whatever the nomenclature, I didn’t have to pay for certain things on Jet Blue that I would have been charged for on American or United.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *