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Via the Huffington Post, yesterday JetBlue announced that they will be adding premium seats to some daytime JFK to Los Angeles flights starting next year. Details are scarce, but JetBlue’s chief commercial officer, Robin Hayes, said that they will only be on daytime flights and it is an attempt to score more premium travelers since they are losing that market, unsurprisingly, to American, Delta and United, all of whom are currently in the process of upgrading their transcontinental premium cabins.
American is getting new Airbus A321 aircraft that they are outfitting with 10 fully lie-flat seats in a 1 x 1 configuration in first class. Business class will have 20 lie-flat seats in a 2 x 2 configuration, while the Main Cabin will be 3 x 3 with 36 Main Cabin Extra seats. American is supposed to take delivery of these planes starting in Novemeber 2013 and through 2014. Check out this post for more information on American’s transcontinental routes and how to upgrade using miles and maximize elite status perks.
Delta will begin adding their lie-flat business class product to their transcontinental flights out of JFK. Currently the seats are cradle-style 757 BusinessElite, but by next year all seats on the route will be lie-flat. The first 767 was originally supposed to start flying this month, though I don’t see it on the schedule until April (currently the 5:35pm departure JFK-LAX), which times nicely with their LAX- Sydney flight. Check out this post for more information on Delta’s transcontinental routes and how to upgrade using miles and maximize elite status perks.
United is getting rid of their first class cabin and instead expanding business class and installing all lie-flat beds on their transcontinental p.s. (Premium Service) routes. The new p.s. planes will be equipped with 28 BusinessFirst seats with 180-degree flat-bed seats with 6’4” of space when fully extended, and 15.4-inch entertainment monitors. There will be 48 seats in Economy Plus with 36 inches of legroom and 9-inch entertainment monitors and 66 seats in United Economy with individual seatback 9-inch entertainment monitors. The first of these planes just flew this week and the old 3 cabin planes are being phased out throughout this year. In the interim, United is no longer selling first class so elite passengers who pay for Business can select first class seats. Check out this post for more information on United’s transcontinental routes and how to upgrade using miles and maximize elite status perks.
Virgin America also has a First class cabin, which is the same basic recliner business class seat as Delta’s current BusinessElite seat. While Virgin America has the reputation of being hip and cool, they are going to be old-school once American, Delta and United retrofit their planes with their new premium products. Still, Virgin America has a loyal following and offers a better economy and premium economy product than most of the other carriers. Check out this post for more information on United’s transcontinental routes and how to upgrade using miles and maximize elite status perks.
I haven’t seen images of what the new JetBlue seats will look like, but hopefully they’ll be on par with the other carriers on this route and the airline will get its inflight WiFi access situation into shape soon as well so that the carrier becomes a more attractive choice on this route.