Touring JetBlue’s new economy cabin on the Airbus A321neo

Mar 10, 2021

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JetBlue’s newest plane is getting ready for takeoff.

In addition to offering the carrier’s brand-new Mint Suite and Studio business-class products, JetBlue’s latest Airbus A321neo, dubbed the A321LD, also features a redesigned economy cabin.

JetBlue first revolutionized the coach — or “Core,” as the airline calls it — experience when it became one of the first carriers to offer free live TV for every customer. Since then, the carrier has added free high-speed Wi-Fi, power outlets and USB ports to create an industry-leading offering that’s won two TPG Awards.

Building on a strong foundation, JetBlue’s new A321neo features the carrier’s latest coach experience. Let’s take a look inside.

Spacious 3-3 configuration

To start, the 144 coach seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration spread across 24 rows.

Each features a width of 18.4 inches, which is above average for a narrowbody aircraft. Though our cabin tour was short, it didn’t take long to appreciate the extra width.

Unlike JetBlue’s all-coach A321neo which sports a second mini-cabin, economy on the A321LD is arranged in one large cabin.

JetBlue selected the Collins Meridian seat for this new coach cabin. The airline has been using the same seat for all retrofitted and new aircraft, including the soon-to-debut Airbus A220-300.

Forty-two of the 144 coach seats are designated as Even More Space (EMS) seats. The upcharge for these extra-legroom seats varies by route — but it typically ranges from $30 to $70. Mosaic elite members can also redeem TrueBlue points for these seats, or they can score one for free at the airport during check-in.

The A321LD is the first JetBlue jet with all EMS seats located in the first seven rows of the cabin, thanks to the location of the overwing exit doors.

The Even More Space cabin starts with a bulkhead that features a bit of extra legroom. Note that you’ll need to store all personal belongings in the overhead compartment if you’re seated in Row 9. Also, the armrests are immovable, because the tray table folds out of them.

The next six rows sport standard Even More Space seats, easily identifiable by orange stitching, with 35 inches of pitch and standard recline.

The two exit rows — Row 13 and Row 14 — feature a similar amount of pitch as the other EMS seats, but the windows don’t have an armrest.

As for the remaining standard “Core” seats, they each have 32 inches of pitch. The last row even reclines, but the close proximity to the lavatory could be bothersome.

Note that you’ll want to avoid rows 23 and 24 due to missing windows.

JetBlue says that each seat features an enhanced cushion, but our 30-minute tour wasn’t long enough to determine whether it was a noticeable improvement.

Each seat has adjustable, winged headrests that provide additional neck support for those looking to catch some shuteye.

Tray tables measure 17 inches wide and nine inches long, just big enough for my 13-inch MacBook Pro. It could definitely be a bit uncomfortable to work if you’re seated in the middle with a full cabin.

JetBlue added its customized seat-back storage holders to the A321LD, which feature three individual mesh pockets, each capable of holding a water bottle and other loose items.

Lastly, the contoured seatback design creates a bit more space by the knees, a notable improvement for taller passengers.

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Top-notch onboard entertainment and amenities

In addition to a spacious coach configuration, the A321LD is decked out with thoughtful amenities and enhanced connectivity.

The most noticeable improvement to the core experience is the refreshed pantry, which will be stocked with complimentary grab-and-go snacks and soft drinks. (Due to the pandemic, JetBlue has temporarily closed the pantry fleetwide.)

The old A321s with Mint, as well as the carrier’s all-coach A321neos, also feature a walk-up pantry, but this one is the most modern of the bunch. It’s located just behind the Mint cabin.

Each seat features a 10.1-inch high-res seat-back screen, the same ones you’ll find on the carrier’s Airbus A220-300s. Powered by the Thales AVANT Android-based software, the personal entertainment monitors are loaded with hundreds of movies, TV shows and over 100 channels of live TV.

The seat-back monitors feature an enhanced flight map, as well as the ability to use your own phone as a remote control.

Every passenger can access free gate-to-gate Wi-Fi. The carrier opted to install the faster ViaSat 2 satellite receivers onboard, which boosts internet coverage, speed and reliability compared to the older JetBlue planes.

Finally, each row is equipped with shared power outlets. Even More Space seats get one outlet per person, while there are two outlets for every three seats in standard “Core.”

In addition to a universal power outlet, there’s also a USB-A port at each outlet, as well as a second USB-A port underneath the seat-back monitor.

Unfortunately, JetBlue didn’t install a USB-C port in the coach cabin, like it did for the new A220-300.

Cabin design, lavatories

The A321LD sports JetBlue’s latest cabin design.

All four full-size lavatories feature a subway tile mosaic, in a nod to the carrier’s New York hometown.

The forward lavatory is reserved for Mint flyers, while the remaining three are spread throughout the coach cabin.

There’s one directly behind Mint, and two others at the back of the cabin.

While the plane boasts a host of flyer-friendly improvements, flight attendants will likely appreciate that the A321LD has heated galley floors.

Interestingly, there are no curtain dividers between Mint and coach.

Another subtle, yet notable improvement are the spacious overhead bins. The oversized Airspace XL bins first debuted with American Airlines back in 2019, and now they’re making their way to JetBlue. They accommodate larger carry-on luggage and allow standard rollaboards to be loaded on their sides, creating room for one additional bag per bin.

The new Airspace XL bins will help JetBlue achieve its new carry-on bag guarantee, though note that basic economy flyers will no longer be allowed to bring a full-size carry-on, regardless of the aircraft type they’re flying.

Bottom line

If you’re flying in coach, you can’t go wrong with JetBlue’s new A321neo. If all goes to plan, the plane will launch on flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles (LAX) as early as this June.

With a spacious economy configuration with ergonomic seats, personal TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi, power outlets and more, JetBlue’s award-winning coach experience is only getting better.

All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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